CARRO EFECTOS PORTANTES - THE 'RENET' COLLECTION
Plastic upcycling fashion brand
Silvina Can and Mina Bal are fashion designers and entrepreneurs from Argentina. They founded Carro in 2008. Carro is a design lab focused on innovation and upcycling. Based in Buenos Aires they work in the creation of carrying accessories made with non conventional and reused materials.
In addition to the work as a brand, they work with the Ministry of Culture teaching annual workshops about accessories manufacture to vulnerable citizens.
This also includes managing productions with reused billboards for government events, guiding the students through the process.
For more than a decade they have been committed to sustainable design, incessantly searching for solutions and taking an active role in the design world.
Tell me something about you, how did you become a sustainable designer?
We have always found inspiration and strong motivation in creating new beautiful things from industrial discards, allowing trash to become treasures.
We have been working with upcycling since day one. Our first collection was made up with reused tailoring, ties and suits, and we have been working with this material for several years. In fact, our clients still bring us suits that used to belong to their beloved relatives, and we transform them in an bag they can use and enjoy daily.
Through the years we had work and experimented with a lot of different upcycled materials, such as jute coffee bags, billboards, grain bags, vintage fabrics, embrodery table cloths and others.
Nowadays we are working with RENET, a material created by us using 100% industrial discards. This material was created with thermo fusion techniques and combines all kinds of recovered nets and plastic bags sourced from construction, food and agricultural industries.
The material is resistant, light, easy to clean, waterproof and 100% made out of recycled plastic.
Why do you think up cycling is important?
We think up cycling is important because we inhabit a strongly polluted planet, and if we don’t make the transition to a circular economy right now, we are going to run out of resources.
Its important to learn what is really trash and what discards could potentially become treasures. If we learn to apply our creativity we can clean the planet.
What is CARRO EFECTOS PORTANTES about?
First, a note for English speakers: the word CARRO is Spanish for chariot.
We are Carro because we move, advance and transport. We design by keeping a close eye on the concept of portability. Our products function as connection elements that cross bridges, transcend boundaries, and contains the fragments that shows our users identities.
Our premise is to create functional, high durability products with recovered materials.
How can quarantine be a good moment for becoming more conscious and sustainable?
We think this could be a good moment to spend more time with ourselves, which will bring more consciousness in all the aspects of our lives, including our sustainable habits, our habits as makers and as consumers. This unavoidable STOP is a chance to return to our path in a different way.
How do you think we can make fashion industry more sustainable?
There are many possible approaches to make fashion industry more sustainable. The first and most important is to end with bad conditions and low payments to garment workers, a sad fact that is common all over the world.
The way the money is distributed in fashion industry is highly unfair, for example a model can make thousands of dollars for a show or a shoot, and the people who actually make the products earn cents or sometimes they are merely slaves.
We, as designers and manufacturers, have the obligation to make durable products and work with locally sourced materials and local workforce, introduce upcycling whenever is possible, and not follow fast fashion ephemeral trends.
Another important thing is to Educate the consumers, explaining all the work a piece of garment takes: all the clothes are handmade and always involve the hard work of several people.