“What happens to the planet also happens to you”. That’s the motto of the Uruguayan ethical fashion brand RUTA 10. They create extraordinary bags and accessories made out of recycled rubber, which they obtain from old bicycle and car tires. They also try to always surprise their customers by cooperating with plastic artists and by adding some other materials to their designs, such as pure merino wool that is colored with natural dyes.
2008 was the year everything changed for Uruguayan Ana de León. After a long career in PR and event organization she decided it was time to stop, recharge energies and figure out what her next step would be. She had always had a passion for bags and design, so she knew that was going to be the key for a future project. She just wasn’t sure about the “how”. Until one day she remembered a trip to Barcelona she had made a few years ago, where she got to exchange a few words with an artisan who told her about his bags being made of recycled rubber.
Ana suddenly saw the light. That was exactly what she wanted to do: she had found a way to give her passion a sustainable approach. Of course, it was challenging at the beginning. She and her team needed to learn how to overcome the particularities of the material, especially its round shape and the erosion derived from the use.
But they learned. Recently they won a first-place in a local contest organized by the National Innovation Agency of Uruguay. The price consists not only of an economic remuneration but also professional advice on how to expand their business without losing a bit of their crafty and eco-friendly principles. RUTA 10 is already present in Mexico and Spain, but Ana’s dream is that one day her bags will make it all the way to Germany and Russia!