Ref: IMD-7-2073

Case study

Reference: IMD-7-2073

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Ecoalf: Because there is no planet B

Benoit F. Leleux

By Professor Benoit F. LeleuxBenoit F. Leleux and Thomas Brochier

MADRID, MARCH 2019. ECOALF was born from the belief of Javier Goyeneche that something had to be done to ensure the sustainability of the planet.

How was it possible that in 2019 airlines still gave passengers plastic bottles when it was a well-known fact that less than 50% of them would be recycled. ECOALF was Javier’s personal contribution to the quest for a better, more responsible future: a truly sustainable fashion company that did not use up natural resources but sourced only recycled products harvested from the ocean as raw materials.

This new generation of products would be of the same or superior quality and design as the best non-recycled products. ECOALF’s early achievements were already making headlines, but positive PR did not free Javier from more mundane financial considerations, as he struggled to raise cash from investors to accelerate the development of the company.

Getting to a critical size was a matter of survival for the company, to gain impact and profitability, and investors wanted to see more of that. That required figuring out the business model, an adequate portfolio mix and other strategic considerations.

Building a brand on values was never easy but sustainability superseded those reservations and impacted everyone. Indeed, there was no planet B…

Learning Objective

Developing virtuous circular economy models, sustainability as opportunity, building a fashion brand on sustainability, developing a culture on strong values, managing growth expectations for stakeholders, architecturing the value chain, ESG profile.

KeywordsBrand Building, Circular Economy, Culture, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Responsibility, Fashion, Growth Management, Marketing, Pivoting, Supply Chain Management, Sustainability, Team Building, Value
Ecoalf, Consumer Goods, Apparel and Fashion, Manufacturing, Textile
TypeField Research
Related materialTeaching note, Video
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Reference: IMD-7-2073

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Reference: IMD-7-2073

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