We want to know how shoes are made, and especially which materials are used. Here's a list of materials that can be found in our vegan shoes.
Microfibre can vary greatly in appearance, strength, feel and composition. The defining feature of microfibre is that it is a material or cloth of some description, manufactured from either synthetic or natural fibres. Common fibres used in the production of microfibre include polyamide, polyurethane (PU) and cotton.
Thanks to its varying composition, a wide range of characteristics can be achieved. For example, it can be very soft, like soft Nubuck leather or suede.
The fine pores also make this material especially breathable and lightweight. Take a look at our shoes from NOVACAS or GOOD GUYS for some great examples of ethical microfibre.
PU is a thick foam-like material often used as a replacement for smooth leather. However, PU fibres (a microfibre) are used in most cases, as opposed to the solid foam, which creates a durable material that is both flexible and breathable, and perfect for shoe uppers. PU foam in its natural, solid state, tends to be used more often for the soles of shoes. We stock a number of attractive PU shoes from various vegan, ethical shoe manufacturers. How about some boots from VEGETARIAN SHOES? Or attractive work shoes from WILLS LONDON?
Hemp is a plant fibre that humans have used to make cloth for various applications for over 10,000 years. Thanks to the development of a natural enzymatic process in the 1980s, it is now possible to produce soft-yet-strong hemp for clothing and footwear purposes.
Environmentally, hemp offers a few major advantages over other materials. It is a fast-growing, renewable resource and incredibly easy to care for, not necessitating any herbicides or pesticides. Hemp as a material is very durable, light and breathable, with an appealing, slightly raw natural feel that takes up the colours in natural dyes especially well thanks to its high porosity.
Check out our range for excellent examples of hemp footwear from SLOWERS, GRAND STEP SHOES and VEGETARIAN SHOES.
Cotton is a renewable resource that is easy to manage and can be grown under organic conditions. The major disadvantage is that its production requires a lot of water, although this water consumption is many times smaller than the water consumed in the production of leather through the production of animal feed, water provision to animals, and tanning.
As a material, cotton is soft, comfortable and breathable.
Like cotton? Take a look at our cotton shoes from AHIMSA, SLOWERS or ETHLETIC.
Gore-Tex® is not a fabric, but a lightweight, windproof, waterproof and yet breathable membrane that allows water vapour to pass through. This make Gore-Tex® especially well-suited to outdoor and walking shoes.
This synthetic and therefore vegan material was originally patented by Robert W. Gore, although the patent has since expired and similar products have come to market. The original Gore-Tex® is only supplied to manufacturers who are certified to make products according to Gore’s standards.
Feel like a long walk in the country in some Gore-Tex® shoes to keep your feet dry? Or maybe you just need something lightweight, breathable and comfortable for your daily commute? LOWA might have just the thing you’re after.
Piñatex™ is a novel, innovative material made from the fibres of pineapple leaves. Since these leaves are a by-product of the pineapple harvest, the production of Piñatex™ requires no additional use of land, fertilisers or pesticides.
Additionally, a new industry is created in areas where pineapples are grown. Piñatex™ is a completely unique natural and sustainably produced material that is used by brands such as NAE and VEGETARIAN SHOES.
Yes, the same material that keeps wine from going off can be used to make shoes and other fashionable items. Cork is a natural, renewable resource which can be grown under organic conditions.
Cork is fire-resistant and antibacterial, while also being very lightweight and breathable. Its natural appearance has become quite popular in recent times, so you will naturally find cork used in some fantastic shoes in the avesu store: take a look at cork wedges from COSÌ COSÌ or even cork boots from NAE.
Rubber can be a natural material, such as rubber or latex, created from the rubber tree. Natural rubber can also be grown under sustainable conditions and then used to make the soles or other parts of shoes.
Natural rubber is a great material for the soles of shoes as it is flexible, hard-wearing and environmentally friendly.
ETHLETIC, AHIMSA and certain other manufacturers have made some great shoes using natural rubber. Take a look!
Recycled rubber is recycled, remanufactured rubber, often used for the soles of shoes or rubber boots.
This rubber can be fully recycled, leaving no waste in the event you need to dispose of them.
EKN and JONNY'S VEGAN are brands that offer shoes made from recycled rubber.
A number of materials can be completely upcycled, which as opposed to recycling, means that absolutely no new raw materials are needed to create a new useful product.
A great example of upcycled rubber can be found in the form of the Retread Bush Boot from VEGETARIAN SHOES. These shoes have soles made entirely from old car tyres.
Upcycling is the natural evolution of recycling. Just like the products from which they originate, these upcycled materials are stable, waterproof, and hardwearing. Products that might otherwise end up in landfill ends up being properly reused, helping us to enjoy new shoes and attire with minimal environmental impact.