Mireia Blanch started her brand By Blanch in 2015: “I love shoes and since I became vegan in 2012, I was struggling to find shoes that suited my taste. I then decided to create my own brand and design the shoes I’d like to wear.”
Their current collection is made in a little factory in Spain, in a region well known for the shoe industry. The next models, that will be ready soon, will be made in Portugal. “We found a manufacturer with a good knowledge of vegan materials. The materials we use are high quality Polyurethane (PU). For the upcoming models we’ll use a type of micro-fibre that gives a suede effect. Those materials will come from Italy and Spain. If the shoes are worn in a normal way, we estimate they have the same life as the leather ones.”
Are your shoes completely vegan?
Our shoes are PETA approved vegan. That means that each material used is free of animal products (glue, heel, insole, etc).
Why should more companies look into different materials than leather?
Leather is becoming something from the past. It is so harmful that we don’t have tanneries in developed countries. The first process to transform skin into leather is made in foreign countries like Morocco, Egypt, etc. It’s really sad you can see even shirtless children working in the tanneries, and carrying the animal skin full of toxic products on their backs. Nowadays there are so many other synthetic options with equal quality. Other industries like some luxury cars are now using high quality PU for the seats of their electric models, instead of leather. I think we are going the right way, it’s just that is taking too long.
Where does your love for animals come from?
I always had this feeling that I had to try to protect the voiceless or the ones who were suffering some kind of injustice. I don’t like violence in any form and that also means to kill just for eating. A big part of my life I was eating meat, even if I was never a big fan. The big change to me was the day I started watching documentaries like Earthlings or reading books like Eating Animals that made me stop immediately. That feeling was reinforced after reading about nutrition and realizing we can live a perfect healthy life without any kind of animal products.
What are the future plans of By Blanch?
In the future we’d love to have a platform in the US to make it easier and cheaper to ship there and to develop a men’s line.