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R-Coat, from broken umbrellas to fashion

A community-based brand that creates high-quality garments and accessories using broken umbrellas collected by the people

In 2018 Anna moved from Italy to Portugal to do a Master in Environmental Sustainability, she adopted a zero-waste lifestyle and her way of seeing the world changed. That’s when on rainy days, she started noticing broken umbrellas everywhere.

Umbrellas cannot be recycled because they’re made up of many different materials, and they end up in landfills, incinerated or in nature. Anna didn’t want this to happen and started to collect all the umbrellas she could find in the streets and trash; then it was time to find a solution! She bought a sewing machine, spent hours watching sewing tutorials and created a simple windbreaker that she called R-Coat - the R represents the values of Zero Waste with a focus on Reuse, Reduce and Repurpose waste.



When she shared a photo of her R-Coat on her social media account @hero_to_0, people started reaching out to donate broken umbrellas, seeing in this project a new service for the collection and recycling of umbrellas that didn’t otherwise exist. Anna created the first collection points in Lisbon and today, there are drop-off locations all over Portugal and Italy and, thanks to the active participation of the community, they have already saved more than 2000 umbrellas from waste.

Anna joined forces with Yasmin, a Brazilian girl in Portugal who is passionate about sustainable fashion and with experience in marketing and branding. They created the brand together and found a production team that could transform this difficult material into high-quality garments and accessories, with the goal of showing that with creativity and innovation, trash doesn’t exist. The project grew and kept growing, always finding new ways to upcycle umbrellas and educate and empower the community around sustainability and circularity. The latest news of this year is the launch of beautiful jewellery made from the metal structures of the umbrellas!

With creativity, trash doesn’t exist.