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Clothing which does not stain or crease needs finance to expand
By thinkSPAIN Team Fri, Jul 26, 2019
A 'SMART clothing' creator with an annual turnover of €600,000 is seeking sponsorship to expand the business after having invented a collection which does not crease and which repels dirt.
Sepiia, a label designed by Federico Sainz Robles, currently only includes shirts and polo shirts for men and women, but this is likely to extend if finance is forthcoming – in the first year, the firm reported a turnover of €300,000 and, thanks to a cash injection of €192,000, has managed to double that, or gain a return on this investment of €108,000.
The fabric used to make the shirts is, Sainz Robles describes, 'similar to the skin on a peach or a lotus flower', or a very fine fur-like texture, 'but microscopic', so that this is not obvious to the naked eye.
As a result, any fluids which land on it do not expand but remain on the surface, or on the tip of the tiny strands of 'hair', and can be brushed off once dry.
This fabric does not need ironing, either, does not 'store' odour or accumulate sweat marks, and is elastic and breathable.
All this means the items rarely need washing and remain clean, smooth and hygienic even after several wears.
The fact that they practically last forever and the lack of need to wash and iron regularly means less waste – the buttons are made from recycled cotton and the packaging is completely recycled – unlike much cheaper, 'fast fashion' which comes at a much lower price but does not last very long, and requires less use of electricity and water, meaning their carbon footprint and environmental impact is 70% lower than the average shirt or top.
Sainz Robles says his men's shirts and T-shirts cost €84 and women's, €79, although this is a very reasonable price for an item of clothing with almost an eternal shelf life and which can be worn again and again without getting dirty, smelly or creased – and which is also extremely comfortable.
“The problem with budget clothing is that it has a hidden cost,” explains Sainz Robles, an engineering graduate who went on to study fashion design.
“For a top or T-shirt to only cost you €3 and for the company to earn a profit from selling it, it would need to be manufactured in terrible conditions – in human and environmental terms.
“Our goods are all manufactured in Spain, using highly-technical materials and sustainable processes, hence the price.”
But Sepiia has a website which breaks down the costs involved in production, so customers can see how much is profit and how much expenses – and no charge is made for national delivery, irrespective of the size of the order.
Having started in 2016, Sainz Robles already has eight full-time employees, and is now trying to drum up financial support to the tune of €400,000 to grow the business, expand it and put Spain's stamp on world fashion.
Last year, he launched a small crowdfunding campaign among his closest circle – what he calls 'friends, family and fools' – to enable him to employ more staff and invest in advertising.
This generated the sum of €192,000, which allowed him to double his annual turnover.
Sainz Robles was able to turn his idea into a business thanks to various entities supporting brand-new traders, including Google for Start-ups, the La Nave scheme run by Madrid city council, and the Lanzadera ('Launcher') project operated by Juan Roig, owner and founder of the national supermarket chain Mercadona.
It then took him two years to turn the initial idea into something saleable.
Photograph by Sepiia
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