Behind Cordera are two sisters, Mónica and María, who strive to dress in their values. They believe that a key tenet of ethical fashion is recognizing that there are human beings behind the clothes—that clothes cannot change the world, but the people who wear them do. Created in 2008, the brand bets on a sustainable business model with 100% made-in Spain production. Cordera's garments are carefully crafted and finished by hand in small family factories with whom the brand has nurtured close and lasting relationships. The collections are composed of timeless, limited edition garments featuring minimalist designs that seek purity and simplicity. The materials used are organic, cruelty-free, and—in many styles—made of upcycled yarns, all culminating in a comfortable, versatile, one-size-fits-all collection.
Many people may not know that there is a sister duo behind Cordera! What is it like working with family? Were you close as sisters growing up?
Working together is fun, quite easy, and comfortable. We grew up very closely and we have always been an essential part of each other. Although we are usually on the same page, we are different and have different opinions so communication is key. We also admire and encourage each other and feel very lucky to have the opportunity to build and grow this project together.
How did Cordera come to be? Were you working in fashion or design already?
The brand was born in 2008, founded by Mónica's entrepreneur spirit, who also sought to integrate her vital values to create something with a personal stamp. A few years later, María joined the project, bringing a curious and creative nature. Little by little, and with a very organic and natural growth, we are forming a team of beautiful and powerful women that believe in the same values and passions, that fit in all levels.
What role did concerns for the environment play in creating your brand? Being an eco-conscious and sustainably minded business is obviously at the forefront of all that you do. What do you see the future looking like, for your brand, but also as consumers grow their own awareness?
We strive to stay true to our vision, having in mind that our choices are the key for a change in the fashion industry and around us. We are part of a big movement, and it’s exciting to be there. Keeping our essence, ethos and values together is a challenge, however we work hard to achieve these goals and try to improve in our way. So, yes, sustainability and ethical practices are playing a big role in our project, we think it is not just about clothing but also creating a lifestyle. We have hope in the future of our earth, but we have to wake up, be aware and take care of it. As consumers we have a lot of power; the decisions we take are so important.
What is eco-wool?
When you buy from Cordera you are buying a piece made from organic, sustainable and recycled fabrics. Our collections are made after a deep research in order to find the finest materials such as eco-wools and alpacas, 100% organic cotton, natural raw linens, etc. We look for green certificates, yarns obtained from mulesing free and cruelty free.The eco-wool is a yarn composed of 50% virgin eco-wool, 50% superfine eco-alpaca. These garments aren’t dyed–colors are created from the mixing of the alpaca and the wool natural colours. We care about animals so these yarns are cruelty free certificated and obtained only from mulesing free and ethical breeding. It is of vital importance to us to look for fabrics and yarns that combine sustainability and supreme quality. And of course, it is very exciting when you find them.
You are based in Galicia, Spain. What is something you love to do on your days off?
Our favorite thing is breakfast at the office with the team. Our office is a beautiful space in a lovely XIX century building with a warm light and high ceilings that bring a lot of peace to us. We always prepare tea, coffee, fruit and good bread. This is a moment for the team and us, to start the day in a happy mood. We have nice conversations and many times the best ideas are made there. Galicia is a beautiful place, on the Atlantic coast, full of nature and amazing beaches. On our days off, if there is sun, we love hiking to the beach and swimming and having a picnic there.
You often talk about the concept of "atemporality." Making eternal and timeless pieces that aren't necessarily seasonal. At Erica Tanov we take this approach as well. Do you think it is catching on with consumers and other designers? How might it affect the consumer landscape going forward?
This is an important concept that goes hand to hand with a sustainable point of view. It also has to do with high quality fabrics because the idea is to wear our garments for a very long time since they are timeless creations with no expiration date. Our designs are not seasonal and follow no trends, this way we produce lasting clothes and timeless designs that are much better for the environment.