15 Sep 2017
Barcelona, Spain
Sustainable Textiles & Clothing

Roaming the enchanting streets of Barcelona, you can’t help but stumble upon the colorful showcase of this refined boutique on one of Gracia’s lively and symmetrical crossroads. The modern aesthetic and colorful display shimmers with a certain magic that seems more vibrant than the surrounding shops.

A warm reception, a distinguished style, and modesty are what you get the moment you walk through the door. Proud owner of GreenLifeStyle, Carolina Simón, guarantees that by buying any of the exhibited attires, you’re contributing to lessening the harm of the textile industry on the environment.

The Birth of GreenLifeStyle:

With today’s fast growth of the fashion movement, sustainable fashion is needed more than ever. The textile industry has become the third most polluting on the planet while the majority of people are driven by mass consumption and opting more for the luxury of high-end brands.

Nuria Ballana, owner of Bloi, a Barcelonian ecological fashion brand, argues that the fashion industry is becoming unethical. “Financial benefits are above ethical and moral values in the fashion industry today and the priority is given to quantity over quality,” says Ballana. “Consumers need to know more about what they wear as they have the right to choose a fashion that goes hand-in-hand with their values.”

In 2013, the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh has put sustainability back on the map of international fashion after dusting off the horrendous working conditions the Bangladeshi workers had to endure for the profit of major Western brands with unethical supply chains.

Just one year after the incident, the Spanish sustainable fashion movement started to establish itself as a leader in the European sustainable fashion scene. The Sustainable Fashion Association (Associació de Moda Sostenible) organized the Ethical Fashion Fest in November 2014, to be the first festival to foster and promote for sustainable fashion in Barcelona and Spain.

Simón has always been one of the greatest supporters of sustainable fashion herself: she started developing an eco-friendly attitude towards fashion at an early age and realized that it was necessary to reverse the current trend in the fashion industry if she wanted to make further progress on an environmental level.

According to Simón, protecting the environment concerns us all. “Everyone can make a gesture for the environment and help make tomorrow less polluted than today,” she remarked. All the more reason, she turned to something she has a passion for – fashion and sustainable clothing.

A fresh take on sustainable fashion:

Simón wanted GreenLifeStyle to be her own little green universe where she can help other underground eco-designers and artists to elegantly display products that reflect her philosophy. Inside the shop, you notice that she has clearly thought of everything. A happy customer on Yelp said “[Here] everything is eco, even the hangers are cardboard, there is a nice collection of plants, and some lemons in the window. The shop is perfect, the company is pleasant but most importantly, it cares about the environment.”

Since the beginning, Simón has been completely transparent about where and how her clothing is manufactured. “My customers have the right to know how and where their clothes were made,” Simón says. “I’m proud to share the stories behind each piece of clothing.”

After the launch of GreenLifestyle, Simón tried to expand beyond the conventional ready-to-wear. She started by developing a collection of sustainable wardrobe staples, then she expanded to dresses, shorts and accessories.

GreenLifeStyle’s highly versatile pieces are created and produced responsibly in Spain and across Europe by designers that are actively contributing to a more sustainable fashion industry, and other green brands. For seven years, Simón has partnered with Fair Trade artisans to produce a wide collection of ethical and eco-wear. Every item is fashion-forward and made from eco-friendly fabrics and natural fibers grown using eco-conscious methods.

The collections include a variety of knitted items from caro e, basic tops and pants from Les Racines du Ciel, shorts and outerwear from Maronski.

Simón, is very convinced that her message is well transmitted, and is determined to continue the movement she started in spite of the challenges she might face. “There are moments when I feel confused, I’m not sure where fashion is going, but I’m sure sustainable fashion is here to stay and I’m sure that the new generations will only wear sustainable fashion, it will not be an alternative; it will be the only fashion in stores,” she asserted.

 

Website: http://www.greenlifestyle.es/

Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/greenlifestylebcn/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/greenlifestyleb

Photos: Hilary Duff.

Oumeima is a writer and a translator by day, a blogger by night. Right now, she is helping green and social entrepreneurs find their voices and tell their stories.Oumeima Boughanmi
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