Vegan Wares: Stepping towards new horizons
Hello to our loyal supporters!
This is just a quick note to let you know about some big changes that are underway here at Vegan Wares, and open discussion about any number of exciting possibilities.
As you are aware, for the past 23 years, our main focus has been to manufacture quality vegan footwear in-house. Over recent years however, due to key personnel changing careers, and the art of handmade shoes becoming a dying trade, in-house manufacturing has simply become too difficult for us to maintain. After much deliberation, we closed our workshop in June 2018.
Whilst our mission – to create genuinely sustainable products that help reduce animal cruelty and benefit the planet on a larger scale – is still the same, we have been contemplating the best platform from which to serve our customers in the future.
Rather than coming to decisions behind closed doors, we want to consult first with you, for without your support, Vegan Wares certainly wouldn’t have made it through the last 23 years.
These are some of the questions we will be considering over the next few months:Should we continue with the bricks & mortar retail outlet, or become an on-line only store? Should we continue to support the few remaining local footwear manufacturers? Should we bring in a new partner with new interests and energies? Should we merge/collaborate with another like-minded business?
We are open to all ideas and suggestions. If you would like to discuss any of these matters with us, or if you have a proposal you’d like to throw on the table, send us an email, or pop into the shop. We are very excited to see where the next year will take us.
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.
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.