Celebrities wear them. PETA endorses them. Only, what exactly are vegan shoes? Vegan means that zero animal-derived materials were used to make a product. Shoe materials like: fur, leather, silk, feathers, and wool are not used to make vegan shoes. If a shoe has a PETA-Approved Vegan logo on it, then the shoes’ inner components also don’t use any animal- derived products, which means even the shoe glue doesn’t contain casein, gelatin, or other animal parts.
Instead of using alligator skin, fox fur, leather, or silk, many vegan shoemakers use synthetic leather. Grand View Research Inc. reported in 2017 that the synthetic leather global market will reach $85.05 billion by 2025. Vegan shoes can also be made with cotton, hemp, cork, polyurethane (PU), natural rubber, microfibre, and other materials. With so many materials to choose from, shoe designers are making eco- friendly shoes that are cute and functional.
Many vegan shoe brand are socially conscious as well, like the brand Ahimsa. Ahimsa is an artisanal Brazilian company. All of Ahimsa’s shoes are made in their own workshop, so the company can make sure its workers are earning a living wage and treated fairly. And that company uses eco-friendly materials to make vibrantly colored shoes for women and boots for men.
Mainstream brands such as Target and Payless have vegan shoe options too. This means that everyday shoppers who may not have access to smaller artisanal brands, can now purchase eco-friendly, vegan shoes at mainstream stores.
Footwear sales are expected to rise. One reason for the growth in sales is that shoes are made with quality. For vegans, artificial leather has come a long way.
Artificial leather doesn’t fade or crack easily. It doesn’t require the upkeep that real leather does either. There are many different types of artificial leather.
Cork leather is made from the bark of cork oak trees. Leatherette is covered with polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It is also used in book binding and 20th Century camera casings.
In today’s world, it is more important than ever to be eco and socially conscious. We need to take care of the people, animals, and plants that make earth their home! Vegan shoes are taking a step in the right direction. When you buy vegan shoes, you know that people and animals were not mistreated in their construction. Just those reasons alone, might be a great reason for you to try on a pair of vegan shoes.