Vesica Piscis, 100% sustainable vegan shoes “made in Spain”
By Glòria Monterrubio
As part of EKOenergy’s #PassionForGreenFashion campaign, we interviewed Francisco Rico, head of sales and administration of Vesica Piscis footwear, a vegan shoes and accessories brand that consumes EKOenergy.
As the fashion industry is one of the major contributors to global warming, many companies are aware that their business models have a high environmental cost and that they must rethink the way the sector produces. Changes and solutions to these problems can come from different angles, among which energy consumption is central.
With its creation in 2016, Vesica Piscis footwear opted from the outset for a circular economy model. “First ethics, then aesthetics” is one of the premises of their business model. Their vegan shoes and accessories are handcrafted with local recycled materials and they use sustainable packaging, respecting the environment. Choosing EKOenergy-labelled, and thus sustainable renewable energy, the brand has reduced energy consumption by close to 90%, and with their consumption they contribute to financing Climate Fund projects.
How did the idea of Vesica Piscis come about?
In 2016 we started a crowdfunding campaign that allowed us to advertise all parts of the project. Given the empirical evidence that the linear economy is harmful and unsustainable over time, we firmly committed to a circular business model; which also has no place for animal suffering.
Vesica Piscis is currently working on the implementation of the ReWeArt project with funds from the European LIFE programme. From clothes that users want to get rid of, Vesica Piscis will be able to design new accessories with these textiles and thus offer a new life to the clothes. Designing products from those that reached the end of their life cycle can be easily separated and reintroduced into other processes without generating waste.
What aspects are key for Vesica Piscis in terms of sustainability?
All our articles are designed and manufactured to be recyclable (following a circular model) in our own workshop in Elche. In order to have as little environmental impact as possible, the material we use is mostly recycled; with a few organic exceptions that are not of animal origin.
How and when did the idea of consuming EKOenergy come about? How did the process of obtaining the ecolabel go?
We wanted to contract a renewable energy trading company and when contracting Gesternova we saw that they had the option of supporting EKOenergy. In addition to ensuring that we consume sustainable renewables, we found it very interesting to contribute to EKOenergy’s Climate Fund. The process of obtaining EKOenergy was as simple as asking Gesternova for it.
Why choose electricity labelled with EKOenergy?
In addition to enabling us to take responsibility for our environment, it finances projects that provide specific energy solutions to social, economic and environmental problems in remote, off-grid places.
How do you communicate about the use of renewable energy and your involvement with EKOenergy?
We use the ecolabel in our product catalogues and mention it on our website, as well as on our social networks.
What is the production process from the moment the materials arrive to your warehouse until they reach the consumer? How long does it take to obtain a product?
It usually takes a few hours. We do not have stock, so everything is made to order. Every day we ship all the online orders that came in the day before and the Vesica Piscis team of 6 people make the orders. We mainly use recycled GRS certified cotton and polyester (PET) for cutting. To make the sole we use recycled and synthetic rubber. We strive to select materials produced locally by suppliers we know and with strict certificates.
The manufacturing process is quite similar to the conventional industry except for gluing, which we eliminate in our process to allow full recyclability of the product. First, we do the cutting, mending and sewing of the sole with sewing machines. The assembly is done manually, unlike conventional industry, and makes for great energy savings. Finally, the product is packaged, free of plastic and without generating waste.
The items are packed in 100% recycled cardboard boxes, using adhesives-free solvents. These are adjusted to use 50% less cardboard, allowing the reduction of their cubic capacity. All this enables Vesica Piscis to save 2 million litres of water for every 35,000 pairs of shoes.
Do you think that consumers value this way of functioning and the effort of companies like Vesica Piscis, who consider their social responsibility crucial?
We believe that more and more often, consumers are becoming more aware of the impact of their consumption. That is why it is essential for us to offer transparency and communication about our way of doing things if we are to continue moving forward. In general, consumers are starting to understand that consuming products produced responsibly is not a fashion choice but a necessity for survival.
We thank Francisco Rico and the Vesica Piscis team! We encourage more companies to follow the circular economy model like Vesica Piscis and use renewable energy to accelerate the energy transition. For more information about EKOenergy, please contact us or write us at firstname.lastname@example.org