Are these shoes vegan?

Saturday, I found myself inside a real crisis of conscience. My brother was getting confirmed the next day, so I had to go to church, and therefore, dress appropriately. The dress I had, but no shoes to match. My mom suggested we go to the mall and offered to buy the shoes for me! Hooray for having an amazingly awesome mom who is also able and willing to buy me a new pair of shoes! While I am moving towards a more minimalistic lifestyle, I realize there are certain standards for specific events in society, and would like to respect that, especially in a place of worship. While I could go mismatched (the eco-friendly way to go), I also don’t want to look like I dressed myself in the dark.

So my mom and aunt came and picked me up at my apartment and promptly went through my closet to pick out a dress. There were three options: the first one, too short; the second, valid; and the third, well played. Once we had an idea of what might work, we headed towards the incandescent lights of migraine, also known as a department store in the mall.  I actually let them do the shopping, because I was pretty under-carbed and crabby that day. I was so “in my own head” I started trying shoes on without  a second thought. I picked out a couple pairs, and then it dawned on me… “these are leather, these are suede…” DAMNIT!

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The footage of leather creation in Earthlings started reeling in my head. The cows are starved, dying and can barely walk into slaughter. They are pushed, punched, stabbed, and yelled at until their gruesome demise.  I almost started crying with the shoes still on. First of all, because my heart was breaking again for the animals that gave their lives to become shoes for humans, and second, because those shoes were sexy as hell. I cannot deny that there is still a part of me that enjoys fashion, looking good, and feeling a part of society. Meanwhile, during this cognitive dissonance, I was reminding myself that the clothing industry is one of the most waste producing industries that exists. Which takes me further into the rabbit hole of excuses, thinking, “well I do a good job of giving old clothes away to people in need when I get new clothes…”

My mom bought the suede shoes for me and told me just to think about it and said we could return them the next day. She could tell part of me really wanted them, but I was really struggling to make a decision. When I was sitting at home Saturday night, writing this blog, still halfway stuck societal values, yet I was also beating myself up for thinking this was even a decision for me.  I ended up wearing shoes I already had and a different dress to match. I returned the suede to my mom and she took them back to the mall. Crisis averted.



These are from http://us.asos.com/ and are completely vegan! I will compile a list of the best vegan shoe selection for all you fashion junkie, ethical people out there.

For me, minimalism is not just about having few possessions, but also, when you do buy something, invest in quality. Buy stuff that will last a long time, make sure you LOVE the look, and it will have multiple uses. With clothing, buy things that can interchange and are long lasting materials. That way you can look the part, have a small, but versatile wardrobe, and feel comfortable in the effort you are making to help save the planet and animals, as well as lower your attachment to physical items.

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