We all love shoes. But how many of us make sure our shoes are vegan and cruelty-free and promote sustainable fashion? Global climate and environmental changes have made sustainable living an urgent need. If we can strive to create a sustainable life and future, why can’t our shoes also contribute to our goal? In this article, we dive into the world of vegan shoes.
Now you can wear vegan shoes that use faux leather while still having the feeling of faux leather shoes or are handcrafted using different vegan products without losing their eccentricity. In this article, we introduce you to female entrepreneurs who design vegan shoes and contribute to the effort of creating a sustainable lifestyle.
Senso vegetarian shoes
Senso is a cruelty-free footwear brand. Founded in 2012 by Ritual who describes herself as “shoe-o-holic” and vegetarian. Senso was created with the aim of propagating animal-friendly fashion. Ritu never thought her obsession with shoes would lead her to her own shoe brand. And making her vegan was in tandem with her vegetarian lifestyle. “Just as a non-vegetarian doesn’t realize that the meat on their plate is actually an animal, I didn’t know the fancy shoes I was wearing were made from the skin of a dead animal! It bothered me deeply… Could I consider myself a vegetarian if I wore leather? Ritu said. Then she gave life to Senso (a word inspired by the idea of sensitivity to animals) to create shoes that are both vegan and trendy, fashionable and comfortable. In collaboration with his brother Neelesh, the shoe brand of Ritu offers shoes in an alternative to leather, polyurethane. Senso Vegetarian has set up two offline stores in Mumbai in addition to their online presence. The brand is a 100% animal-free organization approved by PETA.
Discover the brand here.
2. The Cai store
Aradhana Minavala always wanted to do something creative and environmentally friendly. This is how the CAI shoe brand, approved by PETA, was born in 2015. She teamed up with her husband. Dhanraj Minavala develop a shoe store that sells vegan shoes handcrafted by dedicated artisans in the factory. The shoes of this brand are strictly against the use of leather and always manage to create trendy, aesthetic, comfortable and vibrant shoes. The brand sells women’s shoes of different designs and styles. He also personalizes the shoes according to the needs and tastes of the customer. Aradhana Minavala is in charge of administration and marketing at CAI while Dhanraj is in charge of business development and manufacturing.
Discover the brand here
3. PAIO shoes
By doodling during the lectures, an advertising student realized her passion to design and create the most dynamic and comfortable shoes for women. She was Shweta Nimkar, the founder of PAIO which is a women’s shoe brand selling quirky yet comfortable shoes for women. Founded in 2016, PAIO’s specialty is allowing customers to play with styles and colors and design their own shoes online.
In addition, PAIO’s shoes are made from vegan products. As Nimkar said ShePeople, “We launched PAIO with the intention to bring cruelty-free fashion to the masses. Four years later I’m so proud to see what we have accomplished and we are just starting to build a a solid company around our core values. In addition, the brand is approved by PETA. Shwetha Nimkar won the SheThePeople Digital Women Award 2020 in the E-Commerce category.
Discover the brand here.
4. World walk
Pooja bohra converted his passion for footwear into an attempt to promote cruelty-free and sustainable fashion. While working in the fashion industry, Bohra made field trips to tanneries and factories where she witnessed the use of hides from dead animals to produce the leather for shoes. It hit her hard and made her realize how much fast fashion has an impact on the environment. This understanding drove her to develop Marche World, a universe where only vegan and handmade shoes are hung. The shoes of this brand are produced according to procedures in factories across India. Its main factory is located in Mumbai where the final product is prepared for sale. Therefore, it also employs many artisans who strive to make the shoes fashionable and comfortable. The brand’s vision is to create India’s first sustainable leather shoes, promote the vegan fashion industry and raise awareness against animal cruelty.
You can consult the brand here.
5. Needle dust
Shirin Mann Snagha is the founder of the jutti selling brand NeedleDust, which has now grown to include mules, alternative shoes similar to juttis, in their products. The mules are 100% handcrafted and vegan. The story behind creating NeedleDust begins at her wedding when her search for the right pair of shoes to complete her bridal look brought her closer to Punjabi tradition and Jutti artisans. Since then, she has made a point of reviving the culture of jutti in modern fashion and saving it from its extinction. For his work, Sangha won the SheThePeople Digital Women Award 2020.
In conversation with SheThePeople, Sangha said, “The strangest idea comes when you find the gap in the market. The Juttis have been part of our culture for centuries. This is not something new… But some products have stigmas. And the juttis have that too. That they were mundane, that they were boring, that they weren’t cool for the fashion world. I wanted to change that. Originally from Chandigarh, Sangha previously worked as a criminal reporter for a Delhi-based investigative newspaper.
6. It’s a shoe business
It’s A Shoe Thing is a local shoe retailer founded by Pooja Kothari Mehta. The brand has received the approval of PETA and develops vegan, trendy and comfortable shoes. The brand sells women’s shoes in different styles and patterns. The shoes are handmade to ensure the cruelty-free production and durability of the product. The shoes of this brand are regularly seen at exhibitions at SoBo.
Discover the brand here.