Accessory brand Votch is on a mission to create stylish minimalist watches (and more) from innovative vegan leathers. Proving that you don't have to be cruel to be cool, this brand has been featured in VOGUE, Forbes, Cosmopolitan and Stylist. Votch has also appeared on Dragon's Den and won awards from PETA.
With every purchase from Votch's range, the brand plants a mangrove in Madagascar, to help provide natural habitats for wildlife and an income for locals. The brand also has a recycling scheme where old watches can be sent in, to minimise waste.
Founder Laura Way runs the company with her husband Simon and their re-homed pooch Rolo. Years ago, Laura was diagnosed with topic steroid withdrawal – a condition that made her skin fall off. During her time in recovery, Laura turned to documentaries on subjects including animal welfare. When she learned about the treatment of animals in industries that use their skins, she related their pain to her own at losing her skin, and promised to never wear the skin of another living being again. With a newfound vegan perspective post-recovery, Laura wanted to create a cruelty-free business that could make a change in the world. When an old watch strap broke, the idea of making vegan watches was born.
“Our values are simple, and that is to continually do the best we can do. We are always striving as a company to do better and to create a product that inflicts no harm to animals with the smallest footprint for the environment.”
Sustainability is key in the brand's material choices. Pineapple leather Piñatex and apple-based material AppleSkin are both created using waste from the fruit industry, which is both a way to minimise waste, and a move away from animal skins and petroleum-derived plastics.
Votch has employed a team to help source factories that would not only be able to make the watches, but also comply with high ethical standards. Together, they visited and vetted several, settling on a factory that prioritises fair pay, offers promotion opportunities and has safe facilities.
Votch works with a factory in Shenzhen, China. The owner's wife is a keen plant eater, often offering vegan delicacies to the team during one of their regular visits. The manager believed that Votch wouldn't put 'made in China' on their watches – but the brand is proud of where their product is made and the team they work with. The label also partners with factories such as Veshin, who are committed to creating vegan-friendy products with a low environmental impact.
All Votch packaging is recyclable. The brand also uses compostable mailers.
Votch is a PETA-Approved Vegan brand, and they regularly partner with charities that help animals - during the time of the partnership, they donate part of their profits to support the charity's work.
You can read more about vegan leather in our articles Does Ethical Leather Exist – and What is Vegan Leather? and What is Vegan Leather Made From – and is it Sustainable?
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What are the best vegan trainers?
That’s a hard one as ‘best’ is personal! Immaculate Vegan has one of the largest collections of vegan trainers from a wide variety of brands from across the globe. Take a look! Our best sellers come from BeFlamboyant, Humans are Vain, Yatay, Good Guys Don’t Wear Leather, Ration.L and Komrads.
What are vegan trainers made from?
Vegan trainers (and sneakers) are made without the use of any animal materials, such as leather, suede, fur or wool. Vegan shoes are made of a variety of fabrics, traditionally synthetic but increasingly using innovative materials derived from nature with all the properties of leather, such as apple leather, cactus leather and bio-based leather (made from oil derived from cereal crops). Many synthetic trainers are now made using recycled plastics from ocean trash.
Are vegan trainers waterproof?
That depends on the style and the fabric in question. Canvas trainers are not waterproof, vegan or otherwise. But most of our trainers are water-resistant and some are also waterproof, as well durable and 100% vegan.
Are vegan trainers durable?
The quick answer: yes! But you can make them last longer by taking care of the shoes. Just as you would care for animal-leather trainers, you should look after your vegan leather trainers. With proper care, vegan trainers can last anywhere from two to five years, depending on how much wear and tear they encounter, which is the same as their animal-leather counterparts.
Are trainers the same as sneakers?
Yes! As far as we are concerned they are.
The British call them trainers, because they can be used for sports or training.
The Americans call them sneakers, presumably because, being soft-soled, they're suitable for sneaking around in!
But to confuse things further, they are also called tennis shoes in the US.
What are vegan sandals made of?
Vegan sandals are made without the use of any animal materials, such as leather, suede, fur or wool. There' a wide variety of materials that can be used to make vegan sandals, including polyurethane (also known as PU), apple leather, pineapple leather (Pinatex), cactus leather and bio-based leather (made from oil derived from cereal crops). In addition, some vegan sandals are also made from recycled materials, such as recycled polyester or other recycled fibres.
Are vegan sandals durable?
Many vegan sandals now are made using high quality and durable materials, and many of the new vegan leathers are of very high quality. But you can make your vegan sandals last longer by taking care of them well. With proper care, vegan sandals can last for many years, depending on how much wear and tear they encounter, which is the same as their animal-leather counterparts.
Are vegan sandals better for the environment?
Vegan materials tend to have a much lower carbon footprint and be much be kinder to the environment than animal leather, which is one of the most environmentally damaging materials used in fashion. Whilst there are vegan materials such as PVC which are toxic and harmful, none of the vegan sandals or products at Immaculate Vegan contain PVC. We also choose to partner with brands who are creating the most sustainable vegan sandals possible, using the most sustainable vegan materials.
Are vegan leather sandals comfortable?
There's really no difference here between vegan and non vegan sandals – it all depends on the quality and fit of the brand and the styles you choose. We partner with premium footwear brands at Immaculate Vegan to bring you vegan shoes that are high quality, stylish and comfortable.
Are vegan sandals good quality?
Whilst not all brands are equal, at Immaculate Vegan we select footwear brands making high quality, stylish and cruelty free vegan sandals and shoes.
Are vegan sandals waterproof?
That depends on the style and the fabric in question. Canvas and fabric vegan sandals are not waterproof, vegan or otherwise. But some of our vegan sandals are water-resistant and some are also waterproof, as well as durable and 100% vegan.