Beyond Skin – Born way back in 2001, Beyond Skin is truly one of the pioneers in the vegan shoe industry. Based in the UK, their gorgeous animal-free designer shoes are made from recycled fabrics. They work closely with their factories to ensure that they reduce their carbon footprint as much as possible and that no one is exploited (humans included) in the manufacturing process. Looking forward to their expected sister line of more affordable shoes, plus bags/accessories and even a men’s line!
CoolCorC –This unique brand was the brainchild of two brothers, Josh and Larry, who had a vision to make a line of quality, versatile products out of one of the most sustainable materials in the world, cork. Since starting out in 2006, CoolCorc’s designs have evolved into a diverse line of items, including clutches, wallets and bracelets, while remaining a family owned business. All products are designed by husband and wife team Joshua and Jessica, who both have a degree in architecture and have channeled their creativity into crafting cute and eco-friendly accessories.
Cornelia Guest - Actress and socialite Cornelia Guest has always been passionate about animals, nature and inspiring others to be conscious of the choices they make in their daily lives. After founding her own vegan catering company in 2009, she decided to spread the cruelty-free message further than through her food. As daughter of American fashion icon CZ Guest, style is in her genes, and in late 2011 she launched her own animal-free accessories line so that she could wear things she loved. Her collections include styles for all occasions, from a casual coffee run to an elegant evening in the city, and are made from a specially developed, extra soft faux leather and other recyclable materials.
Cri De Coeur – Founded by Gina Ferraraccio in 2007, who teamed up with Julie Dicterow shortly thereafter, this designer vegan shoe company continues to churn out cutting edge styles, which has expanded to include handbags as well. Their brand is completely animal free and they are committed to using environmentally friendly materials as much as viable. Their name translated into English means “cry from the heart” which is a perfect way to express the ideals behind the vegan movement and how they view the ideals behind their company.
Dialog Worldbutik - This fashion forward Asian based handbag company takes ethical production one step further than just making sure everyone is treated fairly in their manufacturing processes, they actually help underprivileged woman make a career for themselves. Dialog first started out by working closely with various local charities (i.e. drug rehab centers, women empowerment initiatives, community development workshops, etc.) to train women in the art of making Dialog’s signature trim using an age-old Malaysian recycling technique. They then purchase the trim by the meter after it is sewn out of mixed scrap fabrics to make their one-of-a-kind bags. Founders Cassandra Postema and Dong Shing Chiu expanded in 2009 to launch their Worldbutik line which is made from textiles handmade by tribal groups, cooperatives and income generating projects all over Asia.
Gunas –With a look inspired by modernity and sophistication, and a manufacturing process inspired by the respect for animals and the environment, Gunas takes ethical luxury to another level. Co-founded by designer Sugandh in 2009, this brand takes “great pride in epitomizing Eco-Veganism and promoting Ethical Consumerism through Fashion”. Gunas bags are constructed using specialty high-quality manmade fabrics, custom Lead/Nickel-free hardware, Italian zippers and are individually handmade in socially responsible factories around the globe. The look of each collection is edgy and bold with an exclusive feel and quality, and embodies the style of someone who loves fashion but also is conscious how their belongings are made.
Hearts of Darkness – Launched in spring of 2010 by Cri de Coeur designers Gina and Julie as way to provide vegan fahionistas with a way to get their hands on more affordable sexy shoes without compromising their values. Although the price tag may be lower, the same unique style and high quality inherent in Cri De Coeur’s lines still shines through in these modish shoes.
Hemptress – In January of 2010, designers Arlene Nilsson and Hakan launched this chic handbags and accessories line made primarily out of (you guessed it) – hemp! Their vegan collections carried in our boutique are lined with a blend of hemp (which happens to be more sustainable than most people realize) and recycled PET (recycled plastic bottles). They strive to incorporate green practices into all aspects of their business such as using low impact dyes for all fabrics, recycled nylon for their interior zippers, manufacturing at factories that adhere to fair labor standards and even their promotional materials and hangtags are made from recycled paper and soy based inks.
Hovey Lee Eco-Jewelry – What sets this exquisite jewelry line apart is the commitment to promoting fair trade, human dignity and sustainability, not to mention their gorgeous pieces! Designer and founder Hovey Lee’s feminine approach to design results in a simple beauty that is classic, unique and timeless. She works with a local jewelry manufacturer that sources 100% recycled metals and sources only from gemstone suppliers that adhere to fair trade standards. Her designs are intentionally eclectic and based on the core values of showing kindness and following the heart.
Kailia – Owner Nancy Dong designs her line of stylish, well-made eco-shoes out of her office in Bologna, Italy. Her styles are a beautiful demonstration of how world renowned Italian style can be incorporated into shoes without the Italian leather. Kailia’s collections are hand-made in Europe at small family-owned factories out of cruelty-free and ecological materials such as water based glues, organic cotton/linen, recycled footboards and vegetable based dyes.
Lara Miller – A leader in promoting environmentally friendly fashion and a Lexus Hybrid Living Sustainable Partner, Lara’s pieces are sophisticated and classy. Produced locally in Chicago where she was born and raised, Lara Miller uses earth friendly practices in every way possible in order to limit her impact on the environment. Style is definitely not sacrificed as can be seen in her designs that are inspired by architecture, moving form and geometry.
Love Is Mighty – As suggested by the name, Monisha Raja’s up and coming brand was founded out of a deep love and respect for the earth and all its inhabitants. Through her gorgeous shoes, bags and jewelry she is helping to preserve the centuries old crafts of rural artisans in India which are being sacrificed to the construction of big cities. Traveling through India, she works with local tribes who create her pieces, which are a combination of beautiful old-world textiles and modern designs. All Love Is Mighty's designs are handmade in a 100% vegan factory using cruelty-free materials. The craftsmanship of all her styles results in a quality that is rarely found these days and it is evident they were made out of love.
Matt & Nat – This vegan handbags and accessories company has mastered the art of providing trendy collections every season by providing an array of architectural shapes while paying special attention to hidden functional details. The lining of each bag is made of 100% recycled plastic bottles and as of 2011 they introduced cork labeling as well. The Matt & Nat brand is shaped by the idea of creating beautiful things that have a positive impact.
Mink Shoes - Handmade in Italy, Rebecca Mink's line of super sexy shoes takes cruelty-free to a whole new level. With a lifelong devotion to preserving the planet and the humane treatment of animals, Rebecca set off on a mission to create a shoe line that incoproates all her values, plus her passion for style, and launched her first line in 2004 after three years of development. The result of her hard work and perseverance is a luxurious collection of fashion-forward shoes that side-step (pun intended) all animal products and instead are made from eco-friendly/sustainable plant-based materials, such as cork, organic cottons and water-based glues.
Neuaura – This amazing shoe company is committed to producing fashionable footwear year after year. The timeless and classy shoes Neuaura consistently designs are never made from any leather, fur, silk, wool, shell or pearls. Owner and designer Arti Upadhyay is also conscious of protecting the environment and has aligned herself with a factory in Brazil that shares her values by focusing on limiting waste, recycling and using hydroelectric power.
Novacas - Literally meaning “no cow” when translated to English from Spanish or Portuguese, Novacas is dedicated to producing shoes that are animal-friendly, environmentally-friendly and worker-friendly. They use high grade breathable synthetic microfibers that stretch and manufacture their stylish shoes at factories in Portugal that adhere to labor standards set forth by the European Union.
Olsen Haus Pure Vegan – The main philosophy behind this vegan shoe company is a respect for all living beings. Now an icon in the vegan/eco fashion industry, founder Elizabeth Olsen is continually striving to educate the mainstream about the harmful production practices used in shoe manufacturing and is always looking for affordable and innovative methods to lessen the impact of her products. Her designs which have expanded from shoes, to bags and wallets, are a sexy and an original combination of function, art, color and ethics.
Reveal – This innovative accessories company was founded on what they call the 4R Design Philosophy – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Reveal. Reveal merges style, sustainability and mobility into their lines which include handbags, sunglasses, wallets, mobile and technology cases, bamboo watches, sound accessories (i.e. headphones) and much, much more!
sheilaOdessey – It’s no secret that the oversupply of plastic shopping bags has become a huge concern for the welfare of our planet. Lucky for us though, native New Yorker Sheila Odessey is helping divert these environmental hazards from landfills by repurposing them into a stunning line of handbags, which goes by the self-titled name sheilaOdessey. Her process starts out with cutting down plastic bags into strips, then the graphics are reorganized into unique patterns, the strips are woven into fabric and finally the fabric is reworked into a handbag. Adding to the one-of-a-kind quality of each bag are the linings made with recycled or leftover scrap fabrics and the adornments such as vintage brooches are picked up from local flea markets. Of course, the bags are cruelty-free, with any straps or handles made from vegan “leather” and they are also hand-woven by Sheila herself (with a little bit of help) locally in New York City.
Susan Nichole – In the hopes of introducing animal friendly fashion to as many woman as possible, Co-Owner & Head of Design, Susan produces her 100% vegan handbags out of recyclable or recycled materials and manufactures them under fair trade principals. Frustrated after years of not being able to find handbags that lined up with her vegetarian values, she took matters into her own hands and launched this company so she would not have to give up her passion for accessories.
Tawa Jewel – The jewelry designs by Tawa Jewel are funky, unique and stylish, but that’s not all! This family owned Ecuadorian business is dedicated to offering elegant, versatile but above, all eco-friendly items. Their line of accessories is made from the tagua nut, the seed of a South American palm-like tree, which is also known as vegetable ivory because of its hard, white endosperm. All of Tawa Jewel’s beautiful necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings and pendants are handmade and purchased at fair trade prices from local artisans helping to boost their economies, while at the same time reducing deforestation in South America.