Eco Sustainable Fashion Designers of Latin America

Legendary, Spanish fashion designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada discussing her approach to eco-sustainable fashion.




The word that is becoming more prevalent and relevant in our conversations these days is sustainability. In the past few months, I’ve heard more about it than I have in the last few years. It’s on everyone’s minds in so many different ways…..                                          

Spanish designer, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada and Tina Trevino

Chatting with Spanish designer, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada at the Fashion Designers of Latin America

press conference about her philosophy on sustainability


At the Fashion Designers of Latin America press conference in September during New York Fashion Week, the question of sustainability was brought up to the design panel.

Legendary, Spanish fashion designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada discussed her approach to the concept. She is a passionate and resolute supporter of eco sustainability implementing organic materials and materials made through fair trade and sustainable labor practices, recycling when she can in her designs, and using less environmentally harmful fabrics.

Discussing our “fast fashion” culture—she understands that it is the world that we live in and companies who put apparel out at inexpensive prices are relying on the short term financial gain, not looking at the longer term impact of what it does to our environment.

But she realizes that organic fashion and many of the practices to support sustainability and organic methods are still very expensive to incorporate into fast fashion so it will take a while to get to a more mass market understanding, but society should still be looking for clothes that will last for a long time, not just one season.


Agatha Ruiz de la Prada being interviewed by Dahiana Perez

 Agatha Ruiz de la Prada being interviewed by Dahiana Perez

at the Fashion Designers of Latin America press conference


At the first ever Denim Days Festival in NYC a couple of weeks ago at the Metropolitan Pavilion expo center, Colombian designer, Claudia Gontovnik, presented her collection of unique, one of a kind, hand-crafted garments that utilize fun vibrant colors and have plenty of character.

Her concept is to design on existing materials to avoid further pollution and waste.

Using vintage or thrift store pieces of clothing (mostly denim), her creations are lovingly made with unique unexpected elements making her customers feel special in a one of a kind design and at the same time being ecologically sound and helping to save the planet.

Through her brand, she also works closely with women in Colombia to help give them opportunities to empower themselves and make a better living. Her philosophy of apparel is that it’s better to buy a really good piece, something special, instead of buying many basic or poorly made pieces.


                    Tina Trevino and designer Claudia Gontovnik                                  

Claudia showing me her gorgeous line of upcycled apparel at the Denim Days Festival in NYC


                Claudia Gontovnik designs               

A taste of some of Claudia Gontovnik’s beautiful bespoke creations


And in addition to these Latin designers, as I did my overseas European fall trend shopping, I spent an early Saturday morning visiting London’s Portabello Road and its market stalls. It’s always been a great spot to find new trends and vintage pieces, but this fall, I definitely noticed more up and coming store fronts supporting vintage apparel.

I first visited Lime Green Bow which has been a part of the Portabello scene for some time with its beautifully curated designer finds sourced by Clemmie Myers. We talked about sustainability being enhanced by the growing popularity of buying vintage.

Next page- More Eco friendly fashion designs

Tina Trevino
Tina Trevino
Tina Trevino, Partner & Director of Community Relations for Latin Biz Today is President & CEO of Tocaya Design under which she does design consulting for major apparel companies as well as designs, manufactures and markets her women’s lifestyle brand, Tocaya. With 25 years of industry experience most recently as Design Director of KBL Group Intl. Ltd., she has managed large creative design teams. Trevino provides insight on upcoming fashion trends for each season collaborating with designers, merchants and product development teams to help develop brand appropriate apparel. She specializes in sweaters, knits and wovens. Having previously worked with private label brands for stores like Kohl’s, NY & Co, White House|Black Market, and Ann Taylor to name a few as well as brands like Lee jeans, Wendy Williams, Brooke Shields Timeless, Torn by Ronny Kobo, and Whitney Port, she has the ability to build brands from the design and merchandising process all the way through fitting, production, and marketing.

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