Animal friendlyWe did not use the word "vegan" in our company name in vain. All Eco Vegan Shoes are completely free of any animal products or by-products. The (high tech) fabrics and materials we use are not tested on animals. For this we have been approved vegan by both PETA and The Vegan Society.
Worker friendlyOur women's shoes are made in Portugal according to the European Union working standards. The men's shoes, sneakers, walking shoes and safety shoes are made by Mangul Jaya in Indonesia. The workers there are paid enough to be able to make a living for their families, and most of the workers have worked there for decades. There is a praying room and everyone is allowed to follow their religion. They do not do child labour.
Environmentally friendlyThe environment is another reason for us to avoid leather.
Contrary to what most people think, the leather used for most shoes is usually not a slaughterhouse by-product. The animals raised for food or dairy do usually not have skins fit for processing into leather. The skins used for leather come from animals that are primarily raised and killed to produce leather. To grow and breed, these animals need lots of food. Just like with livestock cattle this means potential agricultural grounds are wasted. Sometimes even rainforests are destroyed to get some more space to raise more cattle. In addition, these cows produce huge amounts of methane, which is more than a 100 times as polluting as CO2.
Modern tanning methods involve huge amounts of highly toxic metals, such as chromium. After use, these metals are disposed in community waters, such as rivers. Even though in most cases there are water clearing plants, there is not much these plants can do. Only an estimated 20% of the poisoned water is cleared properly. Nearby farmers often have only this water to wetten their lands, and as such, their lands, their crops and their workers are all slowly poisoned. Even people from nearby villages and cities often suffer from serious handicaps and illnesses related to exposure to heavy metals. In short, these tanning methods affect all nearby life in a negative way.
So no leather for our shoes.
Our insoles by OrthoLite® are partly made of recycled polyurethane, and partly of polyurethane from castor oil. Castor beans can grow where no other crops can survive and they need very little water, making them a fairly sustainable resource.
Our fabric shoes have been treated with ecorepel®, a water repelling finish. This finish is different from others because it does not contain fluorocarbons. That way the fabric remains non-toxic and 80-100% biodegradable, while your feet stay perfectly dry and clean.
Our soles and faux leather uppers are made of hardwearing PVC free polyurethane. Looking at the resources this may not be the most environmentally friendly product, however these shoes will easily outlast most quality leather shoes. Therefore we need far less of these materials than we would need otherwise, equaling the balance. In the end this is the most environmentally friendly choice we can work with.
Enjoy your shopping!