Sustainable design

Tags de cuero recuperado con el logo de Gato Negro

Hello and thank you for following my journey! You’ve come to one of my favorite areas, where I tell you all about my processes and the raw materials I use, where creativity and innovation take me by the hand and help me create each of the pieces you will find in my store.

I love working with unconventional materials and transforming them into contemporary and timeless pieces. I enjoy experimenting and using my hands to let the materials speak to me and shape the final creations.

As you can see, I always work with leather, using remaining scraps from the production processes of designers who make bags in the country, to help make their environmental footprint and mine more ecological and kind to our planet.

I always look to work with natural fibers (pita, cabuya, mastate, and cotton threads) that are produced in Costa Rica, along with other raw materials from this country, in order to help boost the local economy for small businesses. This also ensures that the product that reaches your hands is as ethical and sustainable as possible, made from materials with traceable origins.

I believe that when creativity comes knocking, any material can be used to make a beautiful product. This is why I not only work with scraps of leather but also with remnants of vinyl, cotton fabrics, wood, cotton threads, bronze, natural stones, glass beads, ceramics - the list goes on! For this reason, I would recommend that you review each product, to gain a sense of how each item is made, and with which materials.

Rebeca Zamora diseñadora de Gato Negro

As part of my creative process, I dedicate myself to playing, to making things without waiting for a final product. It is so valuable and important to simply play, for no reason at all! In my case, every time I practice the process of creation I learn something new, and I am always amazed at the different results that I can achieve. Currently, during my design process, I focus a lot on the functionality of objects; their shape, size and texture, and how they react and harmonize together. This is always a challenge, and a great journey, as it ensures that each piece carries a very special meaning and intention.

I love using techniques, and I learn about them as often as I can. I also enjoy creating my own beads, one by one, investigating and learning all the while. When I embroider, weave, or dye with natural dyes: I use avocado peels, turmeric, annatto seeds, and black beans to achieve some of the colors that you can see on my website. These techniques have guided Gato Negro’s path in the world and I believe that this can be felt in each of the pieces - the unique fusion of materials results in pieces of sustainable design, with a strong focus on environmental awareness.

All of this sounds wonderful, but it would never have been possible without my hands, which I thank every day for having allowed me to create. They have become my close allies, in creating the unique designs from my collections. I am also extremely thankful for the traditional artisanal techniques I have learned over the years.

When it comes to the products I sell, I like to pay close attention to small details. I believe that if you carry a sustainable product it must be sustainable in every way, so my stationery is all made with seaweed paper from a line of recycled papers, and the inks that were used in its printing are soy-based, which means you can easily recycle your packaging and labels.

Remember that re-using is a great practice! Each Gato Negro piece you receive comes in a cloth bag made with scraps of designer fabrics from the manufacturing of leather bags. Think of different ways to reuse it!

Finally, you must know that at Gato Negro, collaboration is key. There are pieces that I have made in collaboration with other artisans, helping our value chain become bigger and richer, where all parties involved can benefit from their input. I thank the millions of people who have joined my path to be a part of Gato Negro, as well as you, for reading this far and joining me on my journey.