If you don’t know the fact that I love shoes, then you don’t know me very well. I love love love shoes, especially if they are vegan shoes!
Ever since going fully vegan, I think I’ve started to really enjoy being on the hunt for new cruelty-free brands and showing them to you on this blog. It has become such an entertaining thing to do, and I love how vegan clothing is almost like a challenge. But there is one thing I love more: finding the right pair of shoes that you were looking for, and finding it excludes all animal ingredients. Bingo!
1. Let’s talk about Bahatika
is an Austrian brand based in Vienna
, founded by the lovely Sheila I had the chance to speak to. As a true European (I’m from Spain, born and raised in Belgium and living in the UK), I really appreciate when fashion is made in Europe. And if they are brands making ethical and responsible clothing, they should be publicised all the more.
Bahatika means “Happiness” in Swahili, and this brand is committed to produce eco-friendly and cruelty-free shoes with respect for people, animals and the environment. They produce their stylish and contemporary shoes in small factories in the south of Spain (Olé!), and the vegan leather is actually made from the finest, genuine faux leather and only using natural materials.
PVC is not used to make these shoes. Instead, the upper is made of cotton with PU coating. This material is breathable, and durable. The linings are anti-bacterial, thanks to the use of micro-fibres, so these trainers are also robust and waterproof.
2. But why vegan leather?
As I have explained before, the use of leather is harmful to the planet, the workers and the animals. Systemic human rights abuses and significant risks to workers’ health and the environment are constantly present through harmful chemical and dyes. The main ecological problem of leather (as well as the ethical problem behind it) is the use of toxins in tanneries, of which chromium is the most dangerous. This highly toxic chemical is the result of the tanning process of raw hides conducted without proper regulations, and hence harming the environment and causing great impact on human health.
Finally, like I have said in a previous article, the meat and dairy industries are correlated. As you may know, male cows go straight to the slaughterhouse, while female ones are exploited for milk until they are no further profitable, and then sent to the slaughterhouse. Human consumption of meat is limited to certain parts of the calf. So their skin is directly sold to fashion powerhouses, who then turn it into leather goods that we’ve always seen: shoes, bags, jackets… etc etc. Sadly, every year, over one billion animals are killed just for the leather industry, and the saddest part is that cats and dogs are also used to create leather, which are always mislabelled on purpose and you don’t even know you’re wearing it.
That’s why I long decided to say bye-bye to leather, and hello to my new plant-based leather alternatives.
Upper Material: Pride
Produced: Out of Love
Sustainable For: Visionaries, Freeminders, Forward Proceeders, Mavericks
Because every step counts
I WAS WEARING:
ZARA FAUX LEATHER JACKET
OASIS TENCEL DENIM SHIRT
LABANTE DEMI BAG