And quite frankly, we were feeling a little frustrated by the lack of footwear that matched the Embassy of Bricks and Logs style and mission. If we were going to put so much effort into designing outerwear that looked good and was easy on the planet, we didn’t want to be let down by what was on our feet!
The question this posed, however, was how?
How would we create shoes that looked great, were long-lasting, and adhered to our vegan and sustainable ethics? We mulled it over for some time, and then one day the pieces started to come together.
Through the colleague of a friend, whose friend knew somebody (you know how these things go) we were introduced to Gabriel Silva. Not only is Gabriel just one of those stand-up guys, but he is also the founder of Ahimsa, the world’s only 100% vegan shoe factory. As luck would have it, the core values of this small (but mighty) Brazilian company were closely aligned with our own.
Established out of a desire to prove to the world that it was possible to create beautiful footwear without leaving a damaging footprint (if you’ll excuse the pun), the dedicated team at Ahimsa are our kind of people.
With animal rights as their primary mission, they also take care to assure that their employees have great working conditions and are paid a fair wage. To ensure this, all their shoes are assembled by a highly-skilled, tight-knit team directly in their factory. Obviously, this was also very important to us.
Like with our jackets, we knew that if we were going to do this, we had to do it the right way. And so began our journey with Ahimsa, to create shoes that we really felt good about and knew that you would love.
Design is and will always be at the forefront of what we do, so this was our chance to pack everything into a shoe that we felt had been missing.
Versatility was important. Footwear should be able to take you wherever your day does. Whether that’s down the road to meet up with friends, into the forest to connect with nature, or out for a night on the town. To meet all these needs the shoes must also be durable, hard-wearing, and forgiving.
Thankfully this is where the experience and expertise of the Ahimsa team came into play. Through their knowledge and connections, we have been able to incorporate some of the latest advancements in vegan and sustainable materials into our shoes.
For example, in the place of leather, we have used a vegan microfibre material that has many of the characteristics of cowhide (minus the cow) but has the bonus of being washable, very resistant, and more eco-friendly. The outer soles of our shoes are made from natural rubber harvested from sustainably grown latex trees, reducing the carbon footprint and amount of noxious chemicals necessary.
Many of the materials used in our shoes have been created out of recycled materials and are proven to be hardy and long-wearing.
Once again, we’re learning as we go, so this has become another important step in our slow fashion journey.
But the versatility of our shoes goes beyond their structural design…
We also wanted to do away with gender stereotypes. In our opinion, whether you identify as he, she or other shouldn’t have to be reflective of how you chose to present yourself. That’s why our first shoe range is entirely unisex. We’re stepping away from the shoulds and should-nots of gender-based shoe fashion to bring you androgynous styles that are suited to anybody.
Whether you’re dressing up, or dressing down, if you favour flowing dresses or worn-in jeans, we know our shoes will become a firm staple in your wardrobe. And much like our jackets, our hope is that they will remain your trusty companion for many years to come.
We all know that the appalling fashion practices that currently exist are unsustainable, and it’s up to everybody to take a stand against them.
Our goal is to show the world that footwear can be long lasting, timeless, and ethically made without compromising on style. Like we always say, we’re not claiming to have all the answers, but we’ll never stop striving to improve on what we create.