NICO YLLERA - Creative director and co-founder of RRROAD, climate chan – QUINQUE | Antiinflammatory SKINCARE


Who are you ?

I am Nico Yllera, co-founder of RRROAD , a project that turned my life upside down in 2020 and wants to change the way we consume fashion as if there was no tomorrow. An entrepreneur who never thought of being one and a quiet activist who would rather disarm with data than shout.

How would you define yourself in two sentences?

A person who loves life too much and finds it difficult to choose between so many exciting options it offers us. A person who is totally happy in the countryside with his dog and a sandwich, but who also loves being in the chaos of the city.

How was your professional career?

Like half of the university students in Spain, I have studied law, but I have never practiced it in my life. What really attracted me were the media, communication and the fashion industry. I lived almost 4 years in developing countries (mainly in Africa like Nigeria, Ivory Coast or Madagascar) and it completely changed my perception of the world. I had an incredibly comfortable life, but on the other side of my car's tinted windows I saw how earthly paradises were degraded beyond repair due to a system that had failed at its core. I tried to put it out of my mind for a while to stay productive, went back to Europe where I was very happy working at Condé Nast Spain and Monocle in London, but it's all coming back. And I decided to leave my position as advertising director in London to return to Madrid and offer a real, effective and scalable solution to the climate crisis we are experiencing. With my partner Pepe Otaola and through fashion, of course. Because it's my favorite industry and the one I know best, and because it's the second most polluting industry in the world.

How was the RRROAD store born?

Like a natural evolution of thousands of conversations, feelings and vital states of two people who, at some point, converge and see clearly. Pepe Otaola and I launched RRROAD in a rented basement in Madrid at the end of 2019 with the idea of ​​demonstrating that things can be done differently. That there is a solution to the chaos of textile waste, impulse shopping and marketing campaigns that make us believe that everything we buy, eat and touch is "sustainable". In fact, I already hate that word, brands should pay for every time they use it in their campaigns.
We wanted to start from scratch by being circular and bringing more than words to the fight against climate change.

What have been the biggest obstacles you've encountered so far?

I had no idea entrepreneurship was such a challenge, honestly. We lack hands, arms, hours and days to do everything we have in mind. We had to fight against many obstacles, but the most difficult is probably to compete with the giant and well-oiled communication machines of the big global fashion groups. They're the best at telling beautiful, ambiguous stories and it's hard to attack. It is also shocking to see how difficult it is to explain our project to professionals in the sector and get them to change their mentality and buy into our vision. The textile industry is very conservative, very inbred, and you can see that when you introduce a brand like RRROAD and realize that we can't work with the vast majority of suppliers because they don't meet the requirements that we ask.

Your favorite point of the RRROAD manifesto ?

#STOP LYING. If I have to keep one, it's to stop making everything up and accept where we are. Without honesty, we will not change. Without transparency, the transformation is meaningless, because we will not know if it is really effective. That's why I like it when someone speaks candidly about where they are and where they want to get to, knowing that the road is tough but they are taking steps to get there.

What phrase could you use to make us aware of the importance of circularity?

Between 2000 and 2015, global fashion production doubled. And in the same period, our average use of a garment has halved. We consume twice as much and wear half as much clothing. The earth is not ready to support such a quantity of toxic waste. Either we produce less, use more of what we already have and create value from waste (basic principles of the circular economy), or we have to prepare to live in a landfill.

Your three favorite places in Madrid?

My favorite weekend plan is to have an aperitif on the terrace of MamaCampo in Olavide (they have the best suppliers of organic and local food and I love these two places), to go to a few galleries (El Chico, in Ronda de Toledo 16, is a must, there is always something interesting) and ending up having my favorite Mezcal cocktail at Club Matador with friends.

What are the three products that are never missing in your toiletry bag when you go on a trip?

A moisturizer with sunscreen, something to get rid of a bad face (usually an eye cream or serum) and my Acqua de Parma, which I have in all sizes to suit the duration travel.

Your first gesture of self-care each morning?

As soon as I get up I stretch really hard because I wake up bent over and from there I start to be a person. I go straight to the shower, then I wash my face and exfoliate it every other day to feel fresh (especially if I went out the day before!).

Your QUINQUE experience in three words: freshness, naturalness and honesty.