Of the haute couture to manufacture masks, clothing José Luis Marín is reinvented

  • By:karen-millen



Of sewing almost handmade garments, with care, dedication and many years of learning, to the mass manufacture of masks.It is the radical change that José Luis Marín has had to give in his activity.This is a family business in Tarazona whose origins date back 70 years, when José Luis's father began to make orders such as Sastre.

Since then, the business has evolved and grown, both in workers and in turnover volume.The template is made up of 13 people, four of whom are the family of José Luis, composed of his wife Elena and his two children, Jorge and Paula.The average age of employees, mostly women, is around 50 and have been training and working in this workshop for more than a decade.

Among other clients, Confecciones José Luis Marín is responsible for making the costumes of the company Air Europa.

At this time, the business has already gone through several difficult moments, as in 2004, when practically all Spanish production went to China.Before that, its template was 50 people and was reduced to less than 10.Subsequently, in 2008, they suffered the consequences of the economic crisis that affected all sectors.

"De normal, en un mes podemos confeccionar entre 3.000 and 4.000 garments. Ahora, estamos sacando 150"

This 2020, Confecciones José Luis has suffered a new batacazo with the pandemic.“Until August we endure well, with 20% less than the usual billing.But since then, the income has fallen by 70% and with the entire template at part -time the accounts come out, ”he acknowledges.And it is that the orders have been drastically reduced.“Normal, in a month we can make between 3.000 and 4.000 garments.Now, we are drawing 150, ”explains José Luis, as an example.

The main reason for this descent is that there are no parties or events, the fashion campaigns that were scheduled for the winter season were canceled after summer almost entirely.In addition, the few orders they have are much less volume, since so much haute couture clothes are not sold and manufactured in Spain as before.

De la alta costura a fabricar mascarillas, Confecciones José Luis Marín se reinventa

Given this situation, reorienting the business is the only solution that José Luis has seen to continue surviving in the short term.He is sure that he will return to his usual numbers and his usual tasks but, for the moment, his efforts are directed towards the manufacture of masks and clothing for hospitals.


This path is not being easy either.The first foray was in summer, when the team began to make fabric masks almost as a social work in the face of material scarcity in the first months of the pandemic.As the situation in the textile sector did not improve, José Luis decided to invest in a machine with which hygienic and surgical masks could be manufactured.

In this new adventure, time has not played in its favor, since it commissioned the machine five months ago and so far it has not been able to receive it and install in its warehouse of the industrial polygon of Tarazona."He has arrived with some delay but preferred to bet on the national product instead of asking China," explains José Luis, a faithful defender of the Spain brand.

With the machine already prepared in a white room without any external pollution, expressly enabled for this task, he hopes to start making hygienic masks in about ten days.For surgical ones we will have to wait about two more months since a special license is needed."There are some protocols that we must follow if we want to sell our product to the public administration," he says.

Your plan is to access public tenders and distribute your product in pharmacies, residences and health centers."I trust that national manufacturing against the price is valued, because against China we cannot compete in that regard," he laments.His masks will be manufactured with Spanish materials and their intention is neither to crush the price nor take a slice."With a minimum profit margin that helps us continue to throw us," says José Luis.

Although he has not yet made a forecast, the machine he has acquired can produce up to three million masks per month in three shifts.It is not so optimistic with sales but the calculations for the investment to be profitable has established them for 500.000 units per month."The machine costs about 200.000 euros and I have also had to buy a embolster, condition the room and about 150.000 euros more have gone for materials, ”says José Luis.

An important sum of money with which this little Turiasonense businessman hopes to get the business that has been building so far.“I can't leave my employees on the street and my whole family lives on this.Close is not an option, ”he says, blunt.

Together with him, his wife Elena and his children, Paula and Jorge, work in the family business, who will start distributing the masks under the name of Cothala 2020, the society expressly created for this new business route.

He trusts that sooner or later he can return to what really passionate, the preparation of quality garments."It's the only thing I know how to do, what I have done since I am 16 years old," he recalls.But in times of crisis, problems are also opportunities and José Luis is clear that, despite being going through a “chaotic” situation, he has no choice but to adapt to circumstances.

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Of the haute couture to manufacture masks, clothing José Luis Marín is reinvented
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