Designed and produced in Spain, Mireia Playà was created in 2016 by Mireia, a fashion designer, alongside her father Josep who worked in the footwear industry for over 30 years.
At the age of 23 Mireia turned vegan, and couldn’t find any high quality, designer vegan shoes. As a consequence she decided to create them herself.
After a few years in the market, sustainability became the second focus of the brand, and collection after collection they offer new material improvements such as recycled fibres and non-animal leathers made from vegetables.
Mireia Playà shoes are designed in Barcelona and produced in Alicante, an area in Spain known for its shoe-making craftsmanship. They work closely with factories to ensure the best quality and that the employees work in healthy and fair conditions as well as receive fair salaries.
They are vegan PETA approved.
I interviewed Mireia about her vegan shoe collection.
How old is your business?
Our business is 4 years old.
What kind of people shop for your shoes?
Our customer is a woman with a young, cheerful, and positive spirit. She is an urbanite who enjoys spending time in nature and who cares about the environment and animals with whom we share the planet.
What’s the average age of your customer?
Did you feel the effects of this pandemic? How did you deal with the up’s and down’s of the daily news cycle?
Our brand’s business was 70% offline (multi-brand stores) and 30% online. The closure of stores caused by the pandemic generated a huge rate of unpaid orders that were already delivered.
We’ve changed our business model, focusing more on our online community and trying to push the sales through our website.
Tell us about the vegan community in Spain and how the general publish perceives veganism there.
I consider myself very lucky because I’m from Barcelona, a city where people are very open-minded and thrilling to try new things. Thanks to that spirit, there are a lot of vegan businesses popping all the time.
And how does local media treat the subject-matter of veganism?
Spain is a country known by its jamón and meat culture. It is true that certain regions are very open to the vegan lifestyle, but there are many others that are not. The media is experiencing the same situation, some media channels communicate veganism as something new that opens other ways of living, but some others try to show the “problems” of being vegan in order to transmit a negative feeling to the population.
How do you now reach out to your audience? What tools do you use to market your business?
Our marketing is mostly focused on Instagram and Facebook ads, as our IG community is very collaborative and open. We also try to have a well-worked Seo in order to receive a natural flow of organic visits to the store.
Tell us a little more about the local market. Is it easy to find vegan produce in Spain?
If you go to a big supermarket it may be easy to find vegan options, but I think there is still a lot to do as there are a few options, not them all.
What made you decide to go vegan?
As a kid, I always said I would be vegetarian if I could, then, at 16y.o. I discovered I had a gluten intolerance and the option of becoming vegetarian flew away from my mind as I tough one food limitation was enough.
When I turned 23 I moved alone and realized that when it came to meat and fish, I could eat it just if I was not cooking it because seeing the animal raw made me realize it used to be alive. It was at that point that I decided to start my way into veganism.
And what lead you to jump in and start your own vegan business?
I studied fashion design and after turning into the vegan lifestyle, I realized no one was offering the kind of shoes that I, as a vegan, was looking for. At that point I decided to join my dad, who had a reputed career in the shoe distribution industry, to start our own project and offer all those needs I was looking for myself.
Check out the Mireia Playà vegan shoe collection at https://www.mireiaplaya.com