A few weeks ago I was attending a vegan festival in Portland, OR, where a few people came into my booth and asked me “are vegan shoes just made of plastic?”
I always try my best answer in the most transparent way as possible. So, I informed each of them with full transparency that yes, our vegan leather is made from petroleum.
Quick story: A woman once emailed me asking me if our vegan shoes were considered vegan. She argued that petroleum is essentially decomposed dinosaur carcasses that have decayed over millions of years. I’m no paleontologist, but I think we can all agree that this is going a little too far.
Before you start questioning if your dollars are supporting an anti-environmental business, let me ask you: what’s our alternative?
Of course, there are shoes made with fabric, cork and innovative textiles such as the pineapple based textile, pinatex.
But for leather-like shoes, this is still one of the best options we’ve got in 2019.
We just made sneakers made with cork, one of the most sustainable natural materials in existence.
A sample swatch of the pinatex, a pineapple based fiber.
Anyways, call me a horrible vegan, but I guess I just see this upsurge of vegan leather footwear in a much more optimistic way.
To me, the fact that comfortable, long-lasting and durable vegan shoes are an option for us is enough for me to support the idea.
It’s proof that we’re progressing in the right direction. And I will always celebrate progress.
Although I agree that vegan leather isn’t the end-all solution for vegan shoes, I prefer to celebrate the positive moral and environmental leaps that vegan leather has to offer.
Besides the obvious fact that a pair of vegan leather shoes didn’t require the sacrifice of an animal’s life, there's still an environmental advantage that vegan leather has over producing animal leather.
Did you know vegan leather leaves about 1/3rd of the impact to the environment compared to producing animal leather?
Whenever I attend a vegan festival, I feel compelled to share my philosophy with using microfiber PU as our vegan leather.
The whole idea is, if we’re going to use a material that’s made with petroleum, how can we make this last for several years?
In the same way people want to ban single-use plastics, we want to make sure our customers get a pair of vegan shoes that can last years.
For our loyal customers, they already know that we don’t skimp out on cheap vegan leather materials that are going to peel and flake away in a matter of months.
Our vegan leather is guaranteed not to crack or peel for over 10+ years.
On a final note, I’ve learned that there are levels of quality to vegan leathers. And for the people who have purchased vegan leather shoes or accessories that do end up cracking and peeling away, that’s not your fault. It just means the company didn’t invest in using the best vegan leather materials.
So do yourself, and the world, a favor and support the brands that only see the vegan lifestyle through high quality lenses.