Vegan Wares blog
Sustainable Vegan footwear
In the lead up to our 20 year anniversary this August of being in the business of designing and making high-quality & sustainable vegan shoes, boots and accessories we’d like to return to where it all began.
Back in the early ‘90s Peter Cabena and Jenny Donaldson, both ethical vegans, began their journeys independently of each other seeking good quality alternatives to leather shoes. Peter had started up a mail order business importing vegan hiking boots from the UK and was looking to expand the range of footwear due to customer demand. Jenny had a keen interest in design and the idea of making vegan shoes locally. They met in April 1995 after Peter discovered a notice Jenny had posted on a Collingwood community board about developing a vegan shoe business. Sharing the same ideals of going into business to provide the community with ethical footwear that is high-quality, durable and fashionable, Peter and Jenny founded Vegan Wares.
Vegan Wares – Australia’s first vegan shoe store and local footwear manufacturer – officially opened for business in August 1995.
Below is an article titled “If the shoe fits” that appeared in Australian newspaper The Age on 1st November 1995.
Since then we’ve been specializing in designing and making high-quality, long-lasting animal-free footwear, also offering a made-to-order service, which includes colour options, size variations (e.g. extra width, extra length), and new style creations. We also stocked non-leather belts, wallets, purses from the beginning and have since expanded our range to include other environmentally sustainable products such as bamboo socks, sneakers made from recycled plastic bottles, cruelty-free bags and personal care made from natural products.
Vegan Wares shoemakers not only excel in making high-quality vegan footwear but also do top class shoe repairs making your footwear last even longer.
If the heels and/or soles of your shoes are wearing thin bring them into our Collingwood store in Melbourne and we’ll repair them for you. We can do patching, re-gluing, heel top-piece replacement, replacement of the entire sole and more. Just come into our shop with your shoes and we can work out what repairs need to be done.
Pictured is our master shoe-craftsman & shoe repairer Loui and the various stages of repairing worn rubber heels.
Have you ever considered opening your own vegan shoe store?
A simple way to get started is to buy a franchise licence, which gives you the right to retail Vegan Wares products in your locality. It’s simple and easy because:
- you don’t need any particular technical expertise in footwear
- you have instant access to a proven business model
- the core merchandise is on tap
- you’re not alone – we are available to support you 6 (business) days a week.
The Vegan Wares franchise system aims to achieve a wider distribution of our products by establishing a network of dedicated vegan retail outlets. There is an element of standardization, to maintain our message of ‘sustainability through durability’ and client recognition, but there is also ample scope for franchisees to vary what is on offer around the core merchandise, and personalize the presentation.
In essence, under our franchise system we provide most of the products, while you work at connecting with your local clientele.
If you are good at marketing and customer service this may be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.
Entry costs – an initial set-up fee; an annual license fee; investment in foundation stock.
Email us for more information with subject heading ‘VW Franchise’: veganw[at]veganwares.com
We’re excited to be taking part in the Fair@Square event for the first time! It will be held at Federation Square, Melbourne on November 30 & December 1.
It’s a free public festival held annually celebrating ethical, sustainable and morally responsible behaviour – in line with what Vegan Wares’ is all about.
Come along to the festival next weekend and make sure you drop by our stall where you will find cruelty-free, ethical and sustainable products such as: shoes, belts, brooches, FYE sneakers, wallets, purses, guitar straps and bags. Just in time for Christmas!
What a great time of year this is! There are so many cruelty free/vegan festivals occurring around Australia and the world.
Last Sunday was the Cruelty Free Festival in Sydney, with a wonderful array of vegan stalls, including ours. We had on display samples of our footwear made in our Melbourne shop, and for purchase we had bags, guitar straps, belts, wallets, purses, wrist bands (cuffs), brooches, our International collection of shoes, the For Your Earth sneakers, lip sticks and lip balms. It was an enjoyable day, thank you Sydney! Check out pics from our stall here.
Now we’re looking forward to World Vegan Day in Melbourne this Sunday, November 10, where we will also have a stall. We’ll be bringing a large range of products with us so hope to see you there!
We’ll also be at the Cruelty Free West expo in Caroline Springs on Saturday December 7. Organised by the Caroline Springs Animal Welfare Network, the expo is in it’s third year and going strong.
With the federal election coming up here in Australia we thought we’d do a short blog about the Animal Justice Party.
The AJP was formed a couple of years ago to be the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves in Australian parliament. Their vision is:
A planet on which animals are treated with respect, dignity, compassion and kindness, where they are able to flourish in their respective environments, and where their unique needs and capabilities are recognized and their interests are protected.
The Animal Justice Party seeks to restore the balance between humankind, the animal kingdom and the natural world. For more information on their policies and how they will achieve their goals to help the animals whether they are considered, wildlife, farmed or domesticated refer to heir website: www.animaljusticeparty.org
Pictured is Bruce Poon, lead candidate for the Senate in Victoria.
As Vegan Wares is one of the major sponsors of Dr Melanie Joy’s tour of Australia and New Zealand we’re excited about Dr Joy coming to our shores in a couple of weeks time. And if you’d like to meet her we’re hosting a book signing opportunity at our Collingwood store, 11am on Monday August 19. Please come along! For more info see our press release below.
<MEDIA RELEASE> August 2, 2013
Longstanding Collingwood business Vegan Wares, makers of high-quality shoes, boots and accessories, is thrilled to be hosting a book signing event with Dr Melanie Joy, best selling author of “Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows” at our store: 78 Smith Street, Collingwood, 11am on Monday August 19.
Dr Melanie Joy, a Harvard-educated psychologist, professor of psychology and sociology, is touring Australia and New Zealand this August giving presentations on carnism.
“Carnism is the invisible belief system, or ideology, that conditions people to eat certain animals. Carnism is essentially the opposite of veganism; “carn” means “flesh” or “of the flesh” and “ism” denotes a belief system. Most people view eating animals as a given, rather than a choice; in meat-eating cultures around the world people typically don’t think about why they find the flesh of some animals disgusting and the flesh of other animals appetizing, or why they eat any animals at all…” www.carnism.org
Through her presentations Dr Joy has inspired change in individuals across the world towards compassionate living. Vegan Wares’ philosophy is very much in line with Dr Joy’s as we believe in the sanctity of life. That is why we design and manufacture high-quality shoes, boots and accessories that are ecologically responsible and free from any animal products.
The team at Vegan Wares looks forward to seeing you at the book signing and we hope many more people start making compassionate choices motivated through attending Dr Joy’s presentations. Tickets for the presentations can be purchased from: www.janegoodall.org.au
By now you would know from a couple of our previous blogs that we do made-to-order shoes and boots. We can also do MTO bags to match your footwear!
We currently have the Pasadena bag in our range and are working on new designs for bags, which we’ll share with you at a later date. Though if you have a specific style of bag in mind feel free to send us a drawing or photo, or bring in a sample bag for one of our designers to see.
Pictured above is a recent customer order for a pair of MTO Edna (rowdy) shoes and a matching Pasadena bag in red and aubergine. You could do the same and pick your preferred colours!