Eco Friendly Shoe SOURCE.











The days are longer, sunnier, and warmer. Summer is finally here!

Stella McCartney’s Spring/Summer shoe collection whimsically uses organic materials such as canvass, raffia, linen, wood, and rubber soles.   Stelly shows her vegan flirty side with adorable cherry appliques on flats and sandals.  The hot Sailboat shoe is a patriotic red & blue eco wooden wedge heel that’s perfect for an Independence Day celebration.   This eco collection has something for every summer day, flats, wedges, platforms, thongs, espadrilles and is, of course vegan friendly.

Please check out this great video of Stella McCartney’s 2009 Spring/Summer collection by shoebunny.com Her Eco friendly collection is as refreshing as glass of cold lemonade.

Enjoy!

~Ar



{June 15, 2009}   Who’s Your Eco Daddy?

It came as no surprise to me to learn that Father’s Day was initiated by a “Smart” woman. In 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd came up with the idea for Father’s Day while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon. Her father was born in June, so she chose to hold the first Father’s Day a year later on June, 19th. In 1972, President Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father’s Day to occur on the third Sunday in June.

Ryan_H137236Blk1-Men's

I learned how to shop for shoes from my mother, but I learned how to take care of shoes from my father.  And for me, it has proved to be an invaluable lesson.  I have shoes that I have owned for years, that look like I just purchased them.  There’s a perception that Father’s Day tends not to have the fanfare that Mother’s Day has.  What better way for an eco-fashionista to dispel this by carefully selecting a great pair of eco friendly shoes for Dad!  I thought it would be fun to see what type of eco friendly shoes were out there for men.  As was the case when I started the my chase for high fashion eco friendly shoes for women, it was a challenge to find high quality classically styled eco shoes for men. Nevertheless, I found several great shoe sites to recommend.

Timberland is synonymous with deftly designed long-lasting shoes.    Timberland is also an excellent example of an Environmental Steward.  Timberland has made strides to eliminate PVC, launched a multi-brand environmental audit for tanneries as a basis for evaluating their environmental performance, and has committed to increase their organic consumption to a minimum of 10% by 2010.

Timberland Earthkeepers Burnished Nubuck

Timberland Earthkeepers Burnished Nubuck

The Earth Keepers shoe line was launched as a way to improve the way they operate by cutting back on emissions, using renewable energy and using more organic and recycled materials.  These Nubuck Loafers feature  Timberland’s trademark durability, along with moisture-wicking linings made from recycled materials, siped outsoles made with recycled rubber.  Dad should appreciate the all-day comfort.

My search for men’s shoes styled for work or special occasions led me to the Vegan Collection.  This LA based company specializes in vegan shoes and accessories for men. Continuing the theme of stewardship, The Vegan Collection donates 24% of all profits to animal rights organizations chosen by it customers and 1% to retiring greenhouse emission offsets. Once again, leave it to eco-oriented companies to walk the talk when it comes to social responsibility.

I found several attractive men’s shoes on the Vegan Chic site. I love their slogan “You don’t have to wear somebody else’s skin to be in style!” That says it all. Also in LA, this PETA Business Friend offers International shipping and free shipping on shoe orders over $75.

For an out of this world selection of eco and vegan friendly shoes, visit Planet Shoes.  Planet Shoes site is jammed packed with shoes for every imaginable style of eco and vegan friendly shoes for the whole family. For men, they carry athletic, casual and dress shoes. While your there, you can pick a pair of shoes for yourself to complement his.  As an added convenience for shoppers, customer care can be accessed on the site through live chat, email or by phone. Most US customer can enjoy free shipping and returns for shoe orders over $49. Planet Shoes also offers special reduced shipping rates for Canadian customers.

These are just a few sites to get you started shopping for dad.  I am so pleased to find the variety available for men.  It would be nice to see the eco and vegan friendly shoes grow in tandem with women’s shoes.

100 years later, we still celebrate Father’s Day in the US because a daughter just wanted to honor her provider and protector. This Father’s Day, for those of you who can, show your love for the men in your life who protect and love you by helping them get in touch with their earthy side with a gift from the earth–eco shoes.

~Ar



Thongs by some accounts can be considered the oldest form of footwear. Egyptian Hieroglyphics dating 15000 BCE depict images of footwear that closely resemble the modern day flip flop. The laborious construction of ancient footwear were of organic harvested materials like, wood, leaves, plants, grass, tree bark and coconut skin. Egyptians appear to be the first to employ vegetable tanning techniques and spun flax for thread to hold the shoes together. The Egyptians, also famous for their fondness of jewelry, would adorn their thongs with beads, metals, gold and precious stones. For those of you like me wondering, the name “flip flop” derived from the sound the shoe makes when walking. Flip Flops are universal footwear and concepts of the original design appear in ancient Rome, India, Asia South Africa and other countries. Other names for flip flops include Thongs, Jandals, and Chappal.

Ancient Egyptian Sandal-15000 BCE

Ancient Egyptian Sandal 15000 BCE

Flip flops are the simplest of all shoe designs; featuring just two components, a simple sole and strap (thong) that holds the front of the foot to the shoe. What I found most interesting about these ancient shoes is that they were typically worn by men of means. Thankfully for us fashionistas, Flip flops have come a long way in that regard.

Terra Plana Dopie White-Eco

Terra Plana Dopie White-Eco Summer 2009

Flip flops evoke a carefree, relax mode. For me, other than a great pair of 4 inch heels, I live in flip flops. Thongs serve a great purpose for me; I can still look cute sporting a FABU pedi, when running to the market or just taking a stroll. Flip Flops are great alternative to sneakers.

Flip flops have crossed the threshold from just beachwear to everyday footwear. As workplaces are adopting more relaxed dress codes, it is not uncommon to see flip flops in the office. Many probably remember when some in the public went aghast as Northwestern’s Women’s Champion Lacrosse team showed up at the White House for a photo opt donning Flip Flops. Now it is not so uncommon to see thongs wearers, at casual and red carpet events. Mainstream shoe designers have channeled the Egyptians and are adorning thongs with sequins, metallic, swarovski crystals, gemstones, diamonds, and offering them in varying heel heights. Eco footwear designers seem to be inspired by the ancient origins of thongs by their use of the similar organic materials. Once again, because of its simple design, styling options for flips flops are unlimited.

These delicious Mink Shoes Thongs and are vegan. Mink never disappoints with their play on animal names for their shoes. These are called Lemur. I love the delicate petal applique that frames the sides of the foot. Perfect for that flowing sundress and matched with a flower in your hair.

Pink Lemur-Vegan

Pink Lemur-Vegan

Hip hop-eco flip-flops with a little BLING! Melissa Shoes, brings it with their patented Melflex plastic technology. There’s no sin in these thongs that are made of recycled plastic and has a delightful fruity smell added during manufacturing. The Sin+J Maskrey shoe is dazzling with the crystals on the T. This flashy eco flat is ideal for petite gals looking to elongate their legs and pairs nicely with a short jumpsuit.

Melissa Shoes Sin+J Maskrey

Melissa Plastic Dreams Shoes Sin+J Maskrey

Go for a bold look with Olsen Haus eco friendly thongs aptly named Goliath. These gladiator thongs are strong and solid with an adjustable buckle. Olsen Haus doesn’t overdo it; they’ve kept this black and tan sandal simple. This thong has a great profile from the side and the top. For a knockout look, this shoe can be coordinated with classic linen.

Olsen Haus Goliath Thongs-Vegan

Olsen Haus Goliath Thongs-Vegan

I’ve come across some very impressive eco shoe companies. Pikolinos is certainly ranks among the most impressive. They are located in Spain. Their 2009 Summer Orinoco collection was awarded the EU Eco-label. The EU Eco Label certifies that strict environmental standards are adhered to during manufacturing. It doesn’t stop there. Pikolinos, committed to reducing it’s carbon footprint has a “zero paper” policy and waste generated within the company is recycled. And on a social responsibility front Pikolinos collaborates with several social, cultural, sport and development projects. Endeavors include UNICEF; our Mundy Organization in Ancash, Peru; the Aderbissinat Community project in Tadibene, Nigeria; AMAMEC (Woman Breast Cancer Affected Association) in Elche, Spain; and, investigation projects in Elche Hospital in Spain. You can’t help but feel good with a purchase of Pikolinos.

Pikolinos Lima Summer 2009-Semi Vegan

Pikolinos Lima Summer 2009-Semi Vegan

Hopefully, I’ve provided a good start for you to consider as shop for your Summer footwear. Why not add a couple eco pair? So whether you’re off to the beach, market, dinner or special event walk like a modern Egyptian eco style.

~Ar



I’ve been conducting a poll over the last couple weeks asking people how they plan to commemorate Mother’s Day.  Responders include people with large families with several siblings, only children, people whose mothers’ live a distance and some whose mothers are deceased. The common thread among these individuals is that their Mother’s played a very significant role in the shaping of their lives.   They view Mother’s Day as an special opportunity to give back to their Mom’s.  For me, on Mother’s day, I too reflect on my own unique experiences with my Mother and mother figures who played and continue to play significant roles  in shaping me into the woman I am.Little Girl ShoesMy mother and these other women are strong, spiritual and sassy.  My mother unwittingly, helped mold me into the earth loving shoe diva that I am.  As a young girl, with narrow feet, it was a challenge for her to find shoes that fit me.  We shopped at specialty shoe stores that were beautifully laid out with a variety lovely shoes.  I have very vivid memories of Saturday “shoe outings” to specialty shoe stores to find the perfect shoe with the perfect fit. I recall feeling special.   My delight was barely containable when the salesperson brought boxes of shoes for me to try on.  I felt as if  I was being catered to as the shoes I carefully slipped my foot into shoes.  It was such a glorious experience!

In this post, I’ve sourced shoe eco friendly shoes that pay special homage to Mother Earth in their sustainability, use of recycled materials, and custom-oriented designs.  These shoes are as fresh as a Mother’s Day bouquet.

The Hetty Rose shoe experience likens to my childhood. What I feel is special about Hetty Rose is the client participates in choosing the style and fabric for their hand made shoes. Hetty Rose, located in the UK is eco because all shoes are not only made of recycled fabrics, but exquisite vintage Japanese kimono fabrics. What better gift for Mom than a pair of shoes made specifically to fit her? You can create your own special shoe memory with Hetty Rose shoe. I encourage you to visit the site; while there you can view a short film on the making of their shoes. It’s a fascinating process. http://www.hettyrose.co.uk/

Handmade Shoes by Hetty Rose

Handmade Shoes by Hetty Rose

Another company known for its luxurious custom vegan shoes is Mink. I’ve features some Mink shoes before. Mink is known for their vegan friendly high fashion shoes and creative use of eco friendly materials such as cork, denim, linen, faux fur, as well as animal friendly substitutes. Being in Beverly Hills, I’m sure is a constant source of inspiration for shoe designer, Rebecca Brough. I love the witty names chosen for their styles, like Orangutan. This Oranguntan shoe is from the Resort Collection. Mink shoes are extremely unique and are offered in a very limited production.

Mink Orangutan Wedge Custom Shoe from Resort Collection

Mink Orangutan Wedge Custom Shoe from Resort Collection

Anther shoe design house that aptly represents mother earth is Terra Plana. In keeping with the individuality, these Melito pumps are made from recycled Pakistani quilts. Again in keeping with the theme, each pair in this style family is unique.

Terra Plana Melito Pump-Recycled Quilt

Terra Plana Melito Pump-Recycled Quilt

Happy Mother’s Day to all who are Mother’s, Mother Figures and love Mother Earth!

~Ar



When I learned that  reality TV fashionista, Kim Kardashian, had co-founded  ShoeDazzle, The World’s Premier Shoe Society, I was immediately intrigued by the concept.  Kim is an experienced stylist and retailer. She has styled many celebrities and co-owns D-A-S-H with her sisters.  ShoeDazzle would be launched with all the shoes priced at $39 including shipping.  Each month, society members’ personal ShoeDazzle stylists would recommend  five styles.  Members would then pick 1 pair to be delivered.  A revolutionary way to shop for shoes online indeed.

The Process

Of course being all about shoes, I had to check ShoeDazzle out for myself.  I contacted ShoeDazzle Customer Service and inquired as to the origin of the shoes and wanted to find out if they were eco.  I first received an auto reply and then an actual person replied to me within 24 hours.  The response was “all of the shoes constructed with man-made materials and therefore vegan.”  Mystery solved, sign me up!

Enrolling is easy. I answered 21 simple questions with photographs of runway fashions, shoes, fashion brands, and celebrities; demographic info such as, age, sizes and color preferences.  The survey is meant to give the stylists an idea of my individual fashion tastes.  I then registered my email and credit information. I would only be charged after I placed my first shoe order.  A day later, ShoeDazzle sent me an email notification that my stylists had made five great shoe selections for me to review in my “personal showroom”.  Talk about appealing to a fashionista-ego.   Once I logged in to ShoeDazzle, as promised, their were 5 glorious pairs of shoes.  I must admit, it was slightly difficult for me to pick just one pair; my stylists recommendations for me were spot on.  If I were visiting a shoe store, I would have definitely targeted in on the shoes they selected.  The styles ranged from flats, pumps and stilettos.  I vacillated several times before settling on the Michael Antonio Sandals.  Mainly because they were black and the most versatile of the shoe selections.  Coincidentally, they were selected by Kim.  I received confirmation emails when my order was, placed and then shipped.   ShoeDazzle uses FedEx and I was able to track my shoes delivery process with automated emails.

Delicious ShoeDazzle Box

Delicious ShoeDazzle Box

My heart started racing after I got the call from the concierge in my building that my FedEx package had been delivered.  The ShoeDazzle box has a delicious pink top with a lavender and pink floral design on the bottom.  The lid remains affixed to the box making the reveal of the shoes all the more dramatic.  Once opened, neatly placed inside the box was a Pashmina scarf.  What a pleasant surprise!  The scarf was my gift for being a first-time customer. Also included was a pretty pink shoe bag for my new darlings.  Great for traveling.  ShoeDazzle included a welcome letter, packing slip and return label.  Shoes can be returned or exchanged within 30 days of delivery.   There is a $5.95 return shipping fee…blah, blah, blah.

My Michael Antonio ShoeDazzle Shoes

My ShoeDazzle Shoes


The Shoes

I carefully separated the lavender tissue paper to uncover my gorgeous new Michael Antonio Black sandals.  The embossed faux leather textured shoes have a .75″ platform base with a 4″ stiletto heel.  Because I have a narrow foot, there is a little space between between the top upper thick strap designed to caress the foot.  I plan to  fix that with Dr. Scholls or SummerSoles insoles, which are great for the heat of Summer.  (In case you’re wondering, I’ve searched for eco insoles, but haven’t found any appropriate for sandals)  Because the shoes are vegan and not leather, there won’t be the issue of the shoes stretching.  I’m in love with the silhouette of this sandal.  Michael Antonio knows how to design a shoe for women’s legs and feet.  I put my new shoes to the test by walking around on hardwood, ceramic tile, and carpet.  I even slept in them.  Insane I know. :-)  These vegan shoes were made for strutting not sleeping, but the fact that I didn’t kick them off during the night says a lot.

Cons:  The insole is “lightly” padded.

Pro: Solid construction, sexy, goes with any look.

ShoeDazzle

ShoeDazzle

The shopping experience with ShoeDazzle is secure and the company is a member of the Better Business Bureau.  Customer Service was responsive and friendly  I can’t wait until my closet is full of more cute ShoeDazzle boxes.  All shoe lovers should get ShoeDazzled!  To get started, visit http.www.shoedazzle.com. I’d love to compare stylists selections with you.

~Ar



As we celebrate Earth Month 2009, if you are in the Atlanta area, I encourage you to visit the Third Annual Eco Trunk Show. Laura Turner Seydel has once again put together Atlanta’s premier eco shopping event. This one-day event brings together some of Atlanta’s most committed and best eco friendly designers, artisans, and shop keepers to display the latest in sustainable jewelry, clothing, beauty products, home décor and accessories.

The Trunk Show is today, April 16, 2009, 10 am – 6 pm and will be held at Eco Manor, 348 Manor Ridge Road, Atlanta, GA 30305. Contact Amanda Leesburg, amanda@leesburgpr.com for additional information.

Over 15 vendors including Alejandra Dunphy Textiles, Bamboo Studio, Bella Bee Designs, Indie Peace, Pizza Fusion, Sally B’s Skin Yummies, Verde Paperie, and Zoica Matie will be offering outstanding deals.

Be sure to take plenty of eco shopping bags and load up! See you there. :-)

~Ar



{April 14, 2009}   I’m Shoe Dazzled!

Well vegan shoe lovers, I have just opened my first shipment from ShoeDazzle. Kim Kardashian, Chief Fashion Stylist and Co-Founder of ShoeDazzle selected the sexy Michael Antonio, Artemisa vegan stiletto sandal for me. I love them! I’ve been wearing them since I finished taking the pictures for you (please excuse the quality, I used my iPhone).

1st ShoeDazzle Society Shipment-March 2009

1st ShoeDazzle Society Shipment-March 2009

Based on my initial experience with ShoeDazzle I’m pleased and will continue my membership in the ShoeDazzle Society–only $39! I will share more about my experience with the company in my next post. I just had to give you a taste for now. In the meantime, you can find out how the ShoeDazzle’s Shoe Society works by visiting www.shoedazzle.com

Lovely ShoeDazzle Box

Lovely ShoeDazzle Box

~Ar



Payless ShoeSource announce plans to launch the first-ever affordable green footwear line due in stores early next year and that it has signed an agreement with Summer Rayne Oakes, Discovery Network’s Planet Green fashion and beauty expert and author of Style, Naturally: The Savvy Shopping Guide to Sustainable Fashion & Beauty (Chronicle Books, February 2009), to serve as the green footwear brand’s Eco Consultant.

Payless ShoeSource Zoe & Zac

Payless ShoeSource Zoe & Zac

Payless ShoeSource also announced the immediate availability of its new Zoe & Zac brand, which offers “fresh green fashion”(TM) with a full collection of shoes, handbags, jewelry and socks for under $30 an item — making it the first-ever affordable line of green footwear and accessories.  The Zoe & Zac products are green because they are made from eco-friendly components and materials such as organic cottons and linen, natural hemp, recycled rubber outsoles, eco-friendly-EVA cushioning, and water-based glues for the shoes. Natural materials like dyed Tagua and Acai nuts are incorporated into the jewelry. The product packaging is eco-smart as well, utilizing 100 percent recycled shoe boxes and soy-based inks for the printing.

About Summer Rayne Oakes

Summer Rayne Oakes is a model-activist and spokesperson, resident expert, and youngest board of advisors for Planet Green, Discovery Network’s new eco- lifestyle channel. The Cornell University graduate and environmental scholar has received media accolades including Vanity Fair naming her a Global Citizen, Outside naming her one of the Top Environmental Activists, Cosmopolitan naming her Fun, Fearless Female of 2007, and CNN’s Nicole Lapin nominating her as a “Young Person Who Rocks.” Through her work as a consultant Summer Rayne advises companies and organizations, and works on sustainable development and environmental programs in the U.S. and abroad. In February 2009, she’ll release her first book, Style, Naturally: The Savvy Shopping Guide to Sustainable Fashion & Beauty published by Chronicle Books.

SOURCE Payless ShoeSource, Inc.

This is a big step for Payless ShoeSource, a moderate price shoe retailer, joining the eco fashion footwear market. High end retailers have paved the way by offering successful fashionable lines for several years.  Payless’ announced eco collaborations will certainly make purchasing eco friendly shoes more widely accessible, which is ultimately a benefit for eco conscious consumers and the environment regardless of the price point.

~Ar



Okay, this post has nothing to do with eco friendly shoes, but everything to do with promoting a cause important to furthering eco awareness. PETA is an organization that is synonymous with protecting animals.  Albeit from time to time PETA has no problem raising a few eyebrows in the process. Well, they’ve really caught my attention this time. PETA has named Amber and Monty the Sexiest Vegetarians Next Door 2009.  Both are very deserving of the title, not just because they are beautiful people, but because they epitomize the commitment to an enviro-friendly lifestyle that we all can strive for.

PETA Sexiest Vegetarian Next Door 2009 Amber

PETA Sexiest Vegetarian Next Door 2009 Amber

PETA Sexiest Vegetarian Next Door 2009 Monty

PETA Sexiest Vegetarian Next Door 2009 Monty


Find out more about them by visiting www.peta.org
~Ar



Mika Brzezinski, Co-Host of MSNBC “Morning Joe” shared with audiences her favorite (and ours) accessory, shoes. I especially loved the ooooooh so eco friendly red and white cork heel pumps. Here’s the slide show.

~Ar



et cetera
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