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.