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Zurita: Sustainable Beauty

Sustainability in the fashion industry is a hot topic these days, but in 2015, it was not so front of mind, especially in China. Fueled by a passion to make a positive impact in the wasteful fashion industry, Spanish entrepreneur, Monica Muriel, based in Shanghai, took the plunge and set up her own business, ZURITA. Her unique business model builds a new paradigm for the fashion industry breaking the wheel of commoditization to make better business through efficiency and sustainability.
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August 18, 2021
Sustainable Fashion Leader Monica

ZURITA encourages smart sustainable consumption where high quality and versatile clothing leads to enduring wardrobe choices. They have recently collaborated with Waste2Wear as both companies have similar ideals about being a force for good in the fashion industry. The quality fibers created by Waste2Wear result in fabrics that have a soft hand feel and are comfortable to wear.

They do not compromise the health of the ecosystem and society at large, concentrating instead on fostering supply chain integrity to reduce harmful, unnecessary and abusive methods of production. The transparency of the Waste2Wear blockchain technology is of particular interest to Monica and her team at ZURITA. The traceability element provides confidence in every aspect of production from bottle collection to finished garment. The ZURITA concisely crafted collection is proudly part of the slow fashion movement and is a lifestyle decision for their conscious consumers. There has been an awakening in consumer demand for sustainable fashion in response to Covid-19  and Monica sees this as a fresh opportunity to impact and educate an even wider audience.

Waste2Wear has been producing fabric, garments, bags and other products from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles (RPET) since 2007. Working with local and global brands, their years of experience and expertise means they are unparalleled in the sustainable fashion industry. The basic raw materials for all production is post-consumer plastic bottles and the process strictly follows on-demand production based on a big data model to ensure the minimum inventory that strives for zero waste in production.

Waste2Wear creates RPET fabrics that consume 86% less water, 75% less CO2 and 70% less energy than non-recycled fabrics. Every quarter ZURITA creates a sustainable development report, with the accurate measurement of carbon footprint, water usage and compensations through tree planting projects to offset emissions. Monica supports grants to assist environmentalists who collect the sea waste in China, and she also works to make this waste into environmentally friendly materials in an effort to close the circular sustainable loop.

When ZURITA started in 2015, the concept of sustainability was new in China and hardly talked about. It was a brave decision to enter this space in the fashion world. Monica was determined to make her dream of sustainable fashion in China a reality. At the time, Chinese people did not understand or were not interested in making the effort to live more sustainably. Now, everything is different and Chinese consumers are following the positive global trend.

Waste2Wear shares blockchain information with end users through QR codes on the product labels. These QR codes provide the customer with valuable environmental savings information.

This technology is relatively new outside of China but has been common there for years. This provides ZURITA with an adapted audience who understood the technology but were slower to accept the concept of sustainability. Once consumers learn that there is no quality difference between virgin polyester and RPET it gives them the confidence to choose the sustainable option.

During the worst period of the pandemic, ZURITA was severely impacted. This did not stop Monica from sticking with her principles and embracing the Chinese people. She led her team to design a ‘refueled’ hoodie that they sold in store. All profits from the sales went directly to Wuhan to buy local medical supplies. This initiative not only helped those in need, it also consolidated her team by working towards a valuable goal under difficult circumstances.

As a Spanish woman working and living in Shanghai, Monica embraces the culture and the traditional belief that success never comes through a single step alone, you have to continue to improve, continue to evolve, to become more and more beautiful. ZURITA strives to live up to that belief.

Photos by 瑞丽伊人风尚

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Sven Bleekemolen

Sven Bleekemolen is a Dutch entrepreneur and textile engineer. He is a versatile executive with a broad skill set and experience in a global marketplace. Lived and worked in Europe, Indonesia, and Turkey. Solid expertise in management of start-up to mature fashion companies in competitive wholesale and retail markets.

In his role as director of several companies, Sven built strong knowledge of international wholesale, retail, B2B sales, production and brand development. He has a strategic and innovative mindset, always focused on business development. He has a record of identifying opportunities and leading diverse teams to surpass revenue goals.

Sven has a strong focus on sustainability and is excited to discover the possibilities that lie in Waste2Wear’s groundbreaking material and blockchain technologies. He is committed to creating a major contribution to the business performance of Waste2Wear along with the transition to a more circular economy for a better outcome of the world.

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Rena Jiang

Rena Jiang has over 20 years experience in the textile industry. Knowing how polluting the industry is, Rena is proud to be making a positive impact by doing the right thing with Waste2Wear.

Christophe Marze

Christophe Marze has over 15 years specializing in structuring and powering up businesses in Asia. As a French national, he has spent many years living and working in Germany and in China. Christophe is passionate about continuous improvement, sustainability and compliance which are from him the pillars of a healthy business drive.

Jeroen van der Wind

Jeroen van der Wind is an entrepreneur, specializing in international trade within the textile and promotional industries in South East Asia for over three decades. He was managing partner of The Cookie Company for many years, producing licensed kids apparel for several multinational customers. In combination with a healthy business drive, he is determined to help further the Waste2Wear mission of relieving the planet of the plastic problem to create a better world, especially for his four adult children.

Eduardo Garza Garcia

Eduardo Garza Garcia is a Mexican designer and entrepreneur specializing in sustainable solutions for plastics. He has been pivotal in innovations including the industry-first recycled polypropylene (RPP) from discarded domestic appliances; a unique RPET verification method (RA-3) proving the recycled plastic content in materials and the industry-first blockchain technology. Thanks to his innovations, Waste2Wear has won several prestigious environmental awards. Eduardo is truly an innovator in the world of recycled plastics constantly working for new ways to bring more transparency to the recycling industry.

Stefan Kleijkamp

Stefan Kleijkamp is a highly experienced Global Quality and Compliance Manager with over 15 years of experience in the industry. Originally from the Netherlands, Stefan has spent the last two decades working in Asia, with 17 of those years in China. He is fluent in Chinese and has worked with a wide range of product groups including textile, apparel, hard goods and plastics. Throughout his career, Stefan has held positions in quality and compliance management for both large and medium sized companies, as well as in purchasing and logistics. His extensive experience has given him a deep understanding of the challenges and issues facing the industry, particularly in relation to traceability of recycled materials such as textile, cotton and polyester. With his expertise in quality and compliance, Stefan is dedicated to ensuring that the products and services provided by Waste2Wear meet the highest standards in quality, sustainability and environmental responsibility.

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Monique Maissan is a Dutch entrepreneur and textile engineer specializing in sustainable solutions for the industry. As CEO and founder of Waste2Wear, she leads a committed team in creating products and services for a better future. Her vision has driven the company to produce fabrics and products made from recycled plastic bottles (RPET) and recycled polypropylene (RPP) plus award winning blockchain and RPET verification test RA-3.

Monique has won several industry awards, most recently:

Finalist of “Future Leader” World Sustainability Awards 2022;
“Outstanding Achiever” of Global Green Economic Forum, Women Eco Game Changer Awards 2022;
“Woman Leader in Plastic Recycling” Plastic Recycling Conference Asia** 2022;
“The Sustainable Entrepreneur of the Year” of Entrepreneurs’ Organization*** 2021.

She is constantly on the lookout for new and better ways to recycle more plastic. Monique’s drive comes from her determination to do her part to leave this world in a better place for her two adult children and all of the next generation