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.

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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



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



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



As important as eco friendly shoes are to me, there’s an even more important event occurring this week that I must share with you. Earth Hour will happen on Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 8:30 p.m. across the world. EarthHour.org has set a goal of 1 billion people to turn their lights for 1 hour as part of the VOTE EARTH call to action campaign.

I plan to use the hour to reflect on my own impact on global warming and the environment and ways that I can do better. Earth Hour is simply an easy way for everyone across the world to participate by flicking the switch OFF.

I encourage you to visit their site to find out more information and share your plans for the Earth Hour 2009 event. http://www.earthhour.org/home/

I’ll see you when the lights come on!

~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~



{February 1, 2009}   Super Bowl Go Green Black & Gold

There are times when an eco-fashionista will kick off her heels for a pair of comfortable sneaks or athletic footwear. Keeping with the Mega Sports theme of one of the biggest weekends in sports, I thought I would source some eco-friendly sporty shoes. Luckily I found some that are functional and stylish.

In addition to rooting for the environment, I am also cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl 43. The Steelers organization happens to have the largest female fan base among NFL teams. As one of their loyal followers, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to find an eco way to show my support in this post.

nbhb-304-w-lPangea is a great place for ethical, sustainable, vegan footwear. Their aim is “to offer a comprehensive selection of high-quality, completely cruelty-free vegan (non-animal-derived) products.” New Balance is a tried an true sports brand and these Women’s Hybrid Running Shoes are great for training at the gym or walking in the neighborhood. Check them out on Pangea’s site. You’ll be pleasantly impressed by their vast selection of shoes, accessories and pet items to name a few.
kiowawomens-hiker

These great hikers were found on Vegan Essentials. Perfect for us girls who want to enjoy nature. The Kiowa Hiker offers stability and support for hours of comfort.

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These
Earth Flight Mary Jane inspired shoes are just too cute. Don’t be fooled by the cuteness. These are serious athletic shoes and feature the unique Kalso-Lite sole for flexibility.
They come in 5 fashionable colors, Black, Grey, Baltic Blue, Bay Leaf and Khaki. Available at the Shoe Store for $98 and currently shipping is being offered free.

Meanwhile I’ll be kicking back during the Super Bowl at home in my comfy eco-flip-flops. ff-cabo-san-lucas-14087-17981I’ll also be sporting my #43 Jersey for my favorite player, Troy Polamalu and waving my Terrible Towel hoping that #43 can help the Pittsburgh Steelers set a record in Super Bowl 43 by winning 6 titles. Go Steelers!
~Ar



{January 24, 2009}   InaugurGREENtion!

Yes, CHANGE has come to the United States White House. President Barack Obama has taken office as the 44th President of the United States. President Obama’s election is full of symbolism. I too, like 52% of my fellow Americans and millions across the world have been caught up in the emotion, and anticipation of the hope for the change that is to come.

While President Obama campaigned, I listened closely for his positions on the environment. It is with great anticipation that I look forward to his administration acting “boldly” as he stated on the campaign trail. It is understandable that the domestic economy is a priority, but the environment, protecting it, must stay in the forefront as it is an important global issue.

Red
Patriotism can be fashionable in these fabulous Red Gladiator Sandals by Charmone. I have come to love Charmone with each new collection. Their sexy, sustainable shoes fit the eco-fashion profile to a T. Charmone never compromises on style or compassion in their construction. The Cherry print detailing and strong platform heel is not understated and evokes Gloabal Power.$179
thistlea

White
Mink has called this special pump Cow. Of course, wearing them, you’ll look anything but. These delicate white canvas pumps are great for an evening with Heads of State. Mink has creatively put a faux cow fur inner lining keeping with their custom for whimsy and hand-crafted designs. This shoe is available by special order only.
catalog_cow
Blue
These enviro-friendly commanding navy pumps are from Olsen Haus. 100% vegan and perfect for the conservative eco-nista. I love the large scale croc design on these comfortable ankle strap pumps. Olsen Haus “Business Unusual” approach is to continually seek “affordable and innovative methods that lessen the impact of our products”. A great investment at $215!
pure_navy1

I consider myself an eco-fashionista who is both patriotic and passionate about the environment. I stand ready in my eco-friendly shoes to do my part!

~Ar



et cetera