Interview with Alba Albelda and Ramón Goñi, from Deriva
Alba and Ramon had a dream. Why not design and manufacture products
using recycled materials? Why not offer these materials the opportunity
to gain a new value? They found the answer to that which they had so
much dreamed about in their surroundings: the sea. Thus Deriva was born.
From the use of discarded sails, they designed a line of beautifully
designed objects that are already proving to be a success.
In addition to the recycled materials, you work with modern manufacturing processes such as 3D. What is this process like and what does it mean for you to work with this technique? What is the highlight of the final result, versus products made with other, perhaps more traditional, processes?
For us, the advantages of 3D in terms of product customization are endless. Although it is a new material that few people are used to, it is incredibly amazing. The full possibilities of this material are still to be discovered but it has already stolen our hearts. Design flexibility, reaction capacity, local production, biodegradability, etc.
Your flagship product seems to be the "backpack 1701" that is already setting trends. But what other objects do you have in mind?
Although we are mainly focused on the 1701, we are currently working on a new line of raincoats. We are also thinking about another product —with a nod to the eighties origin of Deriva— fanny packs, in which we want to mix two types of sail (SPI and DACRON) as we did in 1701.
You talk about your company and your values in terms of sustainability and respect for the environment. How does this sustainable ideology translate into the productive process?
For us to be sustainable is not only to manufacture with recycled or biodegradable materials. It is also being able to make a product that you fall in love with because of its "backstory". It’s about adding value. We like to emphasize what the origin of Deriva is and why every 1701 is different and imperfect.
Your way of producing makes you part of a new circular economy. Do you see this transition to a different economic model that weighs the consumption of resources? Or do you consider it a different model that has to coexist with the more traditional economy?
We believe that the current economic model is in its way towards that circular model. There are many small brands like ours that believe in doing things well and that little by little are pushing the big brands towards the trend of the circular economy.
As entrepreneurs and with the hardships that come with trying to carry out a new project or idea, what do you think is the greatest difficulty you have encountered along the way? What advice would you give to future entrepreneurs who are thinking of following your same path?
The sole fact of working with new materials to which you are not used means continuous complications: in prototyping, with textures, etc. There is much testing to be done and you have to think long and hard to solve every problem in the best possible way.
For your ideas to land somewhere, it has to first hit the ground. Our advice is to go with the flow. Do not stop out of fear or skepticism from others, because persistence is just as important or even more than the idea itself.
What is the target market for Deriva? Are you looking for an international sales scenario or do you prefer to focus on the home market?
When we launched the 1701 we thought of starting with the local market, but never closing any doors. Truth is, that 1701 is currently generating quite a lot of interest both at home and in the international market.
Every enterpreneur gets the utmost respect from Ekohunters. But when you supplement your project with your own values and the commitment to social and environmental change that our planet deserves, you get our fullest recognition. Thanks, Deriva! We wish you all the luck in the world.
Find out more about the brand and its products in their welcome post to Ekohunters!