From Eluxe Magazine By Arwa Lodhi
I have a confession to make: I find vegan shoes quite uncomfortable. My feet sweat, and the fabric doesn’t seem to move and expand with my feet the way leather does. It’s often put me off buying vegan shoes, which is terrible, because I am trying to avoid buying leather products at all costs.
The ‘halfway’ solution I found was to purchase running shoes made out of high tech fabrics. It works for me – with casual outfits, that is. But when I want to dress up, I am happy to say I’ve found a new solution: a synthetic leather from Japan.
This Japanese poromeric leather is an innovative, vegan, and eco-friendly material comprised of fibres that mimics the structure of collagen in animal skin, meaning this material is flexible, durable and breathable. It is 3 times stronge and lighter than animal leather.
One brand that uses it is Hexa, a Thailand-based vegan accessories label with an international clientele.
Hexa Founders, Sy Mahattanarak and Lisa McKeithen, say: “We introduced our luxurious vegan shoes and bags at a prestigious department store in Bangkok after we launched our Kickstarter campaign. Since then, we have received wonderful feedback and also gained repeat customers“
This PETA-Approved fashion brand has designed some truly unique styles that incorporate poromeric leather-as well as breathable and sustainable jute – into their collection. Amongst my favourites are the seahorse-embroidered Speedey loafers, the sporty Bella Donna flats, and the heeled Raven pump.
What’s most interesting about the Speedey loafer, pictured below, is that it’s actually two shoes in one: you can choose to wear it as a slip-on, or if you’re on holiday on the beach, you can fold down the heel to create an easy, breezy mule – the heel will easily spring back when you decide to wear them up again!
But there’s more to this brand than just creative shoe design: they apply their strict vegan ethics to an elegant handbag range, too. Whether it’s the sweet Nightstar evening bag, with its gold chain and hand strap –which hugs your hand when carried as a clutch– or the hold-everything jute Kismet hobo bag, there’s a style for every occasion, from work to evening events.
“Our brand proves that thoughtfulness and social responsibility can result in attractive accessories that every woman will want, while embracing sustainable and cruelty-free materials and methods,” says Lisa.