More than 100,000 tons of rubber tires are disposed of every year in Argentina. The majority of them are burned, contributing to the country’s already huge air pollution problem. So, when Alejandro Malgor and two of his friends, Ezequiel Gatti and Nazareno El Hom, realized they wanted to start a business, they decided to focus on tackling the problem — and make shoes from the discarded tire scraps. But the trio didn’t stop at tackling environmental issues; they wanted to generate opportunities for the unemployed, and particularly single mothers, in their hometown of Mendoza. “The garbage we generate creates opportunities for everyone,” Malgor explains. Xinca currently employs 25 women from rural areas, where much of the production is done. Malgor says he is committed to working with local communities and enabling single mothers to remain heads of their families by providing them with employment opportunities. This is their story.
Did you always share the same view about the disturbing air pollution in Argentina and also the plight of rural and single women who are largely unemployed?
Our main strength relies in the fact that we all share the same values. This was very important when we started to build our company, and this principle remains our backbone when it comes to take many decisions.
How did the idea come to you guys at first?
Tires residue represents a great threat in terms of environmental contamination in Argentina, as well as in many other countries. From the concept of recycling we generate value in our products. Through our work, we’re helping keep thousands of kilograms of this so-called garbage from going directly into landfills and creating a shoe with a much smaller footprint. We develop products by generating a positive impact on the environment, by incorporating as many waste as we can. Currently, the base of our shoe is assembled using recycled rubber from old tires. In some models, we re-use fabric from different sources. But what makes this shoes UNIQUE is the community who makes them.
What is Xinca’s main objective?
Xinca is committed to providing opportunities to change their life and reintegrate these vulnerable people back into society as a way to reduce recidivism rates and insecurity: one of the costliest social problems facing Latin American and many other countries. When you buy our shoes. You´re not just helping the environment by not creating any more waste. You´re also helping improve lives of excluded individuals.