Interview With Wills Vegan Shoes & All Black Everything

We go a real treat for you today.  A lot of you may already be familiar with Wills Vegan Shoes, and we’ve been big fans since its inception in 2013.  It was just what we were looking for: dope vegan shoes, made fair trade, and offered at a very reasonable price.  We’ve watched excitedly as they grew – it seems like they add new styles on a weekly basis.  We were also lucky enough to get our hands a few pairs, and we were not disappointed.  So we are very excited to share an interview with Will Green, the founder of (the eponymous) Wills Vegan Shoes.  Plus, check out some of our picks, all in black!

Wills Chukka Boot Black
Wills Chukka Boot Black

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Asics Gel Lyte V Vegan Navy Burgundy

Asics Gel Lyte V Vegan Navy Burgundy 1
Asics Gel Lyte V Vegan Navy Burgundy

Quick hitter for today.  Asics keeps coming strong with their vegan shoe offerings.  Here we have the Gel Lyte V Vegan in navy burgundy.  With a very nice mix of fake leather, suede, and mesh upper.  We’d like to see some more colorways, but can’t complain too much about this combo.  You’re not gonna go wrong with a navy upper and white sole on a classic like this.  Oh, and extra props to Asics for putting “vegan” in the name of the shoe!  Makes life easier for us and gives the general shopper the chance to make a positive, ethical choice.

Available at Sneaker Politics.

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Shoes Like Pottery

Shoes Like Pottery High Top Canvas White
Shoes Like Pottery High Top Canvas White

Today we are very excited to feature Shoes Like Pottery, a Japanese brand that makes a quite refined canvas sneaker.  At first glance, these appear to be your typical mass market shoe like a Converse All Star, but if you look closer, these shoes show some serious attention to detail and quality.   Of course, before you read any further, rest assured that these shoes are fully vegan – Shoes Like Pottery verified that there are no animal products, even in the cement used for glue.

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WeWOOD Watches

WeWOOD Kappa Black
WeWOOD Kappa Black Gold

This week we are featuring WeWOOD, a watch company founded by a couple of entrepreneurs and a watch lover who had a vision for eco-friendly and stylish timepieces.  They start with sustainable materials – most of this wood is reclaimed scrap wood (read more about the varieties of wood used here).  They then fill in the guts with Miyota movement.

WeWOOD established its environmentally conscious credentials back in 2010, when they joined with American Forests and Trees for the Future to help in their tree planting mission.  Their blueprint is simple: plant one tree for each watch purchased.  Since 2011, WeWOOD has helped plant 300,000 trees.

We’ve had our eyes on WeWOOD for a while.  Even aside from their great story and mission, these watches are dope.  They really stand out from your regular metallic timepiece.  And they come in a variety of tones, from birch to warm red to classic black.  We are slightly concerned about durability; we wonder how they stack up against their metal counterparts.  Hopefully, we can get our hands on one sometime soon and write a review!  Until then, check out our picks from the WeWOOD lineup.

Get FREE standard shipping in the US with this code: SHIP4FREE

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Shop Shout: Ethical WARES

Today’s article is dedicated to Ethical WARES, a UK shop that’s been serving the vegan community for 21 years!  Throughout, they’ve been spreading a message of compassion and nonviolence through their various animal friendly products.  They also engage in fair trade, locally sourced manufacturers, support the Tibetan freedom movement, and run a socially conscious indie music label.   They even have room to take care of 50 animals in Caegwyn, Wales!

Ethical WARES Union Street Blue
Ethical WARES Union Street Blue

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Asics Gel Lyte III Vegan Black on Black

Now available is another great vegan option from Asics.  The Gel Lyte III in Black/Black is a classic retro runner, but this one has synthetic suede and leather uppers .  We’re excited that Asics is releasing vegan retro runners like this in addition to the Onitsuka Tiger series (on which we will update soon).  We know that these are gray and black, but monochrome photos only?   I would have preferred color images to see more accurate tones.  Oh well.

Available at Sneaker Politics.

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What We Wear: Winter Work Coats

Nordstrom Portland Car Coat 1
Nordstrom Portland Car Coat (available at Nordstrom)

I have an admission:  I wear wool.   #gasp.  I own a bunch of sweaters, ties, and coats before I made “the switch,” and I can’t bear to throw them out.  I want to replace everything, but apart from the money, it has been hard finding vegan clothes suitable for the office.  A particularly vexing issue has been trying to find a replacement for my wool overcoat.  The choice for acceptable, cruelty free winter coats is surprisingly limited, even more so than shoes.  Even if you can find a nice synthetic coat, it’s often filled with down.  I figured I can’t be the only one who is having trouble with this, so I thought this would be a good time to launch the first in a series of What We Wear – clothes you need, but have a hard time going vegan with.

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Shoe Glue

Recently, a lot of you have been asking us what the deal is with glues in shoes.  We were embarrassed to say that despite blogging about this for years, we didn’t know the answer.  We were just asking companies if they used animals in their glues without ever wondering what they were actually made out of.  And when we asked them, they were never forthcoming about it.  Well we finally reached out to PETA, a more-than-credible source on this issue, and we got a great answer.  We thought we would share their explanation with us; we hope that this information is helpful for you in your future purchases.

Note that we have also provided a handy link over here in top navigation bar.

Animal proteins like casein from milk or collagen from flesh, bones, skins, tendons, ligaments, and other body parts are used to make animal-based glues. To extract collagen from tissue, animal parts are cleaned, softened, and boiled in water to create a stock.  The stock is concentrated and impurities are removed.  Essentially the same process has been used for thousands of years to make glue. 

The use of animal ingredients in industrial glues is increasingly uncommon since a large variety of synthetic adhesives now exist, each with different applications.  These adhesives are often chosen over animal based glues because they can be produced at a constant rate and to meet specific manufacturing standards.  Synthetic adhesives can be customized to perform well for a business’s specific application and manufacturers may be hesitant to reveal trade secrets about what exactly is in their adhesives.

We encourage you to contact shoe companies directly about the type of adhesives they use. In doing so, you will be showing these companies that there is a demand for more animal-friendly materials and, ultimately, helping to change the industry. You might also consider writing to vegan shoe companies to find out what specific synthetic glues are being used and why they were selected.  Companies expect to hear from organizations like PETA, but when they hear from their customers, it sends an even stronger message—that cruelty to animals is bad for business and won’t be tolerated.

Please feel free to comment to this post, email us (vegankicks@gmail.com), or fill out a contact form in our About section if you have any further questions or comments.  Thank you!

BAIT x Saucony Vegan Shadow Original “Cruelworld”

bait-saucony-shadow-cruelworld-1

Saucony for the win again!  While we are a little behind on this release, we thought we needed to share this collaboration.  Here, Saucony teamed up with shop BAIT to come up with a limited release of the Shadow Original “Cruelworld”.   This model is made out of synthetic suede, canvas, hemp, and animal free glues.  Other nice touches include the cork footbed, speckled outsole, and a sweet tongue tag that announces “no animal products, byproducts, or derivatives” were used in making this sneaker.  We are even reading that the factories making this shoe are being monitored for fair working conditions.  F*ck yeah!

Not only is this collaboration kind to critters, it is promoting non-violence generally.  BAIT will be taking (have taken) a portion of these proceeds and donated them to A Place Called Home, a nonprofit youth center in LA.  We are very excited about all things this shoe, not least because it looks dope.  It’s been a while since we’ve seen something like this around these parts, so it’s definitely something to celebrate.

The only bummer is… the limited release came and went already.  Apparently, it was only available by raffle, which ended on November 25.  We have no further info whether there will be an additional release.  We will follow up with BAIT, and if anyone else has intel, please share in the comments section.  Until then, enjoy the photos (courtesy of Nice Kicks).

UPDATE 1/27/15: We contacted BAIT and they said the only shoes available are on pickyourshoes.com.  We checked and there are a lot of Asics Gel Lyte III colorways, but it doesn’t look like this one is available. 

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