Inspired by their ecological values, in November 2013 Beatriz Valdivia y Albert Cediel started “Moda en Positivo”, a multi-functional platform devoted to sustainable fashion. Their shop is located in the Gracia neighborhood, one of Barcelona’s most picturesque areas. There you can find – among others- artisan products made out of ecologic or recycled materials.
A few weeks ago we talked to Beatriz Valdivia, who told us all about this exciting project and shared with us her long experience working in the sector.
What is “Moda en Positivo” ?
A space that was born with the goal of commercializing accessories, jewelry, shoes and timeless clothes. These items have been made through artisan techniques by small designers, single mothers or indigenous communities.
We make sure every item we sell shows respect for the environment and especially for society. We believe we can do our share to make society a better place just by having a sustainable wardrobe. If you want to change the world, you can start by wearing it!
What induced you to create this platform?
Both Albert and I have been working for over 25 years in the environmental sector. Albert had studied fashion design in his youth, but he never made a career in the field.
In 2010 our family moved to Colombia and there we started having a lot of first-hand contact with local artisans. I soon realized that one of their main problems was that they weren’t able to properly communicate what they were doing. Thus, I decided to create a platform to promote their sustainable fashion in South America and give them a major visibility. Eco Fashion Latam – that’s how the platform was called – allowed us to discover new designers. Once we returned to our lives in Spain, we put all these great experiences together and they led us to the creation of Moda en Positivo.
Why do you think initiatives related to sustainable fashion need to be empowered?
The sector needs a lot of collaboration, especially when it comes to marketing. Most small designers have a lot of engagement, great values, passion for a different way of doing fashion, but they are not business-oriented. They don’t know how to get their message across and communicate who they are. Our constant dialog with South American brands has shown us all the challenges they need to overcome to enter the European market. Our platform allows them a way in.
What are the requirements you established to introduce a new brand in your network?
It has to belong to one of the 4 areas we work with: 1. Items made out of eco-friendly prime materials, 2. Items made out of recycled materials (“upcycling”), 3. Handmade items, especially by communities at risk of disappearing, 4. Clothes that have been made thanks to technical innovation and are positive for the health (“smart fashion”). But what we value the most is the degree of engagement with other social projects.
In your view, what are the major challenges sustainable fashion is currently facing?
Unfortunately, the sector needs to fight the customer’s opinion about everything being too expensive. This means, we don’t only need to sell the items, but also show their unique characteristics and make people understand how positive a new mind set can be both for society and the environment.