To be vegan means to adapt a lifestyle that is devoid of any cruelty towards animals; our fellow beings that we share this wonderful planet with. It is not just about not consuming animal derived foods but also not supporting brands that are in some way or the other involved in processes and practices that abuse animals. And apart from animals being treated cruelly and unfairly when they are used for product testing of cosmetics and for medical experiments, animals are also abused in the fashion industry mainly to produce the much loved and sought after, LEATHER! Cows are bred and raised for the solitary purpose of using their skin to make leather thus hampering their natural growth patterns and lifestyle. In addition, factory farming leads to environmental damage due to climate change, air pollution and reduction of biodiversity.
When it comes to ethics and ethical living, there are no conditions applied and with the growing need for a sustainable existence, we have many brands in the market that believe in an ethical lifestyle with equality for all living things and to be kinder towards our planet which we have over the years come to abuse too.
These brands are not only vegan but also promote sustainability and fair trade practice because eventually we all have to be mindful of our existence and most importantly, be grateful. Giving back good is the way forward. All the brands listed below are also PETA approved and cruelty-free. Every brand has their own version of vegan leather made from different sustainable ingredients. Depending on the style and type of shoe, companies choose a material best suited for their brand.
Cruelty-Free Vegan Shoe Brands
- Bhava Studio
- Good Guys Don’t Wear Leather
- Kat Mendenhall
- Native Shoes
- Zouri Shoes
Ahimsa is a vegan shoe brand based out of Brazil. Ahimsa is a sanskrit word, meaning non-violence. For the brand it means a conscious awakening of mindfulness towards every living being. Ahimsa shoes are manufactured in their own shoe factory which makes it easier to minutely access the process and make sure their belief is not tampered with. Not every third party manufacturer will share the same sentiments as the brand; the reason why Ahimsa chose to build their own manufacturing unit. Their shoes are almost made entirely by hand and they use vegan leather made from PU (polyurethane).
Ahimsa shoes are made for both men and women and their product range includes boots, mules, loafers, heels, oxfords, slip-ons etc. They also provide free shipping worldwide and the information on the countries they ship to can be found on their website.
Biankina is a vegan brand from Europe and specializes in casual sneakers for women. The sneakers are designed in Barcelona and handmade by artisans in workshops across Europe. They do not mass produce, thereby maintaining fair labor practices and also minimize environmental impact by using organic, natural, peta-approved materials. They also do not use glue or harmful chemicals. The sneakers which are made of organic cotton are fixed onto the natural rubber sole using vulcanization which is simply using heat to join the two separate layers making it durable as well as flexible.
Another interesting fact about Biankina is that for every pair of sneakers sold, they plant two trees. These trees are planted mainly in Nepal, Madagascar and Haiti. This mission not only restores healthy forests but also helps support the local villagers.
Apart from different styles of casual sneakers, Biankina also sells women’s clothing which includes joggers, sweatshirts, tees and leggings. Biankina offers free shipping to the US.
3. Bhava Studio
Bhava studio is an American vegan footwear brand, based out of New York. They specialize in vegan and eco-friendly shoes for women and their product range include wedges, flats, sandals, boots and accessories like belts and a shoe-care line too. Bhava prides itself for being the brand for women on the go. Their shoes are fashion forward albeit providing day long comfort for its wearer.
Bhava Studio is available worldwide and charges $30 shipping and $15 to ship anywhere in the US. Their wide range of products prove that being eco-friendly and animal friendly does not mean having to compromise on style.
4. Good Guys Don’t Wear Leather
Good guys Don’t Wear Leather is a vegan shoe brand from France. They were the first shoe company in France to be 100% vegan. Good Guys manufacturers their products in Portugal abiding by fair labour practices. The uniqueness of their products is that they are trying to bring in a range of shoes that will be completely recyclable. Most of the time footwear cannot be recycled because of the different materials used in it and it contributes to the already overloaded waste components that cannot be fully recycled further burdening the ecosystem.
Good Guys also innovate every year coming up with new materials that make up their vegan leather. They have produced vegan leather from Polymers made by natural renewable sources and this year they have introduced leather made from apple skin. The material is made from the skin and core of the fruit recovered from food waste. This is an excellent example of sustainable manufacturing. They offer vegan shoes for men, women and kids and ship worldwide from France and offer free shipping across Europe on orders above €100.
Indosole is an Indonesian footwear brand with its headquarters in San Francisco and they design comfortable and durable footwear made by recycling tires. Yes! Tires are almost indestructible and the environmental dump constitutes 1 million tire waste per year which is hugely detrimental. Indosole has come up with the unique solution of upcycling this tire waste into ready to wear flip flops, sandals and shoes for men, women and kids. Indosoles are water-proof, all-terrain, made with sustainable materials and cruelty-free. Indosole ships for free in Indonesia and in the US for orders above $50.
6. Kat Mendenhall
Kat Mendenhall is a vegan brand from Texas and specialises in creating the famous Texas style cowboy leather boots, however, completely animal free and natural and yet as authentic and fashionable as one would love! They believe that animals need not suffer for fashion and comfort and they strive to bring the same fashion and comfort which people love into their vegan cowboy boots.
Kat Mendenhall offers cruelty-free cowboy boots and other non leather accessories like belts, jackets, hats and bandanas. You can also send them a design or customize your boots as per your liking. The boots are made from a patented microfiber material that mimics the leather grain look. It however is not a PVC product and is completely sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Mohop is an American vegan footwear brand with shoes designed specifically to provide orthopaedic support for women. They are a two member team and apart from shoes, they also design handbags, accessories and pet collars. All of their products are completely vegan, cruelty-free and ecologically sustainable. The fashion industry affects not only animals but also humans in the face of exploitation and unfair labour practices as well as the environment at large.
Mohop strives to not be a contributor to any of these pressing issues and create comfortable and delightful products that are mindful of animals, people and the environment.
Mohop uses vegan leather made from 100% nylon and the wood used in the clog shoes is sourced sustainably from the Midwest.
8. Native Shoes
Native shoes headquarters in Vancouver, Canada and is a vegan shoe brand available across Europe, US and also in India. The unique selling point of the brand are their lightweight shoes. They aim to create a lighter, healthier and happier world and although light, native shoes create a heavy impact on the environment with their eco-friendly innovations and materials. Native shoes have initiated the Remix Project, where every native shoe can be recycled because of the versatile material and used in creating seating, insulation, playground flooring etc. The brand is not only vegan and cruelty free but also has undertaken the mission to make sure their shoes end up useful even after it has served its purpose of being happy feet helpers.
Native Shoes have a range of products not only for men and women but also boys, girls and babies! This makes it a go to brand for the entire family. Native Shoes is also a PETA Business Friend; a partnership to support PETA’s groundbreaking work to stop animal abuse and suffering.
VEERAH is a luxury vegan shoe brand for women based out of New York. VEERAH is a Sanskrit word, meaning Warrior and the brand reflects that in its style and statement. The shoes are designed to let every woman feel and uplift the inner warrior that resides inside them. The brand proclaims that you can do good, look good and feel incredible.
VEERAH produces vegan leather from apple, renewed plastic and algae. These are repurposed materials that provide style and comfort. They also have a give it back project where a part of their revenue goes to social causes and providing scholarships to girls in developing countries in collaboration with She’s the First.
10. Zouri Shoes
Zouri is a eco-vegan shoe brand from Portugal. What sets it apart is that Zouri utilizes plastic trash collected from oceans along with other sustainable materials such as organic cotton, pineapple leaves fabric and natural rubber to manufacture its shoes. And in the process they have removed 1 Ton of plastic from Portuguese oceans. The feat in itself is commendable and so is the thought that led to the creation of the brand. They have their own factory in Guimares, Portugal and follow fair and ethical production. They have a range of sneakers and sandals for men and women, completely devoid of microfibers, leathers and synthetics. They ship for free to the UK and Germany for orders above €400.