Today we speak with Vesica Piscis, and they tell us from their native Elche about their commitment, their business model. But above all that, what Vesica Piscis is and how they manufacture their sustainable footwear.
What is Vesica Piscis, and what type of product do you sell? What type of customer is your company and your product line aimed at?
Vesica Piscis is a company from Elche (Spain) that started up in late 2015, intending to offer a coherent and ethical alternative in accordance with values based on respect for nature and animal
Our footwear is vegan, recycled, and recyclable. It is handmade in Elche under demand (we do not have stock). It is a minimalist and unisex footwear design, based on circularity, making the most out of each element.
We address a responsible public, which is aware of how they consume and how their actions affect the environment. They are usually people committed to the environment and animals. Although many of them are beginning to change their habits and choose us for being a good alternative to local footwear.
Why a model based on the circular economy? What arguments have led you to adopt a business model based on this criterion, and how does it manifest itself in the future of the company’s activity?
Currently, the environmental impact caused by the production of millions of pairs of shoes, either by production or by the millions of tons of waste that it generates annually, is the reason to look for a real alternative to this form of linear production
This type of production uses materials that are not designed for recyclability with all that that entails: expenditure of energy resources, new raw materials, waste, pollution… it is for this reason that the most viable alternative is to create footwear that can be recycled and to be part of a new cycle again.
The predominant manufacture and the many components that the footwear usually contains make it impossible to carry out their recycling, which leads to the end of the cycle, to become landfill grass, generating a large amount of waste and wasting much of the material employee. For all this, we follow a circular economy model. The unsustainability of continuing to practice a linear economy, where it is extracted, created, used, and thrown away motivated us to design footwear that could be recycled by the same consumer as if it were any other product.
Through the simplification and differentiation of the two key elements that allow a correct recycling of the shoe (the sole and the upper) we were able to create different constructions. And enable the consumer to separate these parts quickly and easily so they could be used for other purposes. In this way, we have managed to create footwear based on a circular economy. This economy emulates the operation of nature itself, where everything is useful, and the concept of garbage is not even an option.
Your socio-environmental commitment is shown in every production process. Without a doubt, the emissions derived from energy consumption are a crucial point. How is your manufacturing model to be able to optimize energy consumption?
We have eliminated different components of the shoe and, above all, chemical and harmful materials. We have also replaced manufacturing processes for others that are more artisanal and less energy-consuming. We have also established different mechanisms so that the little waste generated during manufacturing is convenient and economically viable for easy recycling. We consume 10 times less energy than a conventional factory.
You have the EKOenergy energy eco-label. What does this eco-label consist of?
We contract our energy with GESTERNOVA (a 100% renewable marketer) and it allows you to support the European EKOENERGIA initiative with a% of the bill. This small part of our monthly bill is donated to develop green energy self-sufficiency projects in areas around the planet that do not have access to electricity.
You give your raw material a capital importance in your production process. But what is the origin of your materials?
All our suppliers are European, most of them within 30 km around. The process of choosing materials and circular design is vital to minimize the impact. As our designs are circular, and we have to make sure we can close the loop directly with our own suppliers, most of them are direct local component manufacturers who develop everything themselves. The origin of the recycled material (thread, rubber …) is usually national and the few synthetic materials come from oil (synthetic rubber) from different places.
Do you consider issues such as the compensation of the emissions of the materials acquired when they come from long supply distances?
We are currently developing the life cycle analysis of our products. In being clear that we issue per product, we will value compensation options. But for the moment, for example, our production process emits 0. The most important thing for us is to close the circle efficiently, and later, based on our measured emissions, assess the compensation for it.
In this press release you can read more about our zero carbon emissions in the production process.
We are talking about sustainable footwear and the accessories manufactured according to vegan criteria that it is recyclable, handmade. But taking into account all this, what is its life cycle, that is, what is its durability?
Compared to shoes with the same characteristics, it is usually quite resistant and durable. Customers who use Vesica Piscis on a daily basis usually recycle their shoes after 1.5 and 2 years. From what we can say that for about a year the circle has been closing, with our RECYCLE YOUR VESICA PISCIS campaign.
Are we facing footwear that is equally resistant and with the same quality that we would find in footwear that has not been manufactured with these commitment criteria?
Yes, if we compare it with a shoe with the same characteristics, yes. The only peculiarity is the impossibility of making it waterproof, since by not sticking, although in winter we use repellent fabrics, some water can always enter between the sole and upper. Here you have more info about how our winter collection works.
All your footwear is sustainable and your accessories are recyclable. What is the recyclability rate?
If everything is recyclable, 100%, it is designed for complete recyclability. It is true that we have been improving and optimizing materials and processes to reduce the cost of recycling them.
Does this recycling process generate any waste that is not recoverable?
Not really. Possibly the waste of some plastic container in which customers send us their shoes to recycle that unfortunately although we recycle them, we know that they are not really recycled in their entirety.
In addition to the product, your commitment and responsibility also extends to distribution, in what way?
With the resources we have, we try to implement it in our commercial, manufacturing and marketing policy.
What policies have you implemented regarding packaging and why?
This link summarizes everything. But it is about optimizing space and 100% recycled packaging without plastics.
You collaborate with the “Libera” initiative, what can you tell us about this initiative? What led you to support this non-profit association?
Here is everything!! But the relationship appears by direct friendship between the management of Vesica Piscis and the NGO itself.
There are very successful projects like ZOO XXI that we talk about here.
Finally, where can we find Vesica Piscis? Is there a network of your own stores or of partners that sell your products?
If you liked this article on sustainable production and consumption, discover other inspiring stories such as those of Terai Cosmetics or Woodendot and their contemporary designs. As well as many other inspiring stories in our sustainable production and consumption section.