By Diane Small
NAE stands for something, literally and figuratively: the name of this eco-friendly vegan brand is an acronym for No Animal Exploitation, and indeed, animal welfare and protection is something they take seriously.
In their home country, Portugal, there is a significant shoe producing industry, and given the currently depressed state of the Portuguese economy, NAE founders Paula and Alejandro wanted to give fair paid employment to their countrymen. But the duo also felt strongly that there should be a vegan friendly, ethical alternative to Portugal’s conventional leather industry, and so they created a vegan shoe company of their own.
But not only is the brand vegan–NAE Shoes also ensures that all materials they use are also kind to the environment. Cork, biodegradable microfibre, recycled tires, organic cotton and linen, coconut fibre, pineapple fibre and 100% natural rubber are all used in their designs to bring stylish, durable comfort to each wearer.
The shoes are locally manufactured in Portugal by dressmakers, embroiderers and other specialised workers, in small artisanal studios. The brand makes a wide variety of styles for both men and women, from trainers to knee high boots, but we especially love the embroidered Saka motorcycle boots, which are not only hugely on trend this autumn, they are also a rock ‘n’ roll classic. The embroidered cork platform heels are also a perennial summer favourite, and were shown by Charlotte Olympia and Louboutin in last summer’s collections. See? It seems even mainstream brands are now promoting the idea of No Animal Exploitation!