By Chere Di Boscio
Sigh. It’s always a bit sad when the open-toed sandals and shoes get put away for another season. Goodbye, strappy sandals. Hasta la vista, gladiators. But a big, roaring hello to knee high boots, Oxford loafers and sweet ankle boots!
For those of you who prefer your footwear cruelty-free, we’ve chosen five brands that have created the most fantastic footwear for fall’s fashions. Get ready to kick up some leaves in some seriously cool kickers!
1. Love Sofie
The Swedish brand is one of the sexiest vegan shoe brands around. The Nice ankle boot in particular is a best seller, due to its high arch, stiletto heel and shiny black plant ‘leather’. But if heels aren’t your thing, we also love the Coco flats; their tiny studs are slightly reminiscent of the now classic Valentino Rockstud shoes – except more ethically made, of course.
Price: From around $200
If tastemaker Stella McCartney says thick soled brothel-creepers and faux python print sneakers are in, you’d better bet every fashionista from here to Tokyo will be making a beeline to buy them.
Ever since she introduced her purposely ugly, thick white soled mock-croc courts last season, we’ve seen soles get thicker and denser, and fashion lovers getting taller and happier, as these shoes are far less wearying on the back and foot than painfully chic stilettos could ever be.
While Stella’s animal friendly shoes aren’t so planet friendly due to their Polyurethane/Polyester blend, at least
the wood used in her always-vegan shoes comes from a certified sustainable source.
Price: From around $600
3. Bhava Studio
Looking for design-led footwear made from vegan leather? Look no further from Bhava! For those just as concerned about the environment as they are animal welfare, beware that many vegan leathers are deathly bad for human health–we’re talking plastics and PVCs here–but Bhava assures their customers that no toxic materials are incorporated into their cutting edge shoes or boots.
With an emphasis on ethical craftsmanship, the brand works closely with artisans to create products that appeal to its highly discerning customers around the world. The founder of the label, Francisca, is a graduate from Parsons School of Design, and is fully committed to ethical and environmentally conscious design – she even taught Ethical Fashion and Sustainable Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.
Price: From around $279
4. Sydney Brown
Sydney Brown is a luxury footwear label that offers both dynamic design and ethical and sustainable production. The American-born designer founded her eponymous label on a strong conviction that luxury could be produced in an environmentally friendly way.
Taking a holistic approach to design, Brown’s designs are hand made by artisans in her Los Angeles studio. Not only are these shoes vegan, they’re eco-friendly too, as they use sustainable materials such as coconut insoles, recycled and sustainable uppers, and reclaimed wooden soles, all aiming to create every pair of shoes with a ‘cradle to cradle’ life cycle.
This Portuguese brand, whose name stands for ‘no animal exploitation’, uses microfibre, Pinatex, cork, recycled air bags and plastic bottles to imitate leather. Creating both women and men’s shoes and boots, the brand co-designed the gorgeous Chere boots, below, with our editor! But if ‘tomboy’ is more your vibe, you may like the Trina boots – quite similar to what Miley Cyrus (a vegan, I should mention!) wore in her ‘Wrecking Ball’ video.
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