Castell Massanet is the second Minorcan footwear manufacturer to enter into a commercial agreement with a major Spanish fashion chain, Ria having recently established an agreement to supply sandals to Oysho, which is part of the Inditex group.
Since 1985, Castell has been making traditional Minorcan sandals with soles from recycled tyres. The agreement it now has with Mango is in accordance with the retailer's sustainability programme, the sandals themselves having captured the interest of fashion magazines like Vogue. Not only are the sandals valued because of their design quality and artisan manufacture, they are also an example of "upcycling", i.e. reuse for a creative purpose.
The agreement with Mango was signed in December last year. The manufacture of the sandals started in March. There was, therefore, some concern because of the state of alarm, but Mango remained committed to a project for which all the material had been purchased.
Pedro Castell says that the company already had a project to extend its range of upcycled product when Mango "knocked on the door". "I showed them the product, and they loved it."
There are sandals for men, women and children, and they are available via the Mango website. Castell adds that Mango is "very demanding" when it comes to the processes and the materials. For example, the skin that is used for the sandals can only come from animals that have been slaughtered for human consumption and therefore not exclusively for the fashion trade.