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Green Team Behind the Scenes

A Q&A with Blowfish Malibu Designer, Marcy Cail

Get to know from a designer’s perspective about Blowfish Malibu’s more eco-friendly collections!

We sat down with one of our lead designers, Marcy Cail, and asked her a few questions about the line, her inspiration and how she and the team were able to design both our Vegan and 4Earth lines. 


What journey did the design team take to create the collections? 

The road to designing more eco-friendly product is bumpier than you’d think because its fairly new and unpaved in the fashion industry. There is definitely a lot of trial and error involved.  Some ideas work, some do not. For example, it’s possible for hardware to be made from recycled metals and we looked into replacing the buckles on our shoes with this option. However, we found that those materials are not always controlled and therefore may not pass a chemical test – which is a scary thought!

Its very important to move towards creating cleaner, better product, but its even more important to be responsible when doing so. That’s why designing more eco-friendly products is an on-going experience for everyone.

What materials are considered “vegan”?

Currently, the most widely-used faux leather option in footwear is polyurethane, which is man-made material, and can be produced to closely replicate leather. Beyond this, some interesting materials being used to replicate leather are made from organic materials such as apple cores and pineapples! But even organic faux leathers bring up concerns on how these will impact the environment agriculturally.

Our whole design team at Blowfish Malibu is really loving apple core, pineapple, cereal grain, and grape skin based leathers. These are newer (and very cool) material options that we hope will shape the future. However, the biggest challenge for us using these materials is that they are more expensive. Footwear options currently using these organic based faux leathers retail beyond our budget and we have to stick to that budget in order to offer affordable choices for our customers.

We hope organic faux leathers become an industry standard we can afford to offer our customers soon, until then, most of the materials we use are man-made.

Which vegan leather options are used on Blowfish Malibu products?

There are lots of material options that can be used that are considered vegan, such as canvas and microfiber. However, the possibilities for ‘faux leathers’ are a bit more limited and tricky. The materials we use in our Blowfish Malibu vegan collection vary from style to style. Most of our shoes are currently made with polyurethane or canvas.

What is the design team doing to find more eco-friendly vegan material options?

Our team is constantly working with other industry leaders on sourcing new material options. It’s an on-going project, a real learning process, but most importantly, its bringing change to the world. Therefore, this is something we work to improve everyday.

We do offer material options in our 4Earth collection that are more eco-friendly such as recycled materials, vegan fabrics, and recycled dyes! This is an exciting new offering for us, and we’re excited to see what we’re able to introduce into the line in the future.


All photography by Nicole Knox.

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