Sustainability is the motto that enlivens the fashion scene in Uruguay

sparking the most creative minds in Latin America. The vigorousness for the care of the environment, the recycling with conscience and the vindication of the prominence of ethics is not only growing by leaps and bounds in the continent, it is also responsible for reflecting a commitment that shares omnipresent values, such as the commitment to rise of the ancestors, crafts at its peak and respect for fair trade.

It is most outstanding how these components intertwine and materialize in the scene that Uruguay is cultivating, which according to a study carried out by ‘América Economía’ this country is positioned at the forefront of sustainability and sustainability in Latin America, for aspects such as air quality in urban areas, the management of pollution derived from the agricultural industry, the management of water resources, as well as the protection of forests and biodiversity.

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Design by Juan de la Paz
In this context, it is not surprising that it is precisely a multitude of Uruguayan firms who turn the canvas of their country into a hopeful example for the future and the definition of sustainable fashion. Discover the proposals that reduce the impact of the industry on the environment and also deeply connect with the roots of his native country.

Uruguay Hands
Design by Manos del Uruguay.

Manos del Uruguay is, perhaps, one of the most inspiring projects in this Latin American country, one that undoubtedly crystallizes the idiosyncrasy of the south. Back in 1968, Olga Pardo Santayana from Artagaveytia, Sara Beisso de Souza, Dora Muñoz de Cibils, María del Carmen Bocking and Manila Chaneton de Vivo managed to address the lack of opportunities for rural women through the creation of elements such as blankets from wool and horse saddle pads. Little by little they organized workshops in the interior of Uruguay, and in 2009 they became members of the World Fair Trade Organization.

Supporting producers, creating awareness and establishing a space to promote and value local crafts, the non-profit organization’s main objective is to distribute all economic income among the twelve cooperatives that are part of its project, which in turn uses noble raw materials to conceive endless woven garments, among which ponchos, sweaters and ruanas stand out, as well as ceramic pieces. Their quality has also led them to collaborate with firms such as Marc Jacobs, Gabriela Hearst and Stella McCartney.

Encouraging the work of independent artisans, betting on creative development, quality and the strengthening of cultural identities is its main leitmotif, in addition to defending ancestral techniques and ensuring the rights of small producers and disadvantaged workers.

Kimo jacket from the sustainable fashion brand CALMO.

Design by CALMO
The Uruguayan firm CALMO rewrites the sustainable fashion landscape through a proposal that juxtaposes the slow fashion movement with textile experimentation, artisan techniques and an intrinsic search to generate a positive impact on the environment. Her founder and creative director, Alice, conceived the project in 2016 by being permeated by the evocative memories of childhood in the countryside, the constructivist art of her mother, and the sustainability training provided by the Parsons school.

Ruling under the circular economy, production on demand and fair trade, the Uruguayan label offers an aesthetic of timeless and carefree silhouettes made from 100% natural materials, zero waste or low waste, and artisanal production processes that minimize the use of chemicals: dyeing natural, ecoprint, felted, spun and hand embroidered. ‘Today, designers have a fundamental role in defining how sustainable the future will be, since we can be real agents of change for society through the decisions we make in our day-to-day lives,’ says the designer. to Vogue.

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The pieces of Uruguayan merino wool of ethical and traceable origin, hemp, a material of plant origin of rapid growth and sustainable cultivation, cotton, silk and linen, seek to perpetuate themselves in the closet of the generation that inherits it, in addition to rescuing manual techniques that they strengthen ties with past generations. ‘The fusion of noble natural materials and the affinity with manual methods that match our somewhat slower pace of life, contribute to our proposal occupying a place of value in Uruguay. And we believe that this value is also per




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