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The meaning of yoga is to be united with the whole, that we are all one. And The Salvage is on a mission to reduce plastic pollution with one pair of Eco-Leggings at a time. On their first year, they have reduced around 500 Kgs of waste!! Small but stepping strong, this brand comes with the compassion this world needs.
Sarah is passionate about yoga, sports and recycling. The natural path was to create a brand that was going to take all these missions together. She explains the whole process, from the recycling, design and their work at the atelier for the Eco-Leggings and Conscious Tees. Hope you learn on this interview as much as we did!
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Sarah, what is your background and why did you come up with the yoga brand The Salvage?
It was my background in sports and yoga which lead me to create activewear in the first place. I’ve been always concerned about recycling in general, and also a yoga teacher around the world for years, so that made me realise the importance of building a brand that gives a sustainable solution to all yogis and fitness fans out there! This is what really resonates with me, and thus with The Salvage.
How much is or should be yoga aligned with sustainability?
A 100%. The meaning of Yoga is to be united with the whole, that we are all one. I understand sustainability as caring for everything that we all have as human beings in this only one Earth that we’ve been given. So in order to fully practice yoga, we have to really care for our environment’s development, not only our personal development.
What is the mission behind The Salvage?
The Salvage’s mission is to reduce plastic pollution one pair of leggings at a time, a very comfy and lovely looking pair of leggings ☺
How does the creative and production process look like for the different products of yoga or sportswear?
I’ll explain one day in our lives 😉
We buy the recycled PET fabric from our supplier in China (ethically run factory with long experience in recycled yarn), the only supplier that so far has made us the honour of listening to our ideas and ultimately, has created the perfect fabric for us.
We are actually really proud to be recycling plastic in China, which is the most plastic polluted country in the world! There are no boundaries for our mission.
And how do they recycle the plastic bottles? First, PET bottles get classified by colour, they are washed, and then they get shattered and melted. The last step of the process is the creation of the yarn from the melted plastic. Voilà. Also, in this process, the water used is recycled over and over, with no water waste.
After that, they mix the recycled PET yarn with spandex to make the elastic fabric needed to create our activewear.
On top of that, they do the pattern printing process, which is digitally printed, no chemicals and no polluting water either (this is why our leggings are all in a white interior).
Bringing it back to Europe, we receive the printed fabric in our factory in Madrid, Spain, and from there we cut and sew it, pack the goodies and leave them ready for you. All ethically and consciously made by the best production team ever.
At our atelier, we work very hard on everything else! Online store management, finances, communication, orders, packagings, shipping… We totally love our jobs!
What is your signature product of all the yogawear you have available on your online shop?
Our Eco-Leggings made out of recycled plastic bottles!
We see you have also launched a collection of conscious tees for women, men and children? What are the key messages on them?
Yes, we wanted to include some more items to complement our Eco-Leggings, and so we launched a collection of Conscious Tees. The white Tees are made out of organic cotton and the grey Tees are made with recycled plastic and recycled cotton.
The messages on them highlight our quest for The Earth, such as “Conscious Warrior” which is everyone fighting from the heart to make the world a better place. Or “Change Maker” which is what we aim to be, and to make the real change!
How many kgs of waste have consumers reduced from the planet so far just by choosing The Salvage?
Our calculations so far, taking into account the whole production processes and the actual plastic recycling in each product, are around 500kgs. of waste reduced in our first year of work. It sounds maybe small, but we are a very small business too! So we are very happy and proud to be helping out the Planet even if it is only a bit by bit.
What about the packaging, is it sustainable?
Yes, 100%. We wrap our products in bags made out of the same recycled plastic fabric (from leftovers of production), which is also nice because you get two products in one (e.g. Eco-Leggings + Eco-bag). We use recycled or kraft paper as shipping packaging, with salvaged ghost net around the package to secure it. Plus we only print our labels in recycled cardboard.
You are based in Spain. How does the social and eco-entrepreneurial venture look like there? Are there any exciting things and change for good happening in the countries? Do you see people becoming eco-conscious?
One of the main reasons we wanted to produce in Spain was actually the need for the sustainability kind of mindset to be spread here.
After the huge economic crisis of 2007, the lack of financial resources in the majority of households created the perfect ground for fast-fashion to grow at a rate we never saw before. The consequences of this, we are still suffering. There is definitely much more work to do (and in many years to come) until people here in Spain make the shift to the Eco-Conscious way of living. Of course, in the past few years, we’ve seen changes for the good into the sustainability path, but we need to keep working hard!
Is there any advice you’d like to give to other businesses trying to make a difference for good?
They have to make that change from the heart, to really set that intention and bring it up into their business and life as a whole. Because they will come times when you would feel powerless to make that change when you would feel small… is then when your vocation for change comes in and save you from quitting!
If you could write a message on a big wall that the entire world could read, what would it say?
“PUT YOURSELF IN THEIR SHOES”
That’s how I approach life, with compassion. And that’s how The Salvage works as a brand.
When we see with the eyes of others, everything becomes clear and you can suddenly understand the whole.
Finally, where can we find you? Shops, online, worldwide…?
You can find us in our online store thesalvage.eu, in other multi-brand online shops such as Mamoq.com or Thrivestore.se, and in Shoshin Lanzarote or La Casa de la Mar in Valencia.
Is there any other similar brand you know or are curious about? You can also check out Crystal Flow, a sustainable swim and sportswear brand directly out of the ocean, and Think Love Live, a yoga wear brand made out of truly sustainable materials (Psssst! You can also find bikinis made out of recycled plastic!) Common ecowarriors, fashion made out of recycled materials is the new MUST!