Today we meet Regina, founder and CEO of Pyrates. Find out what she has to say about textile tech, athleisure, and slow fashion!
What is the concept behind Pyrates?
The idea was to create clothes that are vehicles of well-being, clothes that protect us from diverse elements such as pollution and UV lights, and that are made thinking about our society’s societal and environmental issues. This philosophy has been materialized with PYRATEX®, a range of 4 fabrics woven with natural fiber, that have active attributes for the body. We use marine algae, bamboo, wood cellulose and a vegetal fiber that we patented that contains proteins and 18 types of amino acids. The regeneration of cells, skin hydration, solar protection, muscular relaxation, and immune system’s improvement are some of the attributes these fibers have on the body. We decided to use these fabrics for our own brand of performing streetwear, PYRATES, being convinced that these kind of fabrics are the future of the fashion industry. We also spread innovation by selling these smart tissues to other brands.
Tell us about you, and how you got here.
Even though I originate from Spain, I lived most of my life abroad, especially in Africa. I also studied in Switzerland, which allowed me to meet a few young entrepreneurs that inspired me for launching PYRATES. Before deciding to launch Pyrates, I studied law and politics. I know these topics are very far away from the textile and fashion industries but I think that I could only have the crazy idea to bet into smart and natural fabrics because of my non-education in these sectors. In fact, every single person from the textile or fashion industries I first spoke to told me that I will never be able to come up with such fabrics. However, I did not have the psychological barriers they built while working within these industries, which allowed me to be innovative.
How did you come up with the idea?
The idea started approximately six years ago, as I was studying in Geneva in Switzerland. In a very international environment, surrounded by young and dynamics entrepreneurs, I wanted to create an activewear brand with better design that the ones existing at the time. It’s only three years ago, while the market of activewear was booming, that I could develop this project. I then realized that my project lost a bit of originality and that it was necessary to differentiate. This is how the idea of smart fabrics came out to my mind. As it was an innovative concept, I was not able to find what I needed on the market. This is why PYRATES started as a brand of performance streetwear, making its own fabrics having positive attributes for the body.
According to you, what is the most important attribute of clothes?
Clothes are a mean for self-expression. It’s common to hear “you are what you eat” but for me, we also are what we wear. A clothe tells a true story and reflects some values. It is a very powerful vehicle. By creating PYRATES, thinking about the Y generation and the coming generations, I tried to figure out which story they will want to share through their clothes. They are engaged generations, especially regarding social and environmental issues deriving from the actual fast fashion industry. Do they really want to wear clothes that are made in sweatshops, with fabrics coming from polluting production plants and made with synthetic fibers that dry the skin? Or do they want to wear clothes that make them feel better and that respect both the human that created them and the planet from which they originate?
What is your vision for Pyrates?
To be the ultimate new clothing, the uniform of generation Y and the next generations. I know, just this!
Being more realistic, I know I won’t be able to dress the entire planet. This is the reason why PYRATEX smart fabrics sell PYRATEX® products to other brands. The idea is to select brands transmitting consistent values with our owns thanks to the tissues, but also to select brands having a different audience with a different style. I would like PYRATES, as well as other engaged labels, to participate in redefining the fashion industry and to “repair” mistakes from previous generations.
According to you, what will the textile industry look like in 10 years?
I think, and I hope, that the vision infusing the PYRATEX® fabrics will spread and that fabrics will be increasingly produced in a way that contributes to our well-being and our health. Furthermore, I am convinced that we will identify new extraordinary fibers and new ways to recycle and transform materials into textile fibers.
Unfortunately, I think that the currently used fabrics, 100% synthetic and made in questionable ways, will remain because of the high demand and their unbeatable prices. I just dare to hope that such products won’t be the norm and that we will find more efficient ways to render respectful fibers more accessible.
You integrated Look Forward’s third incubation promotion. What does this year of incubation mean to you?
We are increasingly structuring our activities. Thanks to our contacts with people from various departments at Showroomprivé, we find sustainable operational solutions for the many issues we previously had. We can also get many feedbacks, which is really important because, as a startup, we tend to create a product that resembles our own idea and to underestimate the comments from the people around us. However, while working on our product, we built psychological barriers that only our surroundings can help us to overcome.
We hope you enjoyed our time with Regina and her vision of fashion, the future of clothing and textile, and a more responsible and sustainable fashion industry!