Cuando hayas talado el último árbol.
Cuando hayas comido el último pez.
Te darás cuenta que el dinero no se puede comer
(When you have destroyed the last tree.
When you have eaten the last fish.
Then you will realise that you can’t eat money)
I first stumbled across Pisaverde at the Pinolere craft fair in 2007 when they were exhibiting a small but highly visible range of shoes and handbags. The colours were so vibrant and intense, the designs so different from the homogeneous offerings of high street shops that they quite literally stopped me in my tracks.
I came within a whisker of buying a pair of boots that would have Portuenses checking their calendars lest Carnaval had arrived unexpectedly. The only reason I didn’t buy them was because it would have cost me a whole lot more than the €30 price tag to acquire an entire new wardrobe to go with them.
At the end of the 1990s in La laguna, Laura Quintero RodrÃguez, a licensed marine biologist and Plácido Alonso Ponce, a lifelong leather worker whose family have been shoe makers for generations, recognised that the influx of mass produced goods was killing originality, obliterating personality, destroying the planet and eradicating generations of traditional crafts.
Laura and Plácido undertook to try to save their craft by reinventing it ““ easy to say, not so easy to do. They began to think about how they could bring their craft into the 21st century and ensure its future sustainability through concept, design, marketing and green production. And so Pisaverde was born.
The first shoes and bags were produced in 1999 and Pisaverde took them to local crafts fairs to see what reaction they would get. Then the magic began. People loved their simple yet striking designs and the philosophy behind their products.
Using recycled materials, imagination, design, a unique marketing approach and their honed skills they manufactured and launched a range of products, every one of which was unique.
As sales grew, Pisaverde opened its first workshop in La Victoria and began to reinvent their trade. Looking for new ways to work the materials and new designs, they began to metamorphose their ancestral craft into a contemporary art without losing the traditional skills.
Their reputation spread and in 2005 they launched their first web page which began to attract international attention. Now confident in their craft and expanding their product range, in 2007 they opened their first shop in La Laguna. Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Madrid followed swiftly.
When Pisaverde began, they had three objectives:
- Reinvent our craft
- Apply modern design
Today Pisaverde can simply say “mission accomplished”.
Now a collective, Pisaverde is more than just a product and a label, it’s a whole philosophy and a belief in a sustainable way of life. They’ve transformed the concept of handmade footwear into handmade fashion and now design shoes to individual specification so you know your feet are dressed in one of a kind, foot couture.
You owe it to the environment to support Pisaverde…and saving the planet has never looked so good.
I bitterly regret not buying those boots back in 2007 and this year I went back to Pinolere in the vehement hopes that they would be there, alas they were not. They’ve moved on to bigger and better things. But you can find them and their products at:
- Pisa verde – Calle Nuñez de la Peña nº 37, La Laguna; tel: 922 31 41 28
- Pisa verde – Calle Cano, nº 22; Las Palmas, Gran Canaria; tel: 928 37 12 59
- FolelÃ¨ – Plaza de Haria, Haria, Lanzarote
- On Girls ““ Calle Atocha, nº 114, Madrid
- Con Los Pies En Las Nubes – Calle Magallanes nº24, bajo, Santander
- Blanca – Calle Tablao Nº 68, La Alberca, Salamanca