20 Apr 2017
Madrid, Spain
Sustainable Textiles & Clothing

In September 2013, Angels Perramon and Rosa Escalé’s entrepreneurial spirit kicked in. The pair shared a vision and affinity towards producing sustainable and environment-friendly fabric, reaching beyond manufacturing clothes and ditching worn out and conventional methods.

Perramon is an agronomist with a special interest in agroecology, while Escalé is a textile worker with an extensive background in the textile industry. Both enthusiasts combined efforts launching their first textile company, Cotó Roig or Red Cotton, in March 2014. 

 

A story of no ordinary cotton sweeps Spain’s conventional textile industry | The Switchers

How it all came together:

Most textile industries have been injecting pesticides in conventionally grown cotton. Cotton crops are often grown with toxic, synthetic chemical fertilizers and abundance of water. Additionally, some textile industries use bleach and chemical dyes to color fabrics proven hazardous for the environment. The procedure also showed a great health risk towards workers and consumers with chemical sensitivity.

“We do not know much about who creates the thread, the fabric, nor of the enormous damages that dyes cause to the environment,”
Perramon & Escalé
A story of no ordinary cotton sweeps Spain’s conventional textile industry | The Switchers

As a result, Coto Roig sought an eco-friendly cotton alternative, in a bid to revamp the clothing fabric production. They started growing cotton through integrated production, which explicitly limits the use of synthetic pesticides. The practice took place in the countryside of Andalusia, Spain for their brand. The new outlook will purportedly minimize concerns about poisoning workers, and contaminating soil and water resources.

Coto Roig and social responsibility:

The company is striving to raise people’s awareness about the difference between traditionally grown cotton and one grown via the Integrated Production method.

“The former is infused with pesticides, while the latter is grown with pesticides, only when necessary, limiting the harmful effects, environmentally or otherwise. Integrated Production further improves soil quality and often consumes less water than the conventionally-grown one,” said Perramon.

 

A story of no ordinary cotton sweeps Spain’s conventional textile industry | The Switchers

Collaboration and crowdfunding:

In 2014, the pair managed to collaborate with a group of cotton farmers in the south of Andalusia. The aim was to create a 100% Spanish product that competes with imported fabrics.

The founders also resorted to an online campaign through Verkami, a crowdfunding platform that supports innovative and promising projects.  The campaign managed to collect sufficient funds to start cultivating, spinning and knitting cotton. The funding also assisted with sewing their first products, such as cotton fabric by the meter, tees and basic household fabrics. The campaign later helped secure the company’s first purchase, namely, five tons of cotton, and shape their first tissues by gaining 15,000 euros in September 2014.
Currently, Perramon and Escalé are planning to obtain 25 tons of cotton before 2022. The acquired cotton should allow the company to create enough natural fabrics. Such materials will be used to produce their own clothing line.

Following the launch of Coto Roig in 2014, the company participated in a number of trade fairs in different cities such as Barcelona, and different landmarks such as old museums and tourist offices. Such settings were received by an increasing number of people enthusiastic about the project.

As for networking, the activity ranked as a top priority. Perramon and Escalé have been dedicated to reaching out to all demographics to promote awareness.

The aspiring company has consequently drawn the attention of young designer, Leonor Tarradas, who used their cotton fabrics for one of her ultra-chic collections. It also collaborated with the renowned contemporary textile designer Miriam Ponsa Manresa and others, to create a line of soft and breathable cotton-made T-shirts, mattresses, baby clothing, yoga pants, and hats.

When people are mindful of the environmental impact conventionally-grown cotton can have, they begin to appreciate and acknowledge any effort to protect their environment. Coto Roig produces a 100% Spanish, high-quality organic cotton limiting the use of harmful chemicals. Meaning, we can feel good about looking great!

 

Find Coto Roig:

Website: http://www.cotoroig.cat/

Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/decotoroig/?fref=ts

Photos: Courtesy of Coto Roig

Cotó Roig Sustainable textiles and clothing
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