Ballūta is an independent footwear label established in Portugal by artist and footwear designer, Catarina Pedroso in 2018. Committed to creating luxurious footwear in a beautiful and sustainable way, Ballūta focuses on developing trans-seasonal timeless footwear, combining unique concepts, alternative materials and innovative technologies.
Born and raised in Lisbon, Pedroso’s family tradition of bullfighting at their countryside estate had a profound effect on her as a child and influenced her to become a vegetarian. This lifestyle choice greatly influenced the creation of Ballūta - a luxury footwear brand, crafted from 100% vegan friendly products.
After graduating from Painting at the FBAUL - Lisbon University of Fine Arts, Pedroso’s interest in artistic experimentation lead her to pursue a Postgraduate Degree in Curatorial Studies while working on projects relating to a range of creative fields such as, street art, music and editorial make-up.
Ballūta shoes are sophisticated statement pieces imbued with art and nature influences. Every Ballūta piece is made from high-quality sustainable materials, animal-free and made in Europe. All Ballūta shoes are produced in a family-run factory in São João da Madeira, Portugal.
Origin of the brand name
The name, Ballūta refers to the archaic origin of the Portuguese word for oak nut – bolota. The creation of the name came from wanting to represent the sustainable practices and the effort that is put into the creation and production of the shoes. Bolota is the fruit of the majestic cork oak tree, a native to southern Portuguese Montado forests and, to Pedroso, is the perfect example of what sustainability is: being the only tree that continuously produces a natural material – cork – that can be collected every nine years without menacing the tree’s own existence and thus ensuring the survival of its ecosystem.
Sustainable aspects of the brand
From the beginning, Ballūta’s core mission has been to create high-quality shoes that respect animal wellbeing and the protection of biodiversity. No animal-derived materials are included in the production of the footwear and the Ballūta team is constantly researching the best eco-friendly, man-made and natural materials and production methods available.
No leather, fur, wool, silk, bees wax, feathers or animal-based glues are used in the making of Ballūta shoes.
These shoes are crafted from eco-friendly vegan leathers, textiles produced in Europe and nickel-free metals. The Ballūta goal is to keep growing sustainably and continue to introduce better alternatives into the production of their product. The great majority of materials used are certified and produced in the EU. Ballūta helps to reduce their carbon footprint by sourcing local suppliers that comply with sustainability and labour standards as well as producing minimal waste.
Ballūta is fiercely against exploitation of workers and that is why they choose to work closely with family-run Portuguese factories in São João da Madeira where it is guaranteed that their workers are respected, receive a proper wage and work under safe and dignified conditions.
Ballūta shoes are built to last. Yes, they are statement pieces but they do not follow trends that will ultimately end in landfill. All materials used for branding and transport purposes are made from recycled and recyclable certified paper.