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Mechelen & the importance of the circular economy in our approach

Maline & l’importance de l’économie circulaire dans notre démarche

Today, I decided to tell you about the economic model, of which many ethical companies talk about the benefits, and which I chose to launch Maline. It's me, Pauline, at the origin of Maline, who tells you about our global approach, based on the model of the circular economy.


The circular economy is an economic model of production of goods and services in a virtuous circle like the most widespread economic model currently: the linear economy, that is to say: extract, manufacture, consume, throw away .

This circular model consists of producing while minimizing the creation of new materials, the use of limited natural resources, waste and the creation of waste. The circular economy adapts very well to the fashion sector, although it has been far from being the predominant model since the advent of fast fashion, which cares little about its ecological impact. So let's talk about the circular economy applied to the textile sector.


This is the credo of our brand. Is this a circular economy approach? Yes, but on the other hand, can we speak of an innovative model? Not quite.

The recipe for raw material eco-design.

According to the study by Ocean Clean Up foundation in 2018 (put the link half of the floating waste found in the oceans are fishing nets. And fishing nets are made of Nylon, just like most swimsuits, tights, underwear and sportswear.


Since 2011, the company Aquafil, from the same group as our fabric manufacturer, has been working on the development of an innovative technology to create the fabric fiber Econyl . In addition, with the ECONYLⓇ fiber , fabric manufacturers make carpets, rugs, sportswear and the fabrics used in the manufacture of Maline swimwear.

The manufacture of this recycled yarn is less energy-intensive, and represents a 55% reduction in C02 emissions compared to conventional production. This Italian supplier promotes zero-waste and a circular life cycle.

Our bias, at Maline, and why we choose this recycled material for the moment is that in our opinion, it is a good alternative to clean up the oceans, re-valorize this waste, and not create virgin materials. We are very hopeful that new, even more environmentally friendly technologies will arrive.


Once the sketches have been drawn internally at Maline, we meet Emilie, a model maker specializing in lingerie and swimwear, who works on the patterns. The second phase of working with Emilie consists of two prototypes because we work most of the time on sizes 36 and 44, which are our sizes for Rachel and me.

After the round trips and modifications, which can go up to 4 prototyping phases, which we try and modify, Emilie produces the technical sheets. This allows the products to be budgeted and will then be used by the seamstresses in the workshop to work calmly with the technical information, and on the cut of the fabrics in each size.

The patterns are designed to create as little waste as possible thanks to the placements on the laser cutting machine and the optimization software.

(add photo development phase)

The circular economy means producing with a lot of common sense

The two strong commitments of the circular economy are respect for people and working conditions.

Everything we use to make our products comes from France, Italy or Spain. This must guarantee jobs with a salary respecting social minima and social coverage. We work on the recommendation of our French workshop, which we have been going to every month for almost 2 years.

Unfortunately, some workshops, even French, illegally employ illegal workers in a workshop in the south of France, and even in Paris! These are practices that we condemn, and we regularly go on site, and attend production thanks to our controls, ensuring that our work is rigorous and legal.

Local production is also ecological. How? The product does not go around the world 3 times before arriving at your home for a unique challenge of maximum profitability, thanks to relocation at a lower cost.

Manufacturing in the Rhône-Alpes region represents the majority budget in the cost price of the products, that is to say that it alone represents more or less 80% of our prices, depending on the models. French salaries are higher than the majority of European countries, but I made this choice for several reasons:

  • Originally from the Rhône-Alpes region, since my adolescence I have seen these workshops abandoned for very cheap labor in distant countries.
  • Promote the know-how of the Rhône-Alpes region, specialized in textiles to our customers
  • Have a privileged close relationship with the people in the workshops, Agathe, Emilie, Isabel. We test prototypes at every stage of development. Visit the workshop during productions, come by if necessary for an emergency, be transparent and show behind the scenes, sometimes as invigorating as exhausting, of this sector!
  • Zero waste and end-of-life objective for Maline products: Reuse scraps to make accessories, the rest is carefully kept for reuse.
  • At Maline, nothing is lost, everything is transformed. The scraps from the 2020 collection were used to stuff the sofa cushions at the Showroom!
  • We do not use single-use packaging, our packaging is recycled and/or biodegradable and as minimalist as possible!
  • Our yarn and fabric manufacturing partner is doing tests to break down the material again to regenerate it either for the same use or for another use. This would allow you to recover your sets at the end of their life and give them a new life!



The circular economy goes through our company's business model. One of the problems and causes of pollution linked to the textile sector since its industrialization, the second most polluting sector in the world, is the massive production of stock and therefore dormant and unsold stocks.

Estimating demand as well as possible is what is very difficult, especially in this Covid period.

The pre-order allows us to offer customers to reserve their purchase, and allows us to produce quantities by size precisely.

Production on demand is possible, from 10 pieces, per model ordered by our customers when there is a shortage of stock, we can launch a mini-production and customers are alerted.

I wanted to write this article to explain to you all our approach in detail, the one that seems to us the most optimal according to our values, our constraints and especially our financial means.

We are always on the lookout for new technologies and new ways to improve our project, and open to discussions with you.


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