In search of pleather

The air is crisp, the leaves are starting to turn a riot of reds, yellows and browns, the rain is more on than off and my feet are getting wet. It’s the time of year where I put my trainers & flip flops away & go looking for cruelty free shoes.

If ebay is to be believed then all vegans are bikers, into metal or punk, or have a penchant for s&m nights. So no joy there. I have to go actual shopping. I don’t like shopping.

Whilst brands like beyond skin are doing amazing things for cruelty free fashion they are a little expensive. It could be that the quality is reflected by the price and they last longer than a season, in which case great! Warm, dry, comfortable feet, with a double whammy of investing in a brand who are driving ethical fashion forward. They interestingly ran a kick starter project recently to raise funds for expanding their range with the investment being in the form of a pair of footwear. Great for their wealthy and celebrity fans like Natalie Portman. I was so close to signing up, buoyed by my enthusiasm in the project, but in the end the reality of my bank balance stopped me from going through with it. Next time Beyond Skin! I’m so with you & the way you live your beliefs!

Instead, in what is hopefully not a reflection of how i live my beliefs, I again scoured the cheap fashion shops trying to seal my nostrils to the overpowering smell of leather, searching for the holy trinity of three synthetic material symbols. Most of the cheap high st shops have shoes in synthetic materials, although Topshop tends to be leather. River island has a good range, primark some but New look comes in tops. True, they don’t have the ethical background of Beyond Skin, but sometimes dry feet for £19.99 where no animals were harmed in their production is enough.

Choosing a life without cruelty brings with it sometimes enormous personal effort to find alternatives in a world gone mad with the consumption of mass produced animal products. From toothpaste & toiletries to milk & egg substitutes, every day is a gamut of going against the grain and finding alternatives to the norm. Sometimes, like it or not, you have to draw a line and accept the functionality of the product without looking any deeper. You are just one person swimming up stream, sometimes there just isn’t enough time to do it all!



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