Three Leaves Spring 2014 Lookbook + Etnies Dapper + 30% DISCOUNT CODE!

Three Leaves Look Book Spring 2014 #2

Our friends at Three Leaves have released their Lookbook for Spring 2014, and as usual there are some great finds there.  Check it out, there is an excellent assortment of stylish tees, button downs, shorts, and lightweight jackets.  As always, Three Leaves products are all either fair trade, vegan, environmentally friendly, or all of the above.

In addition to the vegan shoes they already have, Three Leaves recently got in several colorways to the Etnies Dapper, pictured below in black and multicolor.  We here at VK are always fans of skate shoes and Etnies (and Emerica) are at the top of our list.  These Dapper shoes are made in a pretty similar mold to the Vans Authentic with a slim low profile, but we dig the black on black sole, and the cool variegated herringbone pattern that is colorful yet not too flashy.  Plus, the Dapper is part of Etnies’ Buy a Shoe Plant a Tree Program, which is exactly what it sounds like – you buy a shoe, they plant a tree in a part of the world which really needs it.  Win win!

OH and we almost forgot to mention – COUPON CODE ALERT!!! For 30% off of all shoes at Three Leaves, enter the code VEGANKICKS.  I addition to Etnies, Three Leaves is currently carrying Veja, Novacas, and Brave Gentleman.  This coupon will only last until Friday, April 18th so get your kicks now before this huge promotion runs out!

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Vegan Shoe Policies 2013 by Vegan8

Some of you may have already seen this, but for those of you who haven’t, this is a tremendous resource.  Blogger Vegan8 did a ton of legwork to build a list of various shoe companies and obtained their vegan, animal friendly statuses.  Whoever you are, thank you!!! The result is a list of 60 companies that are classified under the following definitions:

VEGAN COMPANY: The company is Vegan, there should never be any need to doubt any of their products. These companies should be an ethical consumers first choice for our own peace of mind

ALL VEGAN: The company has stated by correspondence that all of their footwear products are Vegan. However, they do not appear to identify themselves as a Vegan company, so there is a possibility that future products will not be ethical

VEGAN OPTIONS: The company provides styles that are completely Vegan, but not all of their styles are Vegan

SYNTHETIC OPTIONS, GLUE MAY BE OF ANIMAL ORIGIN: The company provides styles that are free from animal derived ingredients, excepting (perhaps) the bonding agents. This is the one that I find most annoying, basically the company does not know (or is unwilling to back itself regarding) the type of bonding agents that are used at all times. They may vary due to season/availability/price etc. To me this is both an ethical and quality control issue. Shoe manufacturers generally market themselves as high tech and very deliberate in their materials and design. The suggestion that they are unaware of their own bonding agents, brings the companies and the industry itself into question. Footwear purchased from these manufacturers, may or may not be Vegan

SYNTHETIC OPTIONS, GLUE IS OF ANIMAL ORIGIN: The company provides styles that are free from animal derived ingredients, excepting the bonding agents, which they state are derived from animals. I have no idea why a company would choose to do this in 2013

NO VEGAN OPTIONS: The company deliberately chooses to provide no ethical footwear

AWAITING REPLY: Not enough time has passed since I made initial contact with the company, or they have responded that they are collecting the required details so that they can respond appropriately

NO REPLY: The company has been contacted at least 3 times over 3 weeks, using a variety of methods (email, contact form, facebook etc) but no reply has been received from them

UNCOOPERATIVE: The company has been contacted at least 3 times over 3 weeks, using a variety of methods (email, contact form, facebook etc) but is only willing to provide vague details or none at all. Companies in this category tend to ask why they are being questioned, by who and for what purpose. But even after responding to their questions, they continue to be uncooperative. Thankfully these companies are rare, the majority of companies in this survey have provided very good customer service.

Here are the results.  For the original page visit the Vegan8 site here.  It has the information in a better layout, and it also includes the specific responses from each companies.

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Lakai Echelon Series Spring 2014

Lakai Telford Caramel

Telford Caramel


[Thanks to Tall Mike for this intel]  Word from Lakai is that the leather in the new Echelon series is synthetic.  Info on the glue is unknown.   Note that we don’t know if these shoes are vegan, just that the leather is synthetic.  But in general, this is a good thing; we hope that in the future Lakai and others start using it more, or publicizing it.  Until then,  we have to be vigilant and figure out what is what.  So for all you out there, share intel and let us know if you find any shoes that are synthetic and/or 100% vegan.

As for the shoes, well the images more or less speak for themselves.  The Echelon series – Telford, Camby, Camby Mid, and Albany – are for casual wear.  Doesn’t look like you should be skating in these.  There are more colorways available for viewing on the Lakai site.

More pics after the jump!

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Keep Homer Kitty & Puppy Pack

Keep Homer Puppy Keep Homer Kitty

Whether you’re a cat person or a dog person, or any animal person, you can’t go wrong with the newly released Homer Kitty and Puppy pack by Keep.  With the obsession people (us included) have of our pets, we’re surprised there isn’t more animal print out there in the shoe world.  Well, maybe some of you would be embarrassed.  But WE wouldn’t be afraid to let the world know of our animal love.  Besides, these prints are adorable.  Hope they continue to keep going with the animal themes.  After all, it’s not just us vegans/vegetarians who can’t get enough of these furry little guys.

The Homer Kitty and/or Puppy available at Keep.

Winner of our Cliff Belts Contest

Congratulations Jeremy Ledford for winning our Cliff Belts contest!  You are the proud new soon to be owner of the Billfold Wallet.   WOOT.

Thanks to everyone who entered.  We are sorry there couldn’t be more winners.  But we’re always happy to host these contests and get some swag to our readers.

Stay tuned for the next giveaway!

Nike Update

Hey everyone, got a quick but important Nike update for you.  Unfortunately, they no longer maintain a list of animal free, vegan shoes.  They have represented to us in the past that certain shoes we inquired into were in fact vegan, but it appears that this is no longer the case.  Please see below for the response from one of their representatives:

Hello Henry,

My name is Dave and I am a Nike Running Pro. I too am a plant powered runner and I would be glad to lend a hand with this question. While we no longer maintain a current Non-Animal footwear list, we do advise consumers who are contentious of this experience to look for shoes that feature synthetic leather, mesh, or other non-full grain leather materials. Typically speaking, the Running and Cross Training silos are great places to start. This is because shoes that are designed to be lightweight will usually not include full grain leather…

Best regards,

Nike Pro Services

In summary, if you are the type that doesn’t care about the glue, then Nike is still an option for you.  For us, we are going to have to boycott Nike right now until they can certify at least some of their products are entirely vegan.  This is unfortunate, as there appears to be a dwindling selection for us in the sneaker world.  You would think that as time passed, there would be a reflection in the business community about the rising awareness of animal cruelty in their products.  Unfortunately, we have yet to reach a tipping point where this is universally acknowledged by the mainstream as a genuine concern.

We encourage all VK readers and animal lovers to reach out to their favorite brands and ask the simple question – why?  Why do you continue to use animal materials in your products?  If you don’t know what your shoes are made of, why is that the case?  Perhaps that is the most troubling answer of all, and points to an even darker aspect of globalized, outsourced manufacturing – you can’t even tell us what this is made out of!  We are disappointed in these big labels; one by one, they continue to be vague and insensitive to our concerns.  Fortunately, we have a growing number of smaller companies who are willing to stand up for something other than pure fashion.  We encourage you to check out our archives for the small guys who are blazing the path to a more ethical, animal friendly future.

- Henry

Cliff Belts Billfold Wallet Giveaway

Sienna Billfold - Cropped

And we’re back!  Last time around we featured some great new stuff from NYC based Cliff Belts.  (Check their spring 2014 stuff here)  Today we are very excited to be doing a little collaboration and giving away their Sienna Billfold Wallet!  For the longest, whenever you wanted to get a wallet, the only non-leather alternative was canvas.  But no more!  The Billfold is cork, harvested from sustainable cork tree bark.  I was able to see Cliff’s stuff in person over the weekend, and I was very surprised how soft and natural cork looks and feels.  It’s definitely not stiff and hard like wine bottle variety.  I would compare it quite favorably to actual leather, which makes sense since it’s being made into belts and wallets.  The Billfold is lined on the inside with a cotton polyester blend, and features a three card pocket and one large ID pocket.  The dye is a handsome brown, or Sienna, which is 100% natural.

Sienna Billfold - B - Cropped

Here are the contest rules:

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Cliff Belts Spring 2014

We’re very excited to feature some great new product from Cliff Belt‘s expanded lineup this spring.   We’ve previously talked up their cork belts, a novel approach to vegan belt making which is also sustainable and quite handsome.  They’re coming on stronger in 2014, with new belts, wallets, and now bags.  [We're souped about the messenger bag, but what about a backpack?]  Before we go into the stuff, we have a few announcements for those interested in Cliff Belts:

  • Cliff Belts will be at the ID Pop Up Shop in Chelsea Market, NYC, between February 3-9.  They’ll be set up across from Amy’s Bread, so be sure to check them out and see them in person.
  • Free shipping alert! enter VKICKFREESHIP for free shipping on any product listed below, good through March 31st.

Now, onto the good stuff

The Subway Belt:
1104 - A - Cropped
 1102 - B - Cropped

Autonomie Project Black High Top Sneaker

Autonomie Blacktop High 1

Vegans, ditch your Converse – they do not guarantee animal free materials in any of their shoes.  Fortunately, there are a lot of good vegan replacements out there.  One of these, is the high top made by Autonomie.  We’re a fan of the black on black.  Not much else to talk about here – what you see is what you get.

Available at Moo Shoes.

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Winter Boot Roundup

Bogs Ultra Mid 2

Bogs Ultra Mid 2

This is so late in coming, but unfortunately it is far too often the case that we feature styles halfway or mostly through the appropriate season.  We weren’t even going to do this, but in New York (and the Midwest, South, Atlantic, and Northeast) we were just slammed with a brutal arctic chill and the first real snowstorm of winter.  Nothing like that 1-2 to knock you on your ass and think about the appropriate gear.

Today we’re featuring four of our favorite vegan winter boots.  We think that there is a decent amount of variety in this section to satisfy different tastes and needs.  At the most practical end is the Bogs Classic Ultra Mid 2, which will be able to handle more extreme weather conditions.  It’s waterproof, insulated, and comfortable.  I especially like the top handles and stretch bootie for easy access.  Similarly, the Kamik Hunter is a calf high waterproof rubber boot with an insulated liner.  A neat feature is the adjustable nylon collar at the top.

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