Archive for the ‘shoes’ Category

Vegan Wares has a selection of high-quality hiking shoes and urban shoes→ Read more

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.

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!

Is dancing your thing? Need a pair of vegan shoes for dancing? Vegan Wares can do made-to-order shoes with our vegan suede called ‘sueda’ on the soles of most of our shoes.

Shoes with a sueda sole are great for dancing on many floor surfaces and for almost any type of dance. Like suede-soled shoes, the sueda-soled ones provide proper traction for dancing and can be used for Ballroom, Swing and Latin styles of dancing.

Below are some examples of shoes that can be made with a sueda sole. From left to right: Estelle Brogue (concept) in B&W, Nora Flamenco (9075) in red and Maude (bolen) in B&W.

MTO shoes for men and women made with a sueda sole can be ordered from Vegan Wares now. All you need to do is come into our store, select your preferred style, colour and get fitted for the proper size. We’ll do the rest!

Quote of the day: “Dancing is the poetry of the foot.”  ~ John Dryden, English poet (1631-1700)

Lately it’s been incredibly wet here in Australia’s south-east. And if you’ve been caught in the rain with non-waterproof shoes or shoes with worn out ‘holey’ soles you will likely be well acquainted with the discomfort of wet socks and feet. Ugh! We feel your pain!

In order to avoid soggy socks & feet in wet weather we have some suggestions for you:

Sole repairs

First, check your soles – if you’re sole is feeling soft or thin at any point or your heel is wearing thin it may be time for some repairs. We advise to repair your soles before a hole forms in order to prevent wet socks or any possible internal damage. You can get your shoe soles patched or replaced at our store in Collingwood.  Or if you’re interstate or overseas any local shoe repair store should be able to do the repairs.

Waterproofing footwear

Apply a product like Nikwax to your footwear for waterproofing. Nikwax is water-based so it’s enviro-friendly and it maintains the breathability of the shoe.

Tip of the Day: Do not place your wet shoes in front of a heater to dry, as this may affect the glues. This applies to all types of shoes. Let them dry at room temperature.

Lately we’ve been extremely busy making heaps of MTO boots and shoes for our lovely customers.

This winter down-under, we’ve had many orders for boots and we just want to remind you that not only can you choose different colours for your boots, but we can accommodate shapely calves or not so shapely legs. That way your boots will fit you perfectly.

If you’re considering getting quality custom-made boots come on in to our store, we’ll help you choose a style and colour, we’ll take your measurements then we’ll take it from there.

Currently it’s taking us about 4 weeks to complete MTOs because we are so busy, but it’s well worth the wait!

We’re excited to share with you the good news! The first batch of our eco & cruelty free footwear, made in our Vegan Wares-approved manufacturing plant in Chennai, India, has just arrived!

Aussie-designed, our International Collection includes casual boots for women and men, ladies’ ballet flats and walking shoes for men at budget prices. See the entire range here: veganwares.com/shop/shop/budget-footwear

Available online or from our Melbourne store at 78 Smith St, Collingwood. If you’re in Sydney, The Cruelty Free Shop, at 83 Glebe Point Road, Glebe is also a stockist of our International Collection.