09 Jan 2022
Madrid, Spain
Sustainable Textiles and Clothing

Europe is home to some of the world’s largest fast fashion brands, which have created entire business models around unsustainable, seasonal turnover of consumers’ wardrobes. It is fitting, therefore, that The Circular Project should emerge in Madrid — one of the continent’s largest cities — to oppose these harmful trends. In 2014, The Circular Project was established as the Spanish capital’s first specialist space for sustainable fashion.

Since then, The Circular Project has thrown support behind local creatives making fashion that respects the environment. On top of providing sustainable designers with a physical space to market their work, The Circular Project offers training and dissemination services. “The Circular Project provides unprecedented support for sustainable fashion brands, in both consulting and communication,” says Paloma García López, the initiative’s founder.

When García López first started The Circular Project almost a decade ago, she had arrived at a watershed moment in her life. The 2008 global financial crisis had claimed her job in telecommunications, but she wasted no time feeling sorry for herself. 

At that time, I wanted to [start] working on something that would fulfill me,” García López explained. “And that I knew that, for me, that goal would be having a positive impact on the environment.”

Eventually, García López settled on the idea of providing business advice to sustainable fashion brands, which face brutal market competition from global clothing conglomerates. These enormous textile producers can make clothes very cheaply, albeit by using practices that wreak havoc on the environment.

The Circular Project helps sustainable designers to tackle this challenge head-on, knowing that consumers will be tempted by cheaper clothing options. “The competition from fast fashion is very wild, which forces us to be very creative when it comes to [making sustainable fashion appealing] for citizens,” García López said.

Perhaps the most ambitious project for boosting eco-conscious clothing’s appeal is Madrid’s Circular Sustainable Fashion Week (CSFW), which The Circular Project organises. At CSFW shows, Madrid’s fashionistas can see creative and eclectic outfits made strictly according to sustainable production techniques.

“My favorite moments are when we bring sustainable fashion to the streets with our catwalks,” added García López.

The Circular Project has drawn huge amounts of interest with its mission of sustainability. According to García López, the initiative enjoys “win-win relationships” with experts in fashion and styling, communication, marketing, and customer service. The Circular Project also partners with the university organisation EUSA, which places talented and enthusiastic interns with García López’s operation.

Recognition also extends to achieving industry accreditation. The Circular Project has been audited by the Common Good Economy and belongs to the Triple Balance SANNAS companies. In October 2018, The Circular Project won the Best Practices Award (Value Chain Category) from the Cepaim Foundation and Madrid City Council.

While García López foresees a positive future for sustainable fashion, she warns that the road ahead requires determined fighting back against the pernicious influence of fast fashion. 

“Any sustainable fashion entrepreneur will face many litmus tests, which will test her commitment to the project,” she reflected. “Although we live in a sweet moment where people like sustainable initiatives […] it is not easy.”

“Sustainable fashion is a long distance race.”


Learn more about The Circular Project through the website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Photos courtesy of The Circular Project


David Wood is a freelance writer and researcher based in Beirut. He previously worked in Cairo.David Wood
Sustainable struggle — Spanish fashion collective competes with global brands | The Switchers
The Circular Project Sustainable Textiles and Clothing