Viernes 25 septiembre 2020

(Español) Los tejidos Gratacós en las pasarelas virtuales

Sorry, this entry is only available in European Spanish.

Miércoles 09 septiembre 2020

(Español) Madrid y Barcelona dan la bienvenida a la pasarela virtual

Sorry, this entry is only available in European Spanish.

Jueves 30 julio 2020

(Español) La moda se vuelve digital

Sorry, this entry is only available in European Spanish.

Jueves 25 junio 2020

Trends for brides 2021

This year is being atypical in every way due to the global coronavirus pandemic and this uniqueness is also fully affecting the bridal sector that has seen its event calendars altered. It is precisely in spring and summer when more ceremonies are held and in these months, when the big world fairs and exhibitions display their novelties to show and organize the preparations for the ceremonies of the following year but everything now is uncertain.

Obviously, it is still too early to predict whether bridal fashion will be affected by this stage of uncertainty. What is fore sure is that there are certain trends that adjust to the preferences of millennial brides, who still represent the bulk of bridal fashion consumption, and the new generation of generation Z brides that is beginning to appear timidly in the market.

Analyzing the new collections of the main specialized firms and as manufacturers of bridal fabrics, these are some trends for brides that will mark 2021.

1. A change in silhouette

There are as many dresses as there are brides on the market. And it is no longer a single piece per ceremony. Now bridal clothing goes beyond the “unique dress” and other accessories are introduced, such as the evening dress or other looks to wear during the day before or at rehearsal, at the banquet and at the after party.

In any case, the ceremony dress continues to be the centrepiece and symbol of bridal fashion.  Analyzing the last years, there is a tendency towards sobriety that affects the shape. Simple and elegant lines, combined with dazzling veils with appliqués or lace are one of the most popular formulas. Minimalism triumphs combined with controlled doses of pomposity. As for the silhouette, there is a certain predilection for the most fitted dresses and a less “princess” look. Two-piece dresses are also worn a lot of thanks to that combination of style and comfort, which is especially liked by younger brides.

As for trends observed within the bridal designs themselves, special sleeves are worn such as puffs, sophisticated round neckline closed collars, volumes on the skirts if it is a two-piece suit, ruffles, long sleeves for autumn or winter ceremonies, buttons especially in retro-style dresses and transparencies.

2. Fabrics and details

As fabric manufacturers, with a wide range of articles dedicated to brides, we can say that there are fabrics that are infallible, and that despite the passing fashions, they always have a print such as floral embroidery, lace, crêpe, organza and tulle. In general, the former define the outer part of the dress, and are the most striking, and the latter the skeleton or interior or details such as transparencies or the veil, although it is no longer possible to speak of generalities due to this heterogeneity in taste and the preferences of the current brides. In any case, special fabrics are also sold very well, those that go beyond the ABC and that provide a plus of sophistication: articles with decoration, precious stones or even the sophisticated feathers that give ethereal and beautiful point in a bridal gown.

In any case, from Gratacós we invite you to re-enter our space and marvel at the new bridal fabrics. We have many dreams to fulfil for the brides who are still waiting for that yes I want.

3. The bridal colours

Although the silhouettes or fabrics change, depending on the trends of the moment, there are classics that still remain and in terms of colour, current brides still prefer white to say I do. In fact, it continues to maintain comfortable leadership in its pristine version. Of course, competitors have emerged for years: from the most subtle as false whites (ivory, champagne, bone …), to the most daring such as yellows and light blues or pinks, who resist abandoning bridal gowns in their palest shades. In fact, the consumption of this feminine colour has continued to grow in terms of preferences for the bridal dress or the second dresses that the bride uses for other occasions within the ceremony.

4. Personalization and second hand, two trends on the rise

Bridal fashion also reflects the latest trends of the Prêt-à-porter. In this sense, the sector also takes into account two values ​​that are increasingly appreciated by the new generation of consumers: personalization and vintage or second-hand outfits.

Beyond the custom-made dress, the big bridal fashion firms are offering the option of customizable garments, where the bride can choose several options on a base model, which set her apart from the rest. For example, the firm Pronovias, world leader in the bridal sector, has created My Dream Atelier. It is a capsule collection made up of four basic bridal designs and different silhouettes, depending on the body, taste or preferences of the consumer. Once the model is chosen, it can be personalized with appliques and details such as flowers, stars, butterflies, hearts or glitter. To finish the customization, the firm offers the possibility of embroidering on the dress or veil initials, words or phrases that tell the love story of the couple.

The other rooted trend is the choice of vintage dresses and / or second-hand accessories that go from grandmothers to mothers and from mothers to daughters. They are special clothes that are bought in specialized stores or that are inherited to maintain the family’s legacy. In fact, within an increasingly homogeneous and impersonal society, garments with their own values ​​acquire a new meaning: they provide exclusivity and authenticity.

Jueves 21 mayo 2020

Fashion puts on the mask

Wearing a mask is already an imperative. No buts about it. It is an obligatory accessory that must be worn in public spaces as a measure of protection from possible contagion in this return to the new normality that we all of us are experiencing for the first time as a society. The coronavirus pandemic has shaken all our foundations, also affecting something as banal as our street clothes. Indeed, this essential accessory during the lock-down has come to stay for a while, at least during 2020. An opportunity always emerges from every crisis and the fashion industry, hit hard by the interruption of production and consumption, has found in the mask an escape route to market a new accessory that will accompany us wherever we go as a hygiene measure.

The commitment of brands and designers to this unexpected product is more than certain. In the last few weeks they have all started to produce their own designs. Within the luxury sector firms such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Off-White have presented the new trend items, which in some cases are still true luxury accessories. The cost of a mask “with pedigree” could be anything up to 200 euros. Celebrities have also seen a niche to maintain their popularity and earn extra money. Let them learn from Kim Kardashian! The voluptuous American socialite recently launched a collection of masks with devastating result: they sold out in an hour. The low cost market has also heeded the call to revitalize consumption via this accessory. For example, the giant Inditex already has a collection of masks available in the online catalogues of two of its best-known brands (Bershka and Stradivarius). Indeed, the models of their campaigns already wear them accompanied by their jeans and fashionable tops. The message is clear: the mask has already become a standard piece of clothing in our daily wardrobe. Even the Lidl supermarket chain announced an agreement with Agatha Ruiz de la Prada to give their masks a touch of brightness. As experts in the sector point out, “creativity and ingenuity are needed to give colour to the dark times of COVID-19”.

A designer accessory

Spanish designers have also not stood idly by and have wanted to develop proposals that maintain their identifying features. The essence must never be lost. A stand-out example is the creative alliance between Dominnico and Pezones Revueltos to create four innovative masks. Thus, the Alicante designer Domingo Rodríguez Lázaro and the illustrator María Bueno have launched a capsule collection inspired by modern fairytale princesses. And we are very pleased to say that among those models you can identify some of our own fabrics.

Another pioneer designer creating his own mask has been Juan Carlos Pajares. In April the designer from La Mancha launched a colourful solidarity design whose profits were destined for sanitary equipment . Now Pajares is incorporating this as an additional accessory in his summer looks. Indeed, if you look closely you will also recognize the fabric of this design mask.

Quién fue un paso más allá fue Miriam Ponsa and Josep Abril went a step further, reinventing their brands to produce protective equipment to guarantee safety against the coronavirus. Initially Catalan designers created prototypes of gowns and masks to turn their production around and focus on meeting protection needs. Now, with the de-escalation they are keeping their mask designs as a further accessory in their collections.

Finally we should also highlight the creation by Closca Design, a Valencian company dedicated to creating bicycle helmets and other urban accessories which has expanded its business with a line of face masks of functional, sustainable and aesthetic design. This accessory is designed to last since it can be washed, is foldable and adapts to different faces because it has a velcro closure. The company assures wearers that the anti-coronavirus function is achieved with the same filters that are used in FFP2 masks, offering the same protection.

Apart from the big brands or prestigious designers, it is important to point out that a network of individuals and small companies in the textile sector has also been created, who have launched their own masks offering customizable options which especially are governed by the choice of fabrics to consumer taste. In this regard we anticipate that at Gratacós we will also soon be promoting our own line of masks, an interesting project that we will reveal to you in June together with the fabrics of our collections. Keep in touch!

Miércoles 01 abril 2020

The textile industry united against coronavirus

Together we are stronger – and this is more necessary than ever in unstable times that shake the foundations of the current economy. The textile industry (national and international) could not be left out of the emergency caused by the coronavirus, and it is admirable how in recent weeks it has joined efforts to manufacture on a large scale basic medical supplies to help cut the chain of contagion of the disease, and thus slow down the pandemic.

In extraordinary situations shock measures are needed. In our country, Spanish textile companies, as well as cosmetics, automotive and beverage sectors, have heard the government’s call to convert production to make masks, gloves, assisted breathing equipment or disinfectant gels to the maximum speed. This reconversion serves to supply hospitals, residences and essential service workers who urgently need this material to face the battle against the epidemic. Until now lack of resources was one of the black holes that gave wings to the coronavirus.

In the case of the textile industry, the companies that are joining the initiative have gone from sewing pants or dresses to making surgical masks and “use and throw” gowns that are used by thousands in hospitals. To date the sector has the necessary machinery, patterns and fabrics ready and once they comply with all the requirements and approvals approved by the Textile Technological Institute (AITEX), mass production will begin. Estimates are indeed encouraging: they calculate that up to 160,000 masks a day and about 50,000 disposable gowns can be manufactured.

The big international fashion brands have also gone to work with special productions accompanied by financial donations dedicated to providing current resources in hospital centres and promoting scientific research to accelerate the race to find the vaccine that eradicates the coronavirus. For their part, the Spanish fashion giants (Inditex, Mango, Tendam and Desigual) also have an army of suppliers around the globe to obtain more medical supplies. Things are already moving in this regard.

An army of volunteers fights for the cause

Beyond unity, if there is something that is happening in a positive key in almost every corner of the planet and that is teaching us a valuable lesson in humanity these days, it is solidarity. Everyone wants to join in and help as much as possible to slow down the pandemic. Apart from private initiatives, which are many and diverse, one of the projects related to fashion that has contributed its grain of sand has been Modistas Solidarias, an initiative promoted by the designer María Cordero, alter ego of the Spanish firm Wolflamb. Its goal has been to convert all the cotton fabrics into masks to supply the hospitals near its workshop in Valencia, and for this reason all seamstresses on the team are involved. This small project has gained in strength by the addition of small workshops and individuals spread throughout Spain. Along with anonymous volunteers, well-known names such as Ariadne Artiles, Eugenia Silva, Blanca Padilla, Paz Vega and designers Vicky Martín Berrocal and Juan Avellaneda have also joined the initiative.

Gratacós is also committed

At Gratacós we have not stood idly by and we are aware of our social responsibility as a fabric company. We too wanted to join forces in the fight against the coronavirus. So far we have supplied and shipped dozens of cotton fabrics to local workshops and neighbourhood companies for mask manufacturing. We are aware of the state of emergency and in the coming days we shall be studying how to encourage more actions to alleviate this social, economic and health crisis. We will inform you through social networks. Look after yourselves at home!

Miércoles 18 marzo 2020

Art and culture in sneakers

No one denies the obvious. Culture and leisure in its most traditional exhibition formats have been one of the biggest victims of the coronavirus. The closing of movie and concert halls, museums, exhibitions, theatres and libraries, among others, and the subsequent confinement in the home have hampered consumption habits via physical methods. Even so, culture is subversive and in difficult times it has always found alternative ways to spread knowledge through other media. And, in this case, despite the confinement, cultural life continues behind the screen in fully digital terrain.

The virus has not stopped the immense power of culture with its multiple channels of expression that allow it to keep its objectives intact: to spread knowledge, contemplate beauty, stimulate the imagination and create critical opinion. In fact, in the last week confinement has put to the test the ingenuity and creativity of many artists who have devised new proposals to experience culture from the sofa at home. From sporadic festivals to virtual visits, streaming talks or improvised courses. Every day new and original small-format initiatives emerge, in addition to those promoted by the world’s main art centres, to expand the list of cultural activities offered as an alternative to entertain and animate the days when people are shut-in at home.

Here we suggest some ideas for continuing to feed the intellect from home.

Virtual art

Museums and cultural centres around the world are still open virtually. This is the example of the Thyssen, the Prado, the Reina Sofía or the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, which offer virtual tours, videos, audios, conferences and even online courses to enjoy the cultural activities of these Spanish cultural venues. Internationally the Uffizi in Florence, the Vatican Muses, the Louvre, the Metropolitan in New York and the National Gallery in Washington stand out, for example, which also show visitors their online collection. For its part, Google,via its app, Arts and Culture, offers virtual reality guided tours of museums, masterpieces and even the construction of the statue of Liberty in New York. In fact, the almighty Google collects more than 7,000 virtual exhibitions from all over the planet. The difficult thing in this case, is to choose the sample to look at. For its part the benchmark for contemporary art, the MOMA, is also offering 6 interesting courses related to fashion, art, photography and design, all for free and without leaving home.

Theatre and performing arts

The performing arts also offer facilities to digital users. The Teatroteca of the Ministry of Culture is available with more than 1,500 plays, circuses and dance with works available to users such as ‘The house of Benarda Alba’, ‘Life is a dream’ or ‘Blood weddings’. Anyone can access them through a free online registration through For its part the New York Metropolitan Opera is offering great classics of the genre in streaming such as ‘Carmen’, ‘La Boheme’, ‘La Traviata or‘ Il Trovatore ’.

Series and films

Digital payment platforms for viewing audiovisual content have experienced a new boom in subscriptions that show the increasing consumption of series, documentaries and films among confined users. Apart from the kings of streaming, there are also other public websites such as RTVE or Televisió de Catalunya that offer series and movies for free and legally. Other pages such as and have a catalogue of free movies, books and magazines for those who have a library card. Libraries, such as Nacional or Catalunya, and websites such as Google Books also offer free reading.

Live music

Music knows no borders. And less in difficult times, where it shows the great ability to break barriers and reach all corners and audiences. Initiatives of all kinds have emerged from social isolation: from sporadic concerts through Instagram grouped in hashtags that are running like wildfire on the Internet such as #YoMeQuedoenCasa to alternative music festivals such as the Quarantine Fest to make the state of confinement more bearable. This latest initiative brings together 50 bands that offer private concerts from their homes through YouTube. Some anonymous artists have even come out onto their balconies to perform songs a cappella, or with their musical instruments, to offer impromptu live concerts to their neighbours.

In the coming days, the cultural offer will increase to maintain a certain normality from home. Evidently the consumption format changes because coronavirus has reduced the aesthetic experience to the window of a screen. Also missed is that essential social component that sustains culture: to climb on a stage, to comment on some works that excite,to walk through an exhibition… but we are sure that when this situation is over we will perceive (and appreciate) beauty in another way and from all possible areas. One last tip: keep your wifi well-connected!

Jueves 12 marzo 2020

Green green top of the team

“Green green top the team.  Green wind. Green branches … ” intones the enigmatic ‘ Romance Sonámbulo ‘ by Federico García Lorca , perhaps one of the most admired written works of the Spanish poet. A poem where green, which is used in a metaphorical key, is the protagonist of his verses and which serves as a prologue to introduce our particular tribute to this colour full of dualities.

Beyond the colour associated with hope,  nature or the environment , did you know that green is the colour of fertility and the bourgeoisie? The tone that is linked with the sacred and the poisonous . The eternal intermediate , which calms and stimulates, and is secondary by definition because it is halfway between blue and yellow in the visible spectrum. Green is life, youth and freshness, but it can also be the tone of the unreal, of envy and disease. How contradictory, right?

We review some curiosities of green that, according to Eva Heller in her book ‘Psychology of colour’, is the preferred colour of 16% of men and 15% of women. A preference that increases with age, especially among the male population.

Brief history of green and some symbolism

In olden times it was considered a primary colour , but today , according to the colour wheel of the traditional RYB colouration model, green is one of the secondary colours, those that are obtained from the mixture in the same proportion of two primary colours. Etymologically the word green comes from the Latin ” virĭdis ” which derives from the verb ” virere “, which means “vigorous, flourishing, young”.

During postclassic and modern Europe, green was the colour associated with wealth, merchants, bankers, and aristocracy, whilst red was reserved for the nobility. For this reason, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa outfit and the benches of the British House of Commons are green, while those of the House of Lords are red.

Green also symbolizes the sacred. In 1570, Pope Pius V established green as a liturgical colour, such as white, red, and violet. Of these, green represents the most modest and elemental. Green was also the prophet Muhammad’s favorite colour and is considered a symbol in Islam because it represents the lush vegetation of Paradise. It is no wonder that this colour is found on the flags of almost all Islamic countries. Green also has a long historical tradition as the colour of Ireland and Gaelic culture. It is the symbol of freedom.

In terms of fashion, there is an anecdote related to this enigmatic colour . In 1863, the chemist Eugen Lucius produced an intense green dye, baptized “aldehyde green”, which became very popular thanks to the elegant silk dress worn by the French empress, Eugenia , wife of Napoléon III to attend an opera night. At the time, Eugenia was considered the most beautiful woman in the world, and no one equaled her in elegance. In the light , the green shone inexplicably, which created a sensation among the crowd and immediately became fashionable. Thanks to this success, the German company Höchst emerged, which later put many green dyes on the market, followed by aldehyde green followed by iodine green, methyl green and bitter almond oil green.

Nature and the environment

Green is more than a colour, is the quintessence of nature, associated with environmental awareness and love for life, the fresh and healthy. Precisely, the political groups that defend the protection of the environment and social justice describe themselves as part of the Green movement, some are called Green Parties. This has led to similar advertising campaigns, as companies have sold green or organic products. Green is also the traditional colour of security and permission; a green light means continue, a green card allows permanent residence in the United States. It is also the colour most commonly associated with youth, spring, hope and in Asian countries, this tone is a symbol of fertility and happiness. Did you know?/span>

Another anecdote is that at the University of Frankfurt am Main, Germany, professors used to wear a gown differentiated by colours according to the faculty, green was for economists and social science students, the colour of growth and prosperity.

The dark reverse of green

Green provokes in its turn dualities. No one doubts that it is the symbol of life in its broadest sense and that the term itself adds a natural and well-being sense to any activity. Still, it’s funny how the same green in history has also been linked to the unreal, the monstrous, and the creepy. The colour of the dragon, demon, or monster? Their skins exhibit the most “inhuman” colour possible because there are no mammals with green fur. In popular culture, the os aliens also are represented with this colour. Coincidence?

Green is also sometimes linked to bitterness and in England it is closely linked to envy. The expression a look with green eyes does not refer to the colour of the eyes, but to an envious look. A male Gucci colony is called Envy (envy), and its colour is pale green. In France, green is a colour that brings bad luck for superstitious people. If a Frenchman says Je suis vert, he is very angry. Vert de colère, green with anger.

Green is also the colour of poison, and as we said above above, symbol of health-. We imagine poison as a green substance, and colloquial German uses a word made up of “green” and “poison”, giftgrün. Green also became for painters the colour linked to toxicity due to its complexity in the manufacturing process with the mixture of certain substances such as arsenic and other dyes that were harmful to health.

The ragin green news

It is not the usual colour inside the wardrobe, nor is it very common to see in its most vibrant tones. Despite this, there are certain shades of green that are setting trends this Spring – Summer 2020 season and its design potential and combinations are infinite . Either because they have been seen on the catwalks, or on the street worn by artists like Billie Eilish -and her green hair- and the main fashion prescribers. We discover five types of green that are being worn, some of them will have continuity in the next season.

1. Biscay Green

If last year was the reign of pistachio tones, this year the crown is held by the unexpected Biscay Green. A fresh and refreshing aqua green that adorns chiffon dresses and sequined garments.

2. Mint

A pastel green that adds lightness and sweetness to the garments. It is very flattering on tanned skin and ideal to wear in monochrome looks.

3. Emerald

It was the colour of the year in 2013, according to Pantone and in truth, this shade of deep green has never quite gone from the fashion scene. Powerful and hopeful, emerald green brings out its most enigmatic side when paired with pink and violets.

4. Lime

The lime green contiues to be one of the important green trendsetters. Now it comes in its most yellowish version with the Chartreuse and also in its more acidic tones, such as neon green. A striking, bold and regenerating colour.

5. Olive

A light shade that connects with the safari trend of camouflage tones with brown shades that give that feeling of naturalness. It works great with neutral colours.

We encourage you to discover the green tones of the new Spring- Summer 2020 season. Come to our space in Barcelona or access them through the new products that we have already on offer on our online store.

Martes 03 marzo 2020

Double Poetry: SS20

March, like September, is the month of rebirth. From the blooming of the new season that hitherto has been hibernating in our stores, waiting for its turn: the official presentation to society. And we really wanted to show the new collection of fabrics, this time absorbed under the Double Poetry concept.

Double Poetry appeals to poetry that hides duality. A dual year (2020) inspires a spring-summer collection that moves between two waters. On a creative level we are inspired by the antagonisms that are related to each other, especially in work processes: the mental and the irrational, technology and emotion, what develops in a cerebral way and what is guided from the heart. We provide the most advanced technology with poetry and human emotion to create a rational and tangible proposal, but with high doses of sensitivity.

Under this concept of extremes that complement each other, the Spring-Summer 2020 proposal is developed in two directions:

1. A turn to contemporary classics

The classic does not have to be predictable or boring, especially when it undergoes a transformation that shakes and rejuvenates it. We like to get out of our comfort zone with disruptive proposals. This line contemplates fabrics that retain a certain timeless primitivism. They are easily recognizable products, close to the domestic and that convey security and everyday life: wear a Jacquard out of the festive season or look for a type of cotton that conveys a message, why not? A range of traditional fabrics (drapery, tweeds and wool items are coming back), some of them rustic looking and which interact with the latest technologies to include us in contemporary fashion.

Within this line the tactile fabrics are grouped, with certain reliefs: granulated, obvious crepes, flamed, flexible volumes, synthetic glitters, silver lurex worked in a delicate way and without stridencies. These products stand out because they seek to enhance the beauty of the raw material. They are handmade and rustic fabrics, but at the same time technologically sophisticated and they show these imperfections (reliefs and volumes) with pride. In terms of design, contemporary classics are inspired by the ethnic universe in a minimalist key: in a natural folk style with firm strokes, sinuous and organic shapes. This category also abounds with repetitive, almost elementary geometries, with or without symmetry: clean frames and essential stripe patterns. Finally we are not forgetting floral prints with delicious compositions with petals and motifs that are inspired by the surfing universe of vibrant colours.

In this first block neutral tones abound, an earth palette with golden nuances, the unbeatable black and white or navy blue combinables.

2. An ode to the urban landscape

The second address of the Spring-Summer 20 collection puts us in an urban environment. The city as the core of human relations. We seek that direct connection with our glass and concrete home and within this line we embrace experimentation with surprising combinations of materials and textures with vital, luminous and energetic colours that can be confronted face to face to create an interesting dialogue in tune with the urban landscape.

In this second block fabrics of a young and fresh luminosity abound, with intelligent and emotional shades at the same time. We seek to appeal to the emotions with this mix and we let ourselves get carried away by intuition. Thus the fabrics we are suggesting stand out for their evidenced volumes, they are dense in appearance, with artificial compositions and elegant textures for a seduction that enters daytime terrain. Feminine and fluid fabrics with light and fresh reliefs because we want to communicate energy and spontaneity through the materials. In turn the products have a clean appearance, technical touches only in finishes and they have a spontaneous and energetic design for a look that stands out within the city. The fabrics seek some theatricality and joy with giant graphics for the outdoors, aquatic reflections and botanical-inspired prints. A line that encourages us to rethink aesthetic codes and experiment without questioning the beauty or the need for the final products.

In this second block mineral colours abound ranging from blue to pale pink or lavenders, oranges and a palette of greens and limes. Vibrant tones that are exhibited for their own sake.

We invite you to discover the new Spring-Summer 2020 collection through the online store or in our Gratacós space in Barcelona. Let yourself be seduced by the materials, textures and patterns of the fabrics!

Jueves 27 febrero 2020

The double standard of plastic

Loved and hated in equal parts, plastic produces controversy by its very nature. Omnipresent in our current society, overexploited and with a great transformative capacity that encourages recycling, it is a material that hit-hero has been essential.

In fact, if we talk about the use and generation of materials that have surrounded humanity in recent history, plastic has undoubtedly been one of the protagonists of the twentieth century. This material has defined an era and is still present in people’s daily lives. Whether we like it or not it is a fact that plastic is everywhere, it is part of our lives and its use is taken for granted in all sectors. Its use has been global since the 60s in all kinds of everyday objects and in truth there was a time when its properties were praised, for durability, flexibility and lightness. Who would have said that we would end up drowning in a sea of ​​plastic? The figures speak for themselves, globally since 1950 more than 8,000 million tons have been generated and the scariest thing is that half of this amount corresponds to the last 15 years. At present almost 40% of production goes to single-use packaging and wrapping. Here lies one of the big challenges of the 21st century: to find a way to re-use all this generated waste in order to give it a second life and a new use.

Plasticized fashion

It was inevitable to think otherwise. Plastic has also seduced the fashion industry and its use prevails as a trend by international brands. At first this seems like a paradox: the more the reports about its extensive production are known, the more it is introduced into the collections of the great designers. It is not something new; in the 60s and 70s, André Courregès, Pierre Cardin or Paco Rabanne used plastic in their creations to elaborate the most innovative and modern pieces of the moment under an inspiration of futuristic retro-aesthetics. This trend gave the nod to the space age that was a feature of the time. These garments were not transparent and used materials such as glossy vinyl or PVC to configure the clothes of the ye-yé generation.

A couple of years ago plastic fever again caused a furore in the fashion industry, which experienced a kind of revival with several companies opting to use plastic as a wearable material, whether in clothing or accessories. An aesthetic component was added to the plastic: in the middle of the Instagram era, it allowed a total display of the privacy of the wearer. The collection presented in February 2017 by Raf Simons in his debut at Calvin Klein was especially outstanding, where coats and raincoats covered with vinyl were displayed, as was also the case with classic Chanel, led by the late Karl Lagerfeld. The kaiser included not only plastic accessories, but also added shoes and garments that combined plastic with other materials. Céline also opted for a plastic bag like the ones used in supermarkets, but which was transparent. During 2018 this was a real object of desire among influencers and fashion fans as well as Demna Gvasalia, the irreverent creative director of Balenciaga, who went for a square, striped and colored bag which resembled that used in supermarkets -a best-seller. For his part, Virgil Abloh, creative director of Off-White, made all fashionistas sigh for their black salons lined with transparent plastic – the fetish object of the moment!

Plastic yes, but recycled

In the midst of this hegemony of plastic there is also a counter-current formed by those companies that present alternatives, thinking about how to re-use existing material. This situation coincides with the governments fight against plastic pollution and a greater awareness and social commitment among the population. The discussion does not focus so much on the use of the material itself but on the continuity of its production and the greatest challenge today is to be able to re-use it, taking advantage of its existence and its very long life cycle, discovering ways to regenerate it and transform it with the least possible impact.

There is a vocation for change. In recent years leading fashion designers have been investigating and working on new developments with used plastic. One pioneering example was the sustainable design task of the renowned Stella McCartney with the organisation Parley for the Oceans to develop sports shoes for her Adidas line. In parallel there have also been a host of small but growing brands which take advantage of the fibres from recycled plastic in order to create new clothes and accessories. Such companies already offer a sustainable alternative in order to generate zero waste from the plastic already produced. The era of real recycling is beginning.