How do you dress like a rock star in Miami? With legendary Mexican rock band Maná's ethically made, benevolent apparel line, Ritos Del Sol.
Threads for turtles: Tortoises are a favorite motif, seen here on the ecofriendly line’s paint-brushed black Turtle T-shirt.
Peace, love, and rock ’n’ roll are what Maná is all about. So it’s fitting that the four-time Grammy and eight-time Latin Grammy Award-winning band would create a T-shirt and denim line—Ritos del Sol—that’s not only edgy enough to appeal to rockers, but sustainable and charitable, too. Drummer Alex Gonzalez and frontman Fher Olvera (both of whom are parttime Miami residents) talk about their thoughtful threads, making a fashion statement, and how you can save sea turtles, one pair of jeans at a time.
Your first hit single was called “Rayando el Sol” and your clothing line is called Ritos del Sol. What’s the connection? Fher Olvera: The sun is our god. Without the energy, the light of the sun, life on our planet is not possible. Alex Gonzalez: We wanted to make a line that was casual and cool, and that represented us and our [Mexican] culture while being accessible in price. The designs have to do with the sun, the moon, things you’d find in the rainforest, and the Day of the Dead—which is very celebrated in Mexico.
Turtles are a big focus and sketched on all the jeans. AG: We’ve been protecting sea turtles and have released over a million of them to the ocean since we started our environmental organization, Selva Negra, in 1996. FO: I grew up by the ocean, so I love turtles. We have camps where we protect their environment, and if you buy a shirt or jeans, you get good fit, quality, and you’re helping turtles in the camps and doing something for our planet.
How are the pieces made? AG: It’s completely ethical—the materials, the dyes. It’s very important employees have a good salary, that the conditions are good, and everything is made in Mexico. FO: One of the important things was finding an environmentally friendly factory that uses recycled materials, and fortunately we found that factory in Puebla.
The jeans are fit for a rock star. FO: The fabric is elastic, so it’s comfortable for the car, the plane, playing and drinking and jumping onstage for two hours, or whatever else you’re doing. You don’t feel tight.
Favorite pieces? AG: Black is my favorite color, so I like all the darker items—especially the skulls. FO: I jump around onstage a lot with the skull and the falcon. Right now, I’m wearing the big turtle to go to Cancun.
What statement are you hoping to make? AG: We’ve never had a stylist tell us what to wear. This wasn’t forced upon us. We wanted to do it because we have the opportunity and platform to be onstage and put out a positive message. It doesn’t matter if you are rich, poor, black, white, Latino, gay, straight, whatever. We all have to take care of this world because we are all a part of it. FO: Mexico and the United States are neighbors, and you should never be mean to your neighbor. Fashion is political and environmental; these issues aren’t separate. Global warming is not a joke. Twenty years of science and scientific research prove it is happening, and one of the most affected places is Miami.