The project FISH_FISH is a circular economy project developing a no-gender, ethical, high top sneakers made of biodegradable, bio-based and recovered materials. All the materials are certified and meet the demanding European standards.
The project is developed in a sustainable supply chain decreasing environmental footprint and creating a positive social impact. The inclusion of a community of disabled persons is an indispensable part of this project.
Fish skins, as a recovered material, are coming from small scale sustainable fishery in the Adriatic sea, as a waste material of the food industry /naturally tanned and dyed/.
This high-quality product is eco-designed and produced in a local infrastructure /Spanish region of Alicante, the cradle of footwear/ with a valuable heritage and tradition of craftsmanship. Our factory is using 85% of solar energy along with the efficient use of water and offers a respectful and secure work environment.
We aim to increase the awareness of the viability of using eco-friendly materials but also we emphasize the immense responsibility of designers and companies in the footwear industry and their global impact.
FISH_FISH is the result of a WORTH project and it is developed with EU support.
The idea of this project came to me very spontaneously. When my future Italian partner Emanuele wrote me, they liked my work and aesthetic of my studio, also presented themselves as a fishermen who are recovering the fish skins to give them second opportunity and use. I thought, this was amazing idea and I imagined seeing my feet in the transparent waters of Maldivas or Ibiza, schools of fish touching me and moving around. That IMAGE stuck in my mind and I started to obsess with how to apply the fish skin, a sustainable material, for footwear. At the same time, I have been already designing and producing for my clients, from the cradle of footwear, Spanish province of Alicante.
THE BIRTH OF THE PROJECT:
Our project born from the real need of achieving an ethical footwear, concretely sneakers. Sustainability is still ´problem´ in the footwear industry, as it is sector of using many chemicals and synthetic materials. When I mention sustainability I am not just thinking about a sustainable material. But I put an eye on the production process, energy used in the factory, is it sustainable? Workers conditions, are we inclusive with the marginalized people of the society?
Our factory uses 85% of solar energy to produce the shoes, the traceability of the materials is certified and reach only the European frame. Our contribution with society is the agreement with local Educational Institute including the disabled young persons into the production process, concretely packaging phase.
THE CREATIVE PROCESS:
ORDER IN CHAOS, never better described my creative process! In the beginning of my career I have been that ´correct´ designer, starting with sketching, then searching for the materials, trials, sampling etc. But with the years of experience, I work backwards! My design thinking is based on feasibility, so the first step was finding rest of the materials for the shoes /because fish skins were already agreed with my partner/. Second step was a decision which technology is suitable for this project. I found so many options, all in local production! In the end I decided to make the injected sole and traditional assembly of the upper.
The project was mainly developed by the leader partner. My Italian partner, they are fishermen and it is difficult for them to unwrap in the environment of materials and fashion industry. They provided me the fish skins, naturally tanned and dyed, with the certification of traceability, coming from the sustainable fishery.
I imagine myself following the development of FISH_FISH project, there are still some steps which have to be done, as a final testing of the product itself. So yes, definitely I find necessary additional support or investment to obtain market-ready product.
If you want a collaborative partnership when both or more sides are really involved, you have to ensure about the backgrounds of your partners, their skills, capacities, and understand what does it mean Worth, having very clear why and with which purpose you are the doing the project like this. From my side and I started just with the that IMAGE of fishes moving around my feet in the crystalline waters of Ibiza = from ZERO and with the partner offering me the use of the fish skins for the prototypes. I benefited so much from this project, I would highlight the LEARNING experience, at the professional and personal level also.
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Creative and fashion designer based in Alicante, Spain. She is the founder of KRALOVA Design Studio, which specialises in innovative fashion, technology and art projects. Her activities include consulting & design of sustainable collections. She studied a Master of Arts in the Czech Republic and a Degree in Fashion Design at IED Spain. She has experience designing for international companies, footwear, ACC, ready to wear, sportswear and knitwear.
- ZUZANA KRALOVA
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