Fashion was once the driving factor behind the demand for clothing, shoes, and accessories made from animal products and is partly to blame for the fact that our planet’s weaker inhabitants – animals, plants, and people from impoverished regions – are now being forced to make so many sacrifices.
But today, fashion designers can send another message: that fur and leather are only beautiful on the body of a living animal. This realization is reflected in every fiber of our designs.
Shoe design has existed since humans first wrapped pieces of leather around their feet to run faster and farther. Spanish women wore the first high heels as early as the 14th century.
It was a world devoid of cars, modern antibiotics, and electricity. Women were still considered inferior. They were forbidden to study and had no right to vote.
Today, shoes are high-tech products. The technical expertise gathered in each epoch has been used to fulfill and optimize the human need for protection and adornment.
But I wonder what the inventor of animal skin footwear would think if they knew that shoes today are still made almost entirely from the same material as they were 5,000 years ago?
And would the modern Spanish woman of the 14th-century be surprised to learn that today’s powerful meat and leather industries not only cause damage the environment but are also responsible for the inequality of millions of women and girls around the world?
Globally, the effects of poverty hit women the hardest.
In developing countries, women are often responsible for finding food, water, and fuel to cook for their families. Destruction of the environment, such as the poisoning of groundwater with carcinogenic chemicals used in leather processing and the degradation of forests and essential ecosystem services through livestock farming, exacerbates their plight. The health and education of women suffer most from poverty. Moreover, the environment is a deciding factor for future global stability – 21.5 million people are displaced from their homes every year as a result of climate change alone.
As a vegan brand, we never use leather in the manufacturing of our products, using alternative materials instead. In this way we help to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.
Some fashion houses have realized that a truly modern company must take responsibility for its environmental impact and that a contemporary product can be cool, sexy and sustainable all at once. And yet, we still stand at the beginning of the road to greater sustainability. Despite increasing global demand for eco-friendly products, very few companies dare to free themselves from their dependence on leather.
It is crucially important to boost the production of eco-friendly alternatives on a commercial scale.
Apart from the serious ethical objections to killing animals, numerous studies, for example from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and NGOs such as PETA, have shown that the production of meat and leather accounts for 18% of total greenhouse gases produced by humans. By comparison, the entire transport industry accounts for only 13% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Although synthetic leather alternatives also affect the environment, livestock rearing and its associated resource consumption have up to 20 times more impact per kilogram of material than polyester, for example.
What’s more, the animal skins are aggressively treated with toxic chemicals like chromium to prevent their decomposition, so one can hardly call it an organic resource.