The white of the towns of Cadiz, the orange of the sunsets, the waves… The slowness of the movement in Andalusia (Spain) is felt in the ethereal character of NachoCosta‘s fashion collections. The secret of its beauty lies in its calm sensitivity and strong respect for the environment and the animal world. Its creator, the designer Ignacio González, talks about concepts that make us think and which invite us to change our course.
With only 26 years old, Ignacio Gónzalez stands strong in the Spanish fashion panorama. He detaches himself from the rush and calls himself ecological and sustainable. These concepts haven’t yet been well integrated into the Spanish fashion scene, but they are taking root. After reviewing his latest collection we wanted to meet him intimately, so he could talk about his creative sensitivity, the sea, his generation…
“The people of my generation are being pressured to take over this planet’s conservation, which I think needs to be done, but which previous generations didn’t have to go through. Therefore, I decided to create an ecological, ethical and conceptual fashion brand, which would not only have a commercial aim, but would actually make you think. The use of natural materials, the reuse of discarded materials, the almost exclusive pieces, which give it an added craftsmanship value (something special and unique), are also a way to respect our body and our skin…” – he says.
Nacho Costa emerged in 2013, as its founder’s alter ego. Having been involved in the arts and fashion world from an early age due to his mother, and surrounded by music, fashion and art in his family, it was inevitable for Nacho to spontaneously gain this form of communication. With several generations of designers, seamstresses and patternist women in his family, and with their added interest and dedication for working in fashion and art industry, it was clear that his path in the plastic arts and fashion had already been drawn for him.
He is currently studying a Degree in Higher Education Arts Design Fashion. Last February he was among the eight national finalists of the 65th Mercedes-Benz Madrid Fashion Week Edition within the Samsung EGO framework. His work is nourished by art, which holds a special perspective that goes way beyond simple clothes, always rising to the constant challenge of less conventional concepts such as body proportions, building a new type of garment and using natural materials and techniques.
We jump into his closet. “80% of my wardrobe are 100% cotton pieces from different brands, there’s also clothes from H&M Conscious‘s most sustainable clothing line. You’ll also find my own clothes, made by me with organic textiles and natural dyes, something I’m researching for future projects. I’m fascinated by the look these natural dyes give to fabrics such as organic cotton… they give the pieces a great personality and an exquisite sensitivity, transmitting, in my opinion, a respect for nature”.
We notice that the remaining 20% of Nacho’s closet are vintage or second-hand pieces. “I love to extend the life cycle of non-organic clothing, not only by finding fashionable pieces from other decades, which are probably in fashion or will be in the future, but also because these are pieces that add great personality For me, wearing these pieces is almost sensorial. It’s carrying a piece of history on you, inheriting past experiences.”
Nacho also likes to lead a nutritiously ecological life, eating, if possible, the highest ecological products that he can find on the local market, as he lives in a fishing village.
“I try to use my car as little as possible, I love to walk…! (…) There aren’t too many ecological companies or sustainable services, shops etc. in my city, although more and more are opening. I like consuming natural herbal medicines, such as ginger and golden flax infusion. I also consume resting herbs such as passionflower, medicinal plants and food in general. I also use natural and organic Korean cosmetics. I love the well-known cosmetics brand Lush Fresh, which uses products 100% approved by the Vegetarian Society, giving welfare to animal life. Sustainability is a fundamental principles for them too. 40% of their products don’t even come in containers, and the containers they do use are completely ecological. Also, they encourage the buyer to recycle their well-known black pots by offering promotions and discounts. They buy and work with organic and fair trade products.”
Nacho also talks about conscious cinema. “I recommend films such as Death in the Marshes, an American classic film from 1958. It’s about a natural sciences professor at the end of the 19th century who begins working to protect birds who are cruelly massacred in the area to market their feathers to make adornments and complement the fashion of the time. I also recommend a somewhat more recent film The Last Days of Eden, starring Sean Connery, in which a couple joins forces with the natives to save their tropical forest, which is threatened by the white man.” At the documentary level, he advises us to watch An Inconvenient Truth and Nomads of the wind by Jacques Perrin, nominated for an Oscar and Goya for Best Documentary.
“I like to see pieces almost as a work of art since my intention in fashion is also to always communicate something through it.”
Sustainable Fashion for Autumn Winter 2017-18
Nacho Costa’s Fall Winter Collection’s objective is to preserve the concept and idea of art and crafts, as well as adding a great sustainability value to the design. “It’s about achieving a human being, animal, vegetal and planetary ecological balance“.
“In this fashion project, sustainability has consisted of creating and producing in a non-polluting way throughout its creation and development processes. This fashion can be reincorporated into the environment when it has reached the end of its life (…) As with other social and political expressions of art, ecological fashion is a reaction to existing social and ecological conditions.”
His collection shows a truly elaborate architecture in which a handmade concept is combined with the use of natural materials and waste, such as wood, which are very influential in the instrumental world. Ecological awareness seeps through natural fabrics such as wool twill, organic cotton, ribbed cotton and silk stitches. This eco-friendly consciousness also resides in the artisan process of the production of the handmade pieces and canonization of the paper or other materials used to make patronages, thus working on the fabric itself
“In the project research process I was influenced by synesthetic musical artists such as Kandinsky, Steve Roden or John Cage. Modern architecture, minimalism…”
This is just the beginning…
According to Nacho, even though he hasn’t finished his Higher Education Fashion Degree, this commitment to sustainable fashion has been positive: “Lots of good things are happening to me, I have won prizes and my work is being published in major fashion editorials. It all surprises me and makes me understand that I’m doing things right. My participation in Madrid’s latest Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week has opened many more doors for people to get to know my work. I am currently in my last year, in which I’m already working on researching and developing natural dye and stamping techniques for my final degree project for my next fashion collection. In the long term, as the company’s infrastructure grows, I’d like to get an ecological certificate”.
“The most complicated thing is the lack of both economic and entrepreneurial support. It isn’t as easy for young creators to get aid, everything I’ve decided to do and have achieved so far I’ve done by myself. There are lots of creative young people with great ideas and ways to express themselves in fashion who also have a sustainable and ecological perspective”.
In this sense, Nacho also considers the fact that fashion consumers are very comfortable with large fashion industries as a big problem. “That’s why it’s so hard to make people consume eco-sustainable fashion.” “If we remove comfort and add awareness and concern for eco sustainable fashion, it’d gain more believers (…) It is possible for design, innovation, creativity and sustainable fashion to go hand in hand”.
They are leading by example…
Finally, we asked Nacho to give us some names that, in his opinion, are great Super Heroes of the Sustainable World.
“I really like Stella McCartney, since she started her firm in 2001, she’s been one of the most accomplished sustainable and ethical fashion designers. They have even targeted the EP&L de Kering system, a system that measures the impact of their work on the environment. They help design students with scholarships and internships in their own company based on presenting eco-sustainable projects”.
He also likes Christine Birkle, due to her textile handling and the way in which she works with a material such as felt. “She’s extraordinary in her work with felt and is recognized for her crafty creations and for using traditional material felting methods, in this case wool.”
At the national level, he mentions Ecoembes‘ collaboration with Moisés Nieto, who created a sustainable fashion collection in which 80% of fabrics came from recycled plastic bottles.