Climate and environment

SINdesperdicio – solidarity and fashion combined!

SINdesperdicio – solidarity and fashion combined!

In 2010, Emmaus San Sebastian launched SINdesperdicio (WITHOUTwaste), a fashion label specialising in bags and accessories made of old advertising banners. It’s an initiative that combines economic, social and environmental objectives.

SINdesperdicio is a bag and accessory label created by Emmaus San Sebastián (Grupo Emaús fundación Social), located in the Spanish Basque country.
A few years ago, the organisation realised that advertising banners used for municipal events were systematically being thrown away once the events were over. Emmaus San Sebastián, which was already running several social enterprises, spoke to the local authorities, offering to salvage and recycle the banners. They signed a contract with the municipalities and the group then began giving the advertising banners a new lease of life.

The banners are then turned into fashion accessories and bags, giving them a new lease of life.
With support from the local authorities, the Emmaus group has been able to take on a designer. The first SINdesperdicio products were brought out in 2010. Gradually, the project took off and a production workshop and team of social enterprise workers joined the designer.
“This idea came into being because this is really what Emmaus is all about. At the end of the day, it’s about making the most of a product that other people consider as waste, which we restore and make into a sustainable product, all the while with an obvious social commitment”, explains Alberto Gaston, head of San Sebastián’s Emmaus social economy branch.

In five years, the label has already sold 17,000 “eco-trendy” items and has every intention of keeping up the momentum. The items are available in a few shops, but SINdesperdicio now mainly sells online. For local shops, the profit margin isn’t wide enough – for them the social, environmental and solidarity aspects of our products are often less important”, says Alberto Gaston.

In the future, SINdesperdicio would like to suggest Emmaus organisations around the world sell their products.
So far, they have overhauled their website to facilitate online sales. Discover SINdesperdicio’s colourful, sustainable goods in support of the social economy now!

Go to SINdesperdicio’s online shop