Hello! We’re Votch, a cruelty free watch company that launched in London last year. Votch was founded by me, Laura and I run the company with Rolo, my rehomed (smaller than most rabbits) pooch. Votch began when a few years back I was struck down with a condition called Topical Steroid Withdrawal, a condition that saw all my skin fall off (we’ll spare you from the pictures!). During the year that it took me to recover, I turned to documentaries and educated myself on various subjects regarding animal welfare, including facts about the leather industry that truly shocked me. Seeing the suffering that animals endured simply for fashion, and having felt the pain of losing my own skin, I vowed never to wear the skin of another being again.
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!
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 and as little to the environment as possible. We are forever researching the most innovative fabrics we can use in our watches matched by our continual desire to develop our designs. We want to make cruelty free accessories more readily available to all, and to show that you don’t need to be cruel to be cool.
The latest material we are using for our watch straps in our New Collection is a blend of TPE, polyester and cotton. The material we are using in our Classic Collection is a cotton woven microfibre with PU. All our watches comply with ROHS and REACH and the faux leather we use has the following environmental benefits:
✓ PVC-Free ✓ No plasticisers ✓ Phthalate-free ✓ Passes CAL 01350, low VOC emissions ✓ No added antimicrobial chemicals ✓ PFC-Free ✓ No flame retardants ✓ Bromine-free ✓ No heavy metals ✓ Includes recycled and renewable content ✓ And of course: Animal friendly
It’s also important to us that we give back too, especially to those who dedicate their lives to helping animals that have suffered and to charities that are helping to encourage a kinder way of living. Every three months we partner with a different charity of the season which we donate 10% of our profits to during this time. You can see and read more about who we are supporting in our Giving Back section. We thank all of our customers for their continual support, because without you, we wouldn’t be able to help them.
It was a long journey and a process filled with continual research to find a factory that we were happy to work with to produce our watches. We work with a factory in Shenzhen, an area in China, not too far from Hong Kong. Originally, we employed a team to help us source factories that would not only be able to make our watches (we care just as much about people as we do animals - it’s in our vegan nature) but who would also meet our high standards, or Votch simply would not have come to life. We visited and vetted several and now work with a great factory that pays fairly, offers promotion opportunities and has great facilities. Our factory owner’s wife is a keen plant eater so we also get to sample some of the best vegan food when we visit!
The factory manager glumly said to me, ‘I bet you’re not going to put made in China on your watches’, well, I’m proud to say where they are made, because I’m proud of the team we work with – we certainly would not be here without them. As conscious consumers, transparency is key and it’s important to know where your products are made. We put the time and research in to making sure we could create our watches in the best way that is available to us, to bring you a cruelty free Votch.
Thank you for taking the time to find out more about how we operate, it really does matter to us.
Laura & Rolo