More and more shoppers are eschewing leather footwear for vegan alternatives, sending leather prices tumbling in the US, Bloomberg reported this week. And while animal rights ethics undoubtedly play a role in the trend, there is no denying that vegan shoe options are more sophisticated and on-point than ever before. Here are three brands to keep on your leather-free radar this year.
Fashion heavyweight Hugo Boss doubled down on its sustainable fashion initiative this month with the launch of a new Boss Menswear shoe fabricated using Piñatex, a natural-based material made from pineapple leaf fibers. The shoe, which is 100% vegan, is colored with natural plant-based dyes.
Peta2, the youth organization of animal rights association PETA USA, voted niche footwear brand Birkenstock the "Most Vegan-Friendly Shoe Company 2017" back in April, and it is easy to see why. The German company, known for its cork sandals, has an extensive dedicated "vegan collection" featuring sandals made using synthetic and natural products for men and women.
Kat Von D
Celebrity tattoo artist and beauty mogul Kat Von D is preparing to take on the footwear industry this year, with her new vegan shoe line. Dubbed "Von D Shoes," the line is set to launch at some point in 2018, offering fashion fans 28 different styles spanning furry moon boots to towering platforms. The line will be completely vegan and cruelty-free, with pieces handmade in Italy in sizes 5 through 12.