Zero Defects is a family-owned business located around 20 miles north of Barcelona, in Mataró. The region's deep-rooted textile industry started in the early 1830s, when the first steam-powered mill began operating there.
The history of rail transport in Spain also began in Mataró, with the construction in 1846 of the first railway line between Barcelona and the city leading the Catalan textile industry to become a national leader in the sector.
Zero Defects has been using traditional tailoring techniques in the making of premium underwear since 1920.
Katy Muñoz, the company's current Marketing Manager, proudly describes how her grandparents were among the first to introduce stretch cotton in the 1970s. "They were absolute pioneers in the development of stretch cotton for underwear in Spain," she explains.
Organic, sustainable materials
While being immensely proud of its heritage, over the years, Zero Defects has welcomed new generations of highly qualified, dynamic workers with fresh ideas.
With increased demand for natural, raw fabrics, for example, the brand has gradually introduced a range of organic, sustainable materials into their innovative collections.
Cotton continues to be a core fabric in the underwear industry, and Zero Defects work with luxurious long-staple Egyptian and Scottish cottons.
Cotton lisle, also known as Scottish crochet thread, is renowned for its strength and durability. Before use, the cotton undergoes a complex mercerisation process which involves combing the threads, heating to remove excess lint and then twisting and applying a mercerising treatment to increase lustre, strength, softness and breathability.
The material is used to make the company's hypo-allergenic and shrink-resistant mercerised cotton socks.
The elasticated long-staple Egyptian cotton used to make the brand's premium ZD Elasticated Egyptian Cotton collection, on the other hand, is designed to stretch and adapt perfectly to the body.
The cotton's long staples allow for the spinning of strong and uniform yarns, resulting in a smooth, durable and soft fabric that will maintain its shape over time.
As well as premium cottons, Zero Defects work with innovative materials made from natural soybean and beechwood fibres.
The company's ZD Soy Fibre range of underwear and socks is made from soy yarn, which is spun from soy fibre, a byproduct of soybean processing. As such, it is a sustainable, renewable resource which is completely biodegradable and recyclable.
Sometimes called "vegetarian cashmere" because of its supreme softness, soy yarn also combines anti-bacterial properties with a moisture absorbing, deodorant-like effect. "It is ideal for even the most sensitive of skin types and will maintain its unique properties after repeat washing," explains Muñoz.
Further testament to Zero Defect's commitment to sustainability and innovation is their use of MicroModal®, a lightweight, absorbent and shrinkage-resistant fabric which is ecologically extracted from beechwood.
The Beech trees propagate by themselves, with no watering or planting required, making production natural and entirely sustainable.
The perfect underwear
These premium raw materials are brought together using a combination of cutting-edge innovation with traditional tailoring techniques, largely unchanged since the company's inception in the 1920s.
Muñoz describes the innovative “zero seams” technology of all the brand's designs:
"It is achieved through a handcrafted process by which seams are integrated using a resilient and smooth elasticated braid, eliminating any sensation of seams on the skin."
"Zero Defects was born with the purpose of creating the perfect underwear," she smiles and adds.
"We are proud to remain an innovative, creative and dynamic company, continuing to use the finest materials in the world — continuing to embrace perfection."