Blowfish Malibu got its start as a small shoe company. Since its humble beginnings, it has consistently evolved, drawing attention for its investments in the environment and sustainable materials.
The company takes pride in offering a casual, California vibe with each sandal and sneaker. It’s even more proud of its two newest product lines: The Bloom Collection and The Vegan Collection.
The Bloom Collection
Blowfish Malibu is making an eco-friendly material upgrade by incorporating BLOOM technology in the insoles of its products. The company reports, “Going forward, Blowfish Malibu will utilize BLOOM pellets in all shoes featuring insoles in our Women’s collections.”
Bloom technology is a step in the right direction because it’s a bio-based technology that can be used for a variety of different applications. It’s a partnership that builds on algae’s useful ability to treat wastewater, capture carbon and produce renewable energy, among other benefits.
Algae can clean water sources by removing contaminants such as nitrogen and phosphorus. The process involves cultivating algae in tanks or ponds where they absorb and assimilate nutrients from the wastewater. This helps in reducing nutrient pollution and improving water quality.
By culturing algae in controlled environments and providing them with a concentrated source of CO2, they can capture and convert CO2 into biomass. This process can help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to carbon sequestration efforts.
Algae can also be used as a feedstock for biofuel production. Certain types of algae are rich in oils that can be extracted and converted into biofuels such as biodiesel or bioethanol.
Algae-based biofuels have the potential to be a renewable and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, as they can be grown using non-arable land and do not compete with food crops.
Through the process refined at Bloom, algae is also converted into a bioplastic material that functions as an ingredient in the flexible foam that makes up Blowfish Malibu’s insole material.
This is a very young technology, so Blowfish Malibu’s commitment to invest in it supports the scaling efforts as Bloom’s uses continue to expand.
The Vegan Collection
When Blowfish Malibu began in 2007, its releases featured 100% leather. In the years since, the company has made a lot of changes, perhaps the most notable being the development of an entire product line that is officially registered with the Vegan Society.
The Vegan Collection is completely free of animal products and by-products. Instead, the shoes are composed of manmade materials with an emphasis on quality and durability.
The company says, “Avoiding animal products is one of the most obvious ways you can take a stand against animal cruelty and animal exploitation everywhere.”
It also recognizes the advantages of vegan products in lowering the carbon footprint along the supply chain.
In addition to material innovations in its newest collections, Blowfish Malibu partnered with organizations that align with the California company’s humanitarian and environmental efforts.
Through Soles4Souls, entrepreneurs in developing countries can get help starting resale businesses with the aid of donated shoes and clothing. The organization also donates shoes to school children in need, so they can participate in athletic extracurricular opportunities. In addition, Soles4Souls provides shoes and clothing to individuals in crisis situations.
Blowfish Malibu also partners with The Surfrider Foundation, an organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans and beaches.
In its own backyard, Blowfish Malibu has participated in various beach clean-ups in communities throughout Southern California.
Blowfish Malibu Speedy sneaker review
As part of the BLOOM collection, the Speedy sneaker features an insole made with BLOOM foam. I was intrigued by the standout features of the Speedy sneaker and requested a sample for review.
I have a few pairs of skater-type shoes, starting with the ubiquitous Converse brand, which is probably the least comfortable sneaker option I own. Sorry if you’re a fan of the brand, but I find them to be lacking in support and with a high arch, my feet quickly tire in them. I mention this merely as a reference of comparison that most people are familiar with.
The Speedy sneaker by Blowfish Malibu feels like it should be in a different category. Although I would appreciate more arch support, this style of shoe is known for being flat soled, and these are no exception. However, there is a distinct design difference with the Speedy that I don’t have in my other sneakers, and that is an extra thick midsole. For me, this feature makes a huge difference in the impact as I walk. They provide a solid cushion that is much better than sneakers with a thin midsole that leave little protection from step impact.
The aesthetic of the shoe is delightful, with a contrast in materials between the midsole, the tip and foxing, and the upper. The arch bandage up the side comes in three color options. I chose the White Field/Sand Pixie Leopard Roadtrip and love the Salmon/Blue/Black accent. I can’t say I’m a fan of the leopard material on the pull tab, but it’s certainly not a reflection of the quality of the shoes.
In addition to the sole enhancement, the other parts of the shoe also speak to quality manufacturing, such as tight stitching and a thick tongue.
For those considering the Speedy sneaker, note that the toe box is narrow. I have slender feet and was initially concerned these would be too tight for my toes. They do seem to have relaxed a bit, but I’ve consistently worn them with fairly thin socks for the best results.
Images via Blowfish Malibu
Editor’s Note: This product review is not sponsored by Blowfish Malibu. All opinions on the products and company are the author’s own.