What are vegan shoes?
We have often heard about the vegan diet but never anything related to shoes.
Are you wondering what vegan shoes are? You are in the right place! In recent years, this trend has been growing more and more, but only now we can choose between many brands that adopt this vegan philosophy related to clothes/shoes.
Also, take a read at this Vegan Shoes: do you wear them? | Popular brand you can buy vegan shoes from, written by Kashish. Another wonderlful community member from Fashion Potluck.
Vegan shoes aren’t made of animal skin, wool, or any other animal parts.
Unfortunately, we don't realise how many millions of animals are killed to take parts of their bodies to make shoes. These brands attach great importance also to the quality/source of their raw materials, the conditions of their workers and the sustainability of the environment.
What are they made of?
The material of the shoes can be replaced with synthetic leathers made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), PU, and other poly-composite microfibers. You can also opt for vegan shoes made from recycled plastic or tires, canvas, cork, coconut waste, and pineapple.
Sustainable manufacturing generally means that sourcing materials and producing products doesn’t deplete or permanently damage any natural resources. Many view it as fulfilling current needs without impeding on the ability of future generations to fulfill their needs.
How do we recognise vegan shoes?
Some certifications, such as the PETA-Approved Vegan logo, guarantee that products are free from any animal-based materials and substances.
Commonly, leather products will have a tag, a label, or some form of indication that the product is made from animal skin. These labels make it easier for vegans to identify non-vegan materials and steer clear.
If you want to know more about the characteristics of a specific brand, it can also be useful to go to their websites and check their certifications and product philosophy.
To make sure your shoes are vegan, always check for one or more of these symbols:
Where to buy vegan shoes?
There are many brands that make vegan shoes and you can buy online from their stores or see if there is a shop in your town that carries that brand.
For me the best choice is to buy online because you have much more choice and you can compare different models of brands and look at all the features on their sites.
On this site (Avesu) for example you can compare many brands of shoes and other accessories that are only vegan and divided into categories.
To simplify the choice and give you some suggestions, I have chosen my 4 favourite brands of vegan trainers and hope you like them too.
I love this brand because is a perfect mix between design and social responsibility! There are many sneakers models to suit every style and colour. The trainer model is quite simple but still elegant and suits both a more classic and a sporty look.
Veja was founded in France in 2005, three years after Sébastien and François established a non-profit organization that studied corporate social responsibility policies issued by companies around the world.
The pair then bought rubber from rubber tappers in the Amazon, despite its price being higher than that of synthetic materials, and made use of ecological cotton that was grown in ways that could return nutrients to the soil, rather than causing damage to it due to the usage of chemicals.
To create its shoes, Veja also utilizes recycled plastic bottles by making a waterproof mesh for some of its sneaker models. The bottles are reportedly collected from the Brazilian streets of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
On their website you will find all the available sneakers models and the very interesting story behind their project.
The price of a Veja sneakers can be on average from 90 to 130 euros, which is more or less the same price as other commercial brands. But, you can make a difference by buying this product.
I have a couple of friends who have already bought shoes from this brand and they tell me that they are very comfortable and good quality.
You can shop Veja shoes here.
My favourite sneaker model of this brand is The SAYE Modelo ’89, a vintage sneaker model inspired by the 80s, available in six colours.
This model also fits any style and you can play with different colours.
This brand was founded in Barcelona, Spain in 2019. They managed to make this upcycled sneaker, made with 100% recycled and recyclable fibres from recovered plastics. Inspired by the Modelo ’89 collection, this is our commitment to the vegan path while we keep up with our main values, including becoming a zero-waste brand, fighting for fair production and working conditions, and continuing to fund the growth of thousands of trees in the most needed areas of the planet.
They have been planting two trees for each pair of sneakers sold since the beginning. So far, they’ve funded 76,434 trees: 30,326 trees in India, 43,878 in Zambia, 248 in the Amazon, and 1,982 in Australia.
Their Vegan Napa contains 35% recycled post-consumer fibres (RPET), made of discarded garments and different reintroduced PET articles. It is a Global Recycled Standard (GRS) product, manufactured in Spain. This vegan model still introduces as many organic and recycled materials as possible. They keep using organic cotton that doesn’t involve chemical fertilizers or damaging pesticides in its production process and recycled materials that otherwise would become a waste of the automotive industry. That’s why it’s not just a vegan sneaker.
The prices of these sneakers are from 130 to 165 euros.
You can shop Saye shoes here.
I like this brand because it has very simple trainers but also more particular and colourful models. My favourite is UX-68 Sand.
The brand was founded by Jorge and Tatiana, a young couple from Galicia (Spain). They founded Beflamboyant to make a positive impact in the world and contribute to shape a new fashion industry putting the environment, the animals and the people at the center of everything they do. The brand is cruelty free.
The sneakers are made in Portugal, and they only collaborate with trusted partners and suppliers from Spain and Portugal that respect their workers and care about the product.
The inner lining is also made of a very high quality microfiber. It is an ecological material which production is free of CO2 emissions.
Furthermore, it is Chromium VI free, a chemical component carcinogenic to skin contact and widely used in the footwear industry for leather tanning. The laces are made out of regenerated yarn and cotton. Phatalates – free (chemicals present in a huge part of clothing items and that can be harmful to skin).
Recycled sole made out of rice husks and thermoplastic rubber, 100% recyclable material that does not lose its properties.
The prices of these sneakers are from 100 to 130 euros.
You can shop Beflamboyant shoes here.