{eco footwear} change your shoes: 4 vegan boots

four distinctive boots come to life in sustainable textiles, from the fertile minds of designers conceiving versatile + sustainable footwear solutions, so you can kick the fast fashion habit  {pun intended!}. from pineapple leaves + cork, to recycled plastic bottles + cardboard, take a look at these ethical options, each produced under fair labor standards, each a little piece of art to slip into and pair with your invisible cloak of courage; for girls +boys of action + days filled with movement, hustle + flow:

1/ the editor boot from bhava: bhava, based in new york, knows what's important to girls on the go: cool + comfortable designs, delightfully comfortable, but never too decorous. the editor boot is a 3-in-1 convertible boot that offers a perfectly designed bootie, a knee-high option and an over-the-knee option. this is the thinking girl's

transitional boot for spring, fall or winter months with a 2 inch heel for all day wear + an all natural cork insole. ethically manufactured in spain where shoes are still being handmade by generations of artisans. the design is in the details, from the choice of upper, and the soft eco-suede lining {all imported from italy} to the european hardware and custom crafted solid wood heels. bhava's italian vegan leather does not contain aromatic amines, PCP, formaldehyde, PVC, phthalates, azo-dyes, or chrome. for movers + shakers, this is the bootfor fearless gals balancing it all! {women's footwear only}

2/ the biker boot from beyond skin: if you're the kind of gal that loves the biker babe meets boho chic aesthetic, then this is the eco alternative for you. if you're a city slicker, then you're still in luck. beyond skin uses 100% recycled PU lining materials across their collections. their synthetic leathers are made from cotton-backed polyurethane + are sourced from italy. 

beyond skin has recently introduced  'dinamica' faux suede which is made from 100% recycled PET plastics. an incredibly durable + flexible textile, it also does not water mark. currently, beyond skin is the only footwear label using this material - it's presently used by jaguar + mercedes-benz in their car interiors. all of their shoes have insoles made from approximately 70% post consumer cardboard. heels + uppers are made of 70% recycled resin. now there's something to stand on. {men's shoes + boots coming soon!}

3/ the matilda + the grace from bourgeois boheme: uk-based bourgeois boheme offers uncompromising craftsmanship, sleek designs + unadorned simplicity {and super customer service}. the matilda is a classic chelsea boot with all the style's signature elements including an elastic gusset for easy slip-on + off. the grace is a neat ankle-high boot, combining elements of the timeless chelsea boot and the modern classic pistol-style boot. this beautifully curt ankle boot is handcrafted in portugal. made with PVC free eco vegan leather {microfibre PU}, comfortable latex insoles, breathable linings + waterproof uppers. elasticated side panels up your comfort level. if you're the kind of gal that likes to be librated from unyielding high heels, then these multi-functional low heels are the magic you need for the cool weather months. bourgeois boheme's collection of coolly androgynous + functional boots can certainly keep up with supergirls working to change the world. {men's shoes + boots also available}

4/ the laia boot from nae: nae is a portuguese footwear brand with a vegan philosophy + a deep-rooted concern for environmental sustainability. nae works with alternative materials to leather such as cork, ecological microfibers, pineapple leave fibers and PET {recycled plastic bottle}. nae uses natural + breathable microfiber certified by oeko-tex, light + waterproof cork derived from cork trees, recycled tires + plastic water bottles, and pineapple waste plant fibers which are sourced from fair trade pineapple farmers in the philippines. a magical renaissance of natural fibers is filling the footwear market with winning options for consumers, workers + the little planet we know as earth. {men's shoes + boots also available}

*bonus: previously i highlighted nicora, an american-made, vegan footwear label founded by third generation shoemaker + one of my personal eco heroes stephanie nicora. offerings include enduring classics that carry you seamlessly from one season to the next with style. put a little pep + a little eco in your step. {men's + women's kicks available} 

{for men only} right this way brave gentlemen, my fave brand for functional + fierce men's shoes + boots.  

{don't forget the tip} although not an ideal alternative ecologically, PU has a lighter environmental footprint than PVC + leather. PU looks a lot like PVC leatherette, but unlike PVC it's kinder to the environment. PVC contains chlorine, a toxic chemical which produces dioxin during its manufacturing process and has been linked in numerous studies to estrogen-mimicking chemicals. although PU is made from petrochemicals, animal agriculture + turning animal hides into leather is a much more energy-intensive + polluting practice. raw hide tanning is a chemical-heavy process that uses chromium VI, formaldehyde, coal-tar derivatives + chlorine: harmful chemicals linked to asthma, blindness + cancer. these toxic chemicals have a detrimental effect on both the environment + workers' health. the animal agriculture or meat industry is a highly polluting + inhumane industry, of which leather is a product, not a byproduct + it is not produced in an effort to minimize waste; it is a highly profitable + lucrative business, and it is the most profitable part of a cow's body.*

 learn more at change your shoes

{eco boutique of the week} bead + reel: layers of good

most products travel through various parts of the world and through many hands before they reach us. free 2 work

today there are a number of well-curated boutiques bringing green hearts the best in eco fashion. what sets these shops apart from one another are the diverse ethical labels as well as the impassioned individuals with varied backgrounds + unique narratives which feed their uncommon approaches to his or her small business enterprise. 

bead + reel was founded by sica schmitz, fervent social justice advocate, animal rights activist + inspired entrepreneur, who previously worked in costume design in film, television + theater. 

sica understands that our clothing tells a story, and as the tale unfurls, she wants consumers to know that there are many characters involved: from farm + tannery workers, to the needleworkers in garment factories, to consumers wearing textiles that affect their own health. 

if you peel back the layers of sica's story, you'll find more than a woman with a keen eye for design-led fashion, you'll also find someone with an abiding commitment to shedding light on industry issues such as forced + child labor, 

the exploitation of animals and the need for more transparent supply chain practices {follow her on fb}. 

in 2014 sica decided to spearhead her l.a.-based shop with the hope of telling a story of both style + compassion, "

i didn't know where the things in my closet were made, or by who, or what chemicals may be in the fabrics or dyes on my skin. i didn't think about the true cost of what i was buying on the larger world around me. i realized i need to change my clothes, change my story. i started researching which brands, which fibers, which processes i wanted to include in my story...."

bead + reel stocks some of my fave ethical labels, inlcuding made-in-the-usa labels like amour vert, animal-friendly shoes + accessories by bhavaindosole + angela + roi and artisan-crafted jewelry by natalie frigo.  

when i first started writing about eco fashion, i did general google searches, held my breath + hoped for the best. but the days of aimless eco fashion wandering are gone thanks to miss schmitz. see what all the hype is about right here.

{top image: pippin's pics 1. rachael ryen earrings / 2. natalie frigo cuff / 3. angela + roi  crossbody bag / 4. supra endura postcards / 5. eqo optics sunglasses / bottom image via bead + reel}