As we are evolving as people, fashion is evolving too. Gone are the days when wearing only leather or fur would be the criteria to be a fashionista. Most people these days have shifted from using animal leather to faux leather. But before I overwhelm you with all sorts of information. Let’s get down to basics! What is veganism? Veganism is basically a lifestyle in which people exclude consuming animal products and avoid animal cruelty and exploitation as much as possible. Coming to vegan footwear, naturally vegan shoes or footwear in simple language is a footwear made cruelty free and free of animal products.
So, what are vegan sandals made of?
Vegan sandals are essentially made from plants such as mushrooms, bananas, and apples or from other synthetic materials like polyurethane (PU), microfiber, or rubber. How can something be leather if it's not made of animal skin you ask? The textbook definition of leather material is a material that flexible and durable material obtained from the tanning, or chemical treatment, of animal skins. But vegan leather sandals look just as rich or better. These are made of PU, sustainable materials such as pineapple leaves, cork, apple peels, other fruit waste, and recycled plastic. Don’t worry even though the process of manufacturing of animal leather and vegan leather is different, vegan leather manages to match up to the actual leather standard just about right.
What are the different kinds of natural and vegan materials and how are they made?
Non-vegan or natural materials consist of leather that is made from skins of many animals, including sheep, goats, kids, calves, pigs, horses, and cattle; Wool that is made from the fleece of the sheep or lamb or hair of the Angora or Cashmere goat and sometimes specialty fibers from the hair of the camel, alpaca, llama, and vicuna specialty fibers from the hair of the camel, alpaca, llama, and vicuna; fur that is made from a number of different animals, but is most commonly from chinchillas, foxes, wolves, rabbits, lynxes. Vegan materials include Organic Cotton or khaki made of cotton, jute made of the jute plant, faux leather PU, and other materials, etc.
To make leather first preservation is done, then hides are cleaned from dirt, blood, salt, and hair, the collagen structure is opened, they are fleshed, processed with base chemicals and split into grains and splits, then Tanning is done and finally post-tannage and finishing take place. To make wool, producers harvest the hairs of animals and spin them into yarn. To generate fur the process involves slicing a skin into narrow diagonal strips and then sewing them together to form a longer and narrower strip that will run the full length of a coat.
Bonding together a plastic coating to a fabric backing is the most common way to make vegan leather; the types of plastic used in these coatings vary.
How long do non leather sandals last?
Be it any product in the market, the shelf life and lasting are generally dependent on two things. First, the quality of production and second the maintenance of it. If you invest in good quality vegan footwear brands like ours here at Zouk, they are sure to last 3-4 years or more.
Here are a few things you need to keep in mind while taking care of your non leather shoes
- Avoid getting excessively dry
- Invest in commercial leather conditioner, and use it every six months or more to keep the material free from cracks.
- To clean these all you have to do is wipe them with a damp cloth dipped in mild shampoo and water.
How can you tell if your shoes are vegan or not?
A lot of us have a hard time distinguishing whether or not our shoes are vegan or not. Well, it’s not very hard to tell. You can easily tell by touching the material if not then generally leather or any other non-vegan products have a tag or a symbol indicating the use of animal skin. Which makes it easier to distinguish and spot vegan shoes in the market.
What are the benefits of going for a vegan brand?
- These are cruelty-free which means no animals are harmed during the manufacturing or process of the same
- It is more affordable than actual leather fur or other non-vegan materials
- The raw materials used in making are natural and there is a consistent move to adopting ethical and sustainable raw materials.
- None of the products are tested on animals.
- You can wear your favorite vegan gladiator sandals without feeling guilty!
So, now that you know all and everything about vegan shoes what are you waiting for? Hurry! Go get your favorite vegan chappals from zouk already!