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



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



I am often asked, “What is Eco-Friendly,” “What are Vegan Shoes,” “What makes green shoes “green”?”  I’ve sourced it to 5 Things that make Eco Friendly Shoes:  Materials, Manufacturing, Social Responsibility, Design and Consciousness.

1. Materials

Eco friendly shoes differ greatly in content. Vegan shoes are animal-free, meaning all materials used contain no animal byproducts. Most vegan shoes have a synthetic microfiber which looks like leather. Cruelty-free uses animal byproducts such as wool, alpaca and cashmere that are harvested in a human manner. Eco Friendly designers use materials from organic plants, like bamboo, hemp, cork, organic cotton, silk, sasawashi, that are grown in pesticide-free environments. Recycled content such as carpet padding, clothes, plastic, and rubber are also creatively used to produce eco friendly shoes. As seen here, designer, Arti Upadhyay, has used all vegan materials for her Neuaura Shoes Shiner shoe.

Neuaura Shiner

Neuaura Shiner

If you haven’t heard of Melissa Shoes, I have no doubt you soon will.  Melissa Shoes is another innovative company using recycled plastic and some really neat technology. I will be featuring some of their amazing shoes in future posts.

2. Manufacturing

The manufacturing process is probably the most important element that differentiates “eco friendly shoes.” The use of non toxic chemicals and solvent free adhesives alleviate strains on the environment. Some facilities are even powered by solar or wind energy. Many implement conservation and waste reduction practices that are put in place and as part of the work culture. Designers featured in Eco Shoe Source posts take proactive steps to minimize the impact on the environment during the all phases of shoe production.   Eco friendly designers are impacting local communities in developing countries by providing opportunities for fair living wages and decent working conditions.  Neuaura Shoes are manufactured in a factory in Brazil that received the Green Seal in 2008 in recognition for its compliance with Brazilian environmental laws.

3. Social Responsibility

I’m sure it’s hard for us to fathom that some would pose as caring about the environment purely for profitable reasons. What I’ve found is social responsibility is what compels many eco shoe designers to Go Green. You will be impressed by their commitment to sustainable practices from conception to production. Kailia Footwear is an eco friendly company that has successfully merged the concepts of eco, ethical and social responsibility as part of its operations and core mission.  Charmone,  Neuaura, Melissa and Kailia and their Do-Ni line are just some designers that donate to some of the same organizations that we support to either protect animals, the environment and/or women’s issues.

4. Design

One of the most impressive aspects that we eco fashionistas expect is exceptional styling of shoes. It’s often the aesthetic that appeals to us first.  Going Green doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style, selections or comfort. Often when I tell people I’m wearing eco shoes, they’re amazed!
“Whaaat! Those are eco,” is often the refrain. Celebrities are joining the field of eco designers as eco friendly shoes become more mainstream. Most notably is the success of
Stella McCartney and recently Natalie Portman’s collaboration with Te Casan.  We welcome them to the movement and the publicity they bring.  Chunky heels, boots, platforms, strappy sandals, flats, pumps, peep toe–there’s a style for every taste.

Cydwoq Vegetable Tanned Leather

Cydwoq Vegetable Tanned Leather

5. Consciousness

The beauty of the Eco fashion and Go Green! movement is there are differing shades of green.  If you rather buy eco friendly shoes than recycle, that’s a valuable contribution to the environment and perfectly acceptable.  As you see, the efforts that goes into bringing eco friendly shoes to market is quite prodigious.

Stella McCartney Spring 2009

Stella McCartney Spring 2009


Yes, the shoe industry as a whole still has some work to do, but we all do. The great news is that there are many emerging eco friendly designers offering fashionable eco friendly options.  Going Green is attainable for all and any effort is valuable.  The point is to DO SOMETHING.  Since I started  Eco Shoe Source, I learn more everyday and am encouraged by the challenge to help make the world we live in  better place.
~Ar



{February 17, 2009}   Eco Carnival!

Carnival can best be summed up as a celebration of life! Its traditions are as varied as the places across the world that it is observed like in New Orleans, Rio, Trinidad and Tobago and Venice. I found it quite interesting that Carnival, derived from phrases such as \”putting away meat\”, and \”farewell to flesh\” and thus I thought it very appropriate to share beautiful animal-friendly and ethically designed shoes with you in this post.

I was thrilled to discover Neuaura! The Kiwi Glisten sandal is perfect for mashing it up to sounds of the steel drums, samba, and soca music. This animal friendly sandal is from the Neuaura Spring 2009 collection. Arti Upadhyay, is an ethical designer, animal activist and visionary behind the brand. Neuaura donates 10% of their turnover online sales to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and Animal Welfare Institute. I\’m absolutely in love with Neuaura, selection, philosophy and commitment to consciously designing fashionable shoes.

Neuaura

Neuaura

Enjoy the revelry of carnival in these delightful pumps. Kailia Footwear, an Italian footwear company, offers Bella, a pump that comes in luxurious microfiber and and intricately hand-embroidered designs. The Bella pump goes beyond just being a nice shoe. Kailia has captured the essence creating a beautiful silhouette; You’ll love the way Bella frames the feminine curves and nicely elongate your legs.

Kailia Embroidered Pump

Kailia Embroidered Pump


Carnival is a celebration deeply rooted bringing people together in a joyful environment. Kick up your eco-heels and, as they say in Louisiana, Laissez Les Bons Temps Roule (Let the Good Times Roll)!
Ar~



et cetera
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