If vegan fashion isn’t your thing, renowned actress Emma Watson might just change your mind. Watson’s eco-friendly fashion for her recent press tour for her film “Beauty and the Beast” has garnered quite the attention. The actress wore vegan sandals created by a Filipina. And thanks, in part, to Watson plus a slew of other A-list celebs, vegan fashion has literally become a Google search away.
International brands such as TOMs to high fashion house like Stella McCartney are paving the way forward amidst a wave of conscious consumerism. Such labels have, in part, built their empires by veering away from using animal skin and fur in the creation of their collections.
While vegetarian or vegan fashion is a relatively new chapter in fashion’s long history, a handful of designers are proving that vegan fashion is a force to be reckoned with. These designers have exemplified that it is possible nowadays to create sustainable wear that is not only humane to animals but also friendly to the environment.
And because we, women, just simply love a beautiful pair of shoes that add those finishing touches to our #OOTD, Health Begins With Her has compiled some of our favorite vegan footwear brands that boast durability, comfort, style – for a mix of both sassiness and swank. It’s time to give animal leather the boot!
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1. SUSI Studio
This brunette bombshell behind Susi Studio does the Philippines proud! Bianca Moran, founder of a popular vegan restaurant in Fort Bonifacio, is also the force behind vegan ladies shoe brand, Susi Studio, in Los Angeles.
Moran’s creations – made out of canvas, hemp, and recycled polyurethane (plastic bottles) – are inspired by the 60s retro vibe. Ladies, take your pick from platforms, flirty t-strap, Mary Jane, and lace-up loafers, which are a hit among the likes of Hollywood celebrities, Miley Cyrus and Emma Watson, who have been seen strutting Moran’s mindful creations.
Rombaut by Mats Rombaut, a French designer, is a fashion-forward company that emphasizes its strong aesthetics and humanist values by using materials made out of stone, tree, bark, natural rubbers, cotton cellulose, and coconut fiber instead of animal hide and animal-derived substances.
With an avant garde aesthethic, one of Rombaut’s most famous creations is its unisex sneakers made from piñatex. Piñatex is an engineered fiber from the Philippines, and comes from the fibers of pineapple leaves. Rombaut utilizes rubber-coated cotton, laser-cut wood, and more conventional synthetic leathers to produce a hybrid kind of innovative shoes. As such, Rombaut is the very first brand to have received the PETA-Approved Vegan logo.
For a company that does not advertise, Veja has certainly earned recognition from some high-profile ambassadors. We’re talking the likes of Marion Cotillard, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and David Beckham.
Veja, from the Brazilian word “look,” is a Parisian brand founded by Sebastian Kopp and François Morillion in 2004. Morillion wants people to “look beyond sneakers,” “look how they are made,” so Veja founded its roots on ethical footing, sourcing, and production.
The owners utilize rubber latex for the soles, and its organic cotton is pesticide-GMO-and-fertilizer-free. Veja’s production line is made in factories where working conditions and wages are given right. The founders work with Ateliers Sans Frontier, an organization that helps rehabilitate offenders, drug users, and the like. Moreover, the company’s French headquarters utilize cooperative green electricity. The owners see their work as a “project.” Veja refuses to build up stock. The company produces orders only for the next six months so that stocks do not accumulate and resources are not wasted.
4. Beyond Skin
Beyond Skin was founded by Natalie Dean and Heather Whittle in 2001 in the UK. It started with the vision to produce cute vegan shoes that do not harm humans, animals, or small children. The production began in a small factory in E17 but moved from one factory to another before landing in East London. The creations make use of satin, rubber resin, recycled resin, and recycled PET bottles. So beautiful are their shoes that Natalie Portman wore it to the Golden Globes, the Oscars, and in her movie V for Vendetta. Keeping true to its philosophy, the company has won awards like the Drapers, Grazia, RSPCA, and PETA Proggy; and have been featured in Vogue, Elle, and Grazia magazines.
5. Form and Fauna
Form and Fauna are handcrafted shoes that are made of biodegradable materials and non-noxious substances that showcase durability and style. It uses Italian synthetics. Its heels are made of bamboo and regenerative wood. The insoles are also made of recycled materials while the outer soles are either made of rubber latex or compressed fermented oaks. Moreover, the brand makes use of water-based glue. Such combination will definitely complete the vegan in you.