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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 chunky soled clod-hoppers!
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!
The UK based brand combines two British passions–animals and fashion–under one roof. Creating shoes and boots for both men and women, there is a range of styles here, from work boots and sneakers to Chelsea boots and vegan ‘Uggs‘. Wills Vegan Shoes are both human and animal friendly, as they are cruelty-free and are crafted by fairly waged EU artisans. We’re not sure how eco-friendly their microfibre materials are, though….
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.
All images: Stella McCartney
3. Beyond Skin
This well-loved British brand may be one of the most stylish vegan shoe brands out there, but it’s also one of the least transparent–we are not sure what the shoes are made of, as their site only tells us materials are ‘breathable vegan leather‘. 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 until we have solid evidence that Beyond Skin is using such harmful materials, we will include them in our must-have list of brands.
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 microfibres and cork to imitate leather. Creating both women and men’s shoes and boots, the brand cites their motorcycle kickers and casual Oxfords as best sellers.
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