Unravelled

Ekomodo

Eko-REC is a Spanish company specialised in the recycling of post-consumer PET bottles, recycling around five million plastic bottles a day and employing 125 people. But the company, based in the town of Andoain, does not just sell recycled PET on to other actors, it also transforms this recycled material into its own products - including textile products.

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Spain

Adriana Uribesalgo works on the company's textile collection, sold under the EKOMODO brand which sells stationery, accessories and bags.

The entire team is formed of young innovators and we see our work as contributing to a better world,” explains Adriana, who has a passion for fashion and eco-design.

After studying Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Innovation and some experience in social enterprises she joined Eko-REC to focus on the design of the new textile line.

The company buys waste from small companies in order to produce polyester fibre. Today from a single bottle they can produce 20 kilometres of fibre.

The history and current use of the factory itself is perhaps illustrative of society’s continued relationship with fossil-fuel derived plastic and polyester - back in the 1950s the factory was used to produce nylon tights, the original crude oil fashion product!

Unfortunately, only 65% of the waste collected can actually be recycled as labels, metal cans and plastic caps make up part of the bulk waste that the company buys. They are currently experimenting with new products made from plastic caps to add value to the waste they buy.

Preventing huge levels of plastic waste must be the overall goal, Adriana insists, but part of the solution also involves finding ways to recycle it too.

Today part of Adriana’s job involves educating other entrepreneurs and students on the process of turning trash into high quality products.

After the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013 in Bangladesh, it was clear to me that a different textile industry was needed in this world on both the social and environmental front. So I decided to play my part and try to do something positive. When it comes to the environmental impact, there is still so much work to be done to make politicians, industry and consumers more conscious of the importance of eco-design, the mix of fibres and the high energy use.

ekomodo.eus/sobre-ekomodo

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