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So long to the shiny, plastic look of pleather and welcome vegan leather! Not only does it look and feel like real leather, it’s eco-friendly and cruelty-free. Vegan leather has been gaining popularity amongst Millennials over the past few years as a conscious alternative to leather. Consumers are becoming more conscious shoppers and want to know what goes into making the shoes they wear and the impact it has on the environment. And lucky for them, vegan leather produces a lower carbon footprint than real leather.

Leather production is notorious for its high levels of water pollution and harmful chemicals. Leather undergoes a process called tanning, where the leather is treated and soaked in water filled with toxic chemicals like ammonia and hydrogen sulphide. Tanning uses a lot of energy and water; and is usually done in third world countries with little to none environmental regulations. The water then creates a run-off effect and pollutes bodies of water with the leftover dyes and chemicals.

Vegan leather is the more ecological choice, but what does being vegan really mean?

What Does It Mean To Be Vegan?

In order for leather to be labeled verified vegan it must be made without the use of animal by-products or materials. That means no leather, fur, suede, or wool. Even down to the shoe glue, which is usually made out of animal derived gelatin or beeswax must be substituted.      

These vegan materials listed above are flexible and super lightweight, which allows for more design options that are trendy, comfortable, and fashionable. Also, no leather sole means brands are turning to using recycled plastics or natural rubber, which makes the shoe recyclable after wear.

Heel Boy strives to offer various types of shoes and vast brand diversity to satisfy everyone’s needs. That includes leather-free alternatives for the more conscious shopper. Shop our Verified Vegan Collection and check out the vegan brands below!

Natural World

Natural World successfully combines style and sustainability. They are made in Spain using organic raw materials to create a 100% ecological shoe. Their production system is more than 100 years old and is in line with their philosophy of respecting the environment. Using only organic cotton and natural rubber, the Vulcanization System unites the two through heat and pressure. The rubber melts and adheres to the cotton without any chemical or glue product. The founders are dedicated to producing an ecological footwear brand for men, women, and children.

Our Top Picks:

 1. Women's 103E in Rosa 2. Men's 315E in Marino 3. Men's 3304E in Beige 4. Men's 316E in Grey

Native

A Canadian brand that follows their philosophy of "Live Lightly" as they strive to lighten their carbon footprint and help the environment. Native Shoes states that by 2023 every pair of Native Shoes will be 100% life cycle managed. They also created the Remix Project, where they will recycle your Native Shoes and put it to use in projects across the community, like playground flooring or seating. Our best-selling shoe this summer, the Audrey is 100% recyclable and is made out of injection molded EVA. Lightheartedness and love for life is expressed in Native's happy and fun shoes that come in a rainbow of colours.

Our Top Picks:

1. Women's Audrey in Sakura Red 2. Women's Audrey Metallic in Chameleon 3. Women's Audrey in Milk Pink  4. Women's Audrey in Black

Superga

A European fav! Reminiscent of chic Italians wearing them from the piazzas to the spiaggia. Started in 1911 in Torino, Italy by Walter Martiny. These sneakers are made out of natural rubber and sturdy cotton united with vegan latex glue; some fabrics also feature PU leather instead of real leather. The 2750 Cotu Classic has become the white sneaker for fashion girls across the globe. They were even on the receiving end of the "Kate Effect" after Kate Middleton wore them on a trip to Canada and at Kensington Palace.

Our Top Picks:

1. Women's Cotu Classic in White 2. Men's Cotu Classic in Black 3. Women's Cotu Classic in Full Black 4. Women's Acotw in White

Matt & Nat

Proudly Canadian brand based in Montreal that is best known for their vegan leather handbags and accessories. Most may not know that their full brand name is MAT(T)ERIAL AND NATURE, which explores the synergy between the two. They are PETA approved vegan and are committed to not using any leather or animal-based materials; they only use PU and PVC. Their innovation leads to eco-friendly and sustainable designs, which allows them to experiment with different recycled materials like rubber, cork, and nylon. They even use recycled bicycle tires and 21 recycled plastic bottles go into the lining of each of their handbags.

Our Top Picks:

1. Women's Tibi in Black 2. Women's Alberta in Olive 3. Women's Cory in Red 4. Loom Collection Connolly Wallet in Blossom 

BC Footwear

Another PETA approved vegan brand where every component of the shoe is sourced from the best synthetic mills to ensure high quality and wearability. Even down to the details of their shoe glue, which is free of casein, gelatin, and beeswax. They use cotton, hemp, jute, bamboo, microfiber, recycled natural fibers, high grade PU, and natural and recycled rubber to create their fun and fashionable shoes.

Our Top Picks:

1. Women's Smell the Roses in Rainbow 2. Women's Focal Point in Pink 3. Women's Focal Point in Black

Birkenstocks

Birkenstocks are synonymous with comfort and their Arizona sandal is a classic. They use natural and renewable materials like cork and felt in all of their shoes. Birkenstock’s Arizona Eva featured in our collection uses ultra-light and flexible EVA material that is waterproof and super easy to care for. EVA is a high quality and light elastic material with very good cushioning that ensures every step is softly cushioned for excellent comfort.

Our Top Picks:

1. Arizona Eva Narrow in White 2. Arizona Eva Narrow in Black

Lemon Jelly

100% Portuguese shoes that are comfortable, waterproof, and eco-friendly. Lemon Jelly prides themselves on using top quality raw materials that meet the European REACH health and environmental standards against the effects of harmful substances. They are 100% made out of PVC, which are both vegan leather and easy to care for. Plus as soon as you open a box of Lemon Jelly shoes, you’re welcomed with a refreshing scent of lemon.

Our Top Picks:

1. Women's Philly in Rose 2. Women's Splash in Black  3. Women's Ava in Wine 4. Women's Laelia in Black

 

 Shop The Verified Vegan Collection ->

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