In January 2023, Ecoalf has opened its first flagship store in Milan, in the most futuristic area of the city, in Piazza Gae Aulenti 6.
The new shop, designed in collaboration with the archistar Patricia Urquiola, occupies a space of 80.8 sq. meters and looks like a white cube made using only recycled materials in order to lower its environmental impact without, however, compromising its image.
The floor and furniture coverings were made by Cimento, an Italian company that uses zero-emission and 90% recycled bases derived from concrete and other building materials waste.
The panels covering the walls of the shop, for example, were created by Kvadrat by recycling textile scraps. The walls of the space, on the other hand, have been painted with Airlite, an environmentally friendly paint that purifies the air, thus reducing air pollution, produced from using 100% renewable source energy and 40% of the used materials from recycled sources.
At the back of the two side shop's hanging systems there are recycled plastic curtains made according to a process that generates no waste and are completely recyclable at the end of their life.
These curtains were made by Design Studio Nagami, a Spanish studio specialising in making objects and design elements using 3D printers.
The building in which the store is located is LEED & WELL certified. Moreover, its ventilation system is powered by geothermal energy. Thanks to this system, the shop consumes less energy and produces fewer CO2 emissions.
"Italy is one of our most important markets and, after long waiting, the opening of the Milan store is an integral part of our international expansion," explained Javier Goyeneche, founder and president, Ecoalf. "Working with Patricia Urquiola has allowed us to create a store that reflects our core values of design, innovation and sustainability," added Goyeneche.
"Working on this project was very stimulating because it was based on a dialogue of shared values with the Ecoalf team," said Urquiola.
“Together we did much research to find new circular materials and processes that respect both nature and craftsmanship. Moreover, through a language of sober colors and essential shapes, it deeply expresses Ecoalf's personality,” the designer added.
The Spanish clothing brand was founded in 2009 with the aim of reducing pollution in the oceans by supporting the collection and recycling of the huge quantities of waste thrown into the sea and transforming them into materials for clothing, accessories and footwear.
The company is Bcorp since 2018 and, throughout its 14 years of existence, has developed more than 500 fabrics by recycling millions of plastic bottles and tons of discarded fishing nets, used tires, as well as post-industrial cotton and wool waste.
For the production of the s/s 2023 collection alone, the brand has avoided wasting more than 17.6 billion liters of water producing 1,850 tons of CO2.
In 2015, Ecoalf founded Upcycling the Oceans, an Ecoalf Foundation project aimed at removing waste from the seabed with the support of fishermen. The project started by involving three fishermen from a small port in Spain and now involves 4,300 fishermen spread across the Mediterranean on the coasts of Spain, France, Italy and Greece.
The company’s future goal is to involve more than 10,000 fishermen throughout the Mediterranean by 2025 and achieve zero emissions by 2030.
Completing the store are ten black and white macro portraits of some of the fishermen involved in the project, symbolically paying tribute to their priceless work safeguarding the sea. This shop is the fourth one opened by the company after Madrid, Berlin, Tokyo and Paris.