Banco Santander and the Chamber of Commerce have named Calcetines Mingo “SME of the Year” in Burgos, Castile-Leon for its excellence in combining tradition and innovation in rural Spain, where it creates jobs for local residents.
Pradoluengo’s population is just 1,200 people. Though it’s located near the “Rioja Alavesa” in the east of the province of Burgos, its connection with the sea is strong. Calcetines Mingo has been here for years. A family-owned business, it recently began developing a line of socks woven from threads made of recycled plastic from the sea. Its history and its innovation have led it to be named “SME of the Year” for Burgos by Banco Santander and the Chamber of Commerce.
The company was founded in 1914 by Avelino de Miguel, great-grandfather of current manager José Manuel Mingo, who in 1999 became the fourth generation in his family to lead it. Like most in Pradoluego, he grew up around socks. As he says, “I'll never forget playing in the sacks of socks and with berets and stockings in my father’s old factory”. Pradoluengo is known the world over for producing this garment, even though few companies, including Calcentines Mingo, now remain in the business. In fact, it’s estimated that one of every four socks bought in Spain (25%) are made in Pradoluengo. That’s also because of its workers, most of whom are from the town, where the SME strives for quality jobs in rural Spain.
Today, Calcetines Mingo produces, on average, one million pairs of socks a year, including 400,000 that it exports. In particular, it makes FreeWaves by Funstep, socks that help clean the ocean because they’re woven from plastic removed from the Cantabrian and Mediterranean Seas. Calcetines Mingo is proof that SMEs can also contribute to sustainability in the region.
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