Are your shoes vegan?
I’ve said it before and I’d say it again, becoming vegan now is hundred times easier than it was decades ago when it was considered an out-of-this-world ethos. From food to everyday consumables, anything can be veganized at this day and age (read how to shop vegan at Sephora). And even if you’re not entirely vegan, I am more than certain that you own or previously owned vegan and/or accidentally vegan items at any point in your life (read how to veganize your wardrobe). Today I’d like to share helpful tips on buying vegan shoes, or how to spot one if you’re out and about shopping!
Vegan-shopping online is fun! If I haven’t told you yet, I browse this app called Hautelook during my lunchbreak or when I’m killing time. So I go straight to Nordstrom Rack, type in vegan or faux leather, filter by size and browse. Most of the shoes I have featured in this video (watch my vegan shoe collection) are all Hautelook finds! They are affordable with decent quality to boot!
Remember these images when buying in-stores. Most often than not, you will see “made with synthetic or manmade materials” written inside or outside your shoes or in the box they came with. But sometimes, you will also see these images either printed on the sole or sticker of your brand new pair of shoes. I know, who would’ve thought they actually meant something? If you spot crisscross (textile) or diamond patterns, they are vegan for sure.
Shop from brands that only sell vegan shoes. Browse their online catalog and understand their philosophy and back story. Because their shoes are not mass-produced, expect the cost to be a little bit pricey. I have not taken the plunge yet but I am excited for Kat Von D shoe line and I’m saving up for Rafa and Will’s Vegan Shoes. Follow brands or #veganshoes on Instagram, that’s how I discover new and upcoming styles and brands. I’d be quick to warn you that some vegan brands need to up their game because some of their styles are too dated for my taste.
But the good news is, the future of vegan leather is looking bright and promising as companies are looking for more sustainable, cruelty-free and environmentally-safe materials. While Gucci, Michael Kors, and Versace have not abandoned leather yet, they have officially ditched fur in their collections. Stella McCartney is the forerunner in the luxury category (her line is vegetarian and she’s working on creating vegan silk). I think she’s done a great job advocating cruelty-free luxury fashion! Unknown to many, billions of animals are mass-slaughtered each year just for leather, locked up in despicable conditions and skinned alive. People who work and live close to tannery areas are also exposed to health hazards. Before I became vegan (read my journey), I thought that leather was a leftover but I was wrong so I educated myself by reading, researching and watching documentaries. (Cowspiracy, Earthlings, Vegucated are just some top-of-mind). If you know me, I was once a luxury brand patron because I equated every single item I owned then with quality. But quality does not have to bleed. An innocent life sacrificed in the name of luxury or brand name is unfathomable hence this lifestyle I chose and advocate.
But is vegan leather any good? I wrote a separate post about it and while this topic remains heated and debatable, it really is up to your personal conviction. I can only share facts but at the end of the day, it is your choice, it is your life.
Are there other ways you can do right now even if you’re not vegan? try your best not to contribute to landfill or minimize your carbon footprint. Shop second-hand, donate or sell items you don’t use or wear anymore, or even recycle and upcycle.
Where I shop vegan
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