Exclusive insights into the history and horology of our watch and clock makers.

2. Votch – the sustainable and vegan British brand

Peta UK-approved for their cruelty-free designs, Votch pride themselves on utilising sustainable technology to produce durable watch straps that rival traditional animal leather. This includes a range of “fabrics made from different materials such as Piñatex, a by-product from the pineapple industry, AppleSkin, a by-product from the apple juice industry, Enviroleather and stainless steel”.

The first collection launched by Votch was the ‘Classic Collection’; featuring watch straps made of a cotton woven microfibre, and coated with PU. Said to be ‘incredibly durable and breathable’, the material imitates ‘traditional leather’.

Prompted by the success of the original ‘Classic Collection’, on followed the ‘Moment’ range; comprising of straps made from TPE, polyester and cotton (also known as Enviroleather). This material has since been used across the newly launched ‘Aalto’, ‘Kindred’ and ‘Lyka’ lines.

Votch also offers the opportunity to purchase cruelty-free straps to update clients’ existing watch faces.

Founder, Laura Way, built Votch following her diagnosis of a condition causing skin-loss. This inspired her to use her recovery hiatus as a time to educate herself on animal welfare, and the leather industry:

 “When I recovered, and with a new-found vegan perspective on life, I knew I had to create something where I could make a change in this world. Finding accessories that are stylish but cruelty free isn’t always that easy, and when an old watch strap broke and finding a watch I liked that was simple and stylish, but with a faux leather strap was pretty impossible, the lightbulb moment happened and Votch was born!”

Always researching the ‘most innovative fabrics possible’ for watch straps, Votch’s push for progress is matched by their “desire to develop designs and durability” that include “cruelty free accessories readily available to all”.

Their evolution strengthens their resolve to search for ways to reduce carbon footprint. And so, with every order purchased on their website, Votch plant a mangrove in Madagascar. “Mangroves are fantastic carbon sinks, stabilise the soil and improve the quality of the water. Planting these wonderful trees also provides a natural habitat for wildlife and an income for local villagers”.

The watchmakers also support a number of animal charities – partnering with a different organisation every three months. This allows a new cause to receive a percentage of Votch’s profits, in the form of a donation, with the turn of each season.

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