Lot: A shoe made of 100% Occitan hemp

the essential
The UBAC company has decided to make a basket of hemp and wool in Occitania. An initiative that defends ecology and local production.

Is it possible to walk in 100% Occitan shoes? In any case, it is the project of Ubac, a company founded in 2018 and which promotes the creation of short-circuit shoes made with ecological fabrics.

The will of the brand, advanced by Mathilde Blettert, founder of the company, is to change the usual processing methods. “The problem with widely used materials like polyester is that they come from halfway around the world. So it’s hyper-polluting.”

While in France, materials to produce fabric exist. Linen, hemp or wool for example. Ubac has already developed the production of basketball with flax harvested in Alsace. Their new goal was to use hemp. “It’s one of the greenest plants, it requires very little water, it aerates the soil and it’s very hardy. That means small animals aren’t attracted to it.”

Hemp is grown in the Lot.
UBAC extension

The French brand then turned to Virgocoop, a cooperative that promotes the development of 100% Occitan hemp. And this company is based in Cahors. Making a local and hemp shoe is a complicated operation. “Normally, to process it, you have to send it to Eastern European countries. We are the first to have managed to keep the hemp ultra-local.”

A shoe made with 55% wool and 45% hemp

As ? Because the fabric is mixed with wool. “It is the result of local shearing. We call it Lacaune wool, it comes from the goats that produce Roquefort” develops Mathilde Blettert. At the end there is 55% wool and 45% hemp. The production is therefore 100% Occitan, which is reflected in the name given to the sneakers, Mesclat, which means “blend” in Occitan. “It was for a wink” confesses the founder of Ubac.

In addition to being part of the company’s ecological dynamic, this desire to produce locally also has other objectives. “We want to revitalize the sector in France. It is important that our country dominates the world market, that we pass in particular in front of Asian markets such as China. We must collaborate with those who make the local economy”.

So, obviously, local production is more expensive and this is reflected in the prices of shoes, which are on average 30% higher than those produced abroad. Mathilde Blettery justifies it by developing the need to favor good quality rather than what is cheaper: “It’s the idea of ​​buying less but buying better”.

To find a Caduran shoe on your feet, you will have to wait this winter, until basketball is commercialized.

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