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Vegan shoes: the 4 things every gentleman should know

Published by Matthijs Berg on

Cruelty free

Vegan shoes are not quite the same as fake leather shoes, although they are both made without animal skins. A vegan shoe, however, is made without any animal products whatsoever. It also excludes products which are tested on animals, in the process of making the shoes. This is certainly not always the case with regular fake leather shoes.
For example, when you buy vegan shoes you know for sure that even the glue which is used for your shoes is free from any animal ingrediënts. Vegan shoes are completely cruelty free and animal friendly!

Sadly, it’s a misconception leather is always a waist product from the meat industry. Often animals are bred specifically for their skins, just like animals are bred for their fur in the fur industry. This is not only the case for crocodiles, snakes or ostriches, but even for calves, goats and lambs.
These animals are leading horrible lives before being slaughtered, often in countries where there are zero standards for treating animals, like India (yes, cows as well!).
Even when you buy leather shoes which are labeled ‘made in Italy’, it doesn’t mean the animals where actually bred and raised in Italy, which as a country may have slightly better animal welfare regulations in comparisation to India. This just means the shoe itself was produced in Italy.

Sometimes real leather actually is a waist product from the meat industry. That doesn’t make it a better or more ethical option unfortunately. Because by buying real leather shoes, you are actually supporting the meat industry. Let’s be honest, all vegans, vegetarians and even some meat eaters are not too happy with this industry and would not want to support it in any way!

When buying vegan shoes, you can rest assured absolutely no animals were harmed in whatever way possible for your style. Now that’s a relief!

Vegan shoes: the 4 things every gentleman should know

Environmental aspects

Although both real leather shoes and vegan leather shoes have some impact on the environment, vegan shoes do leave a smaller ecological footprint in general.
That’s because it takes more natural resources to make real leather shoes.
Animals who are kept for their skins need a lot of food and water before they are slaughtered. Growing food for these animals requires land and again, water. Keeping and feeding animals leads to deforestation, water contamination, pollution, emissions and a smaller biodiversity. This plays a major roll in climate change and it not sustainable at all.

After animals have been transported and slaughtered, there still is a lot of work which needs to be done. To make leather, animal skins need to be tanned to prevent rotting. The most common method is chrome tanning. This requires a great deal of nasty chemicals, which ultimately damage the environment and often the health of the workers in the leather industry as well. Just imagine breathing in these toxins all day!
Although vegetable tanning exists (this is a more natural way without the use of chemicals) it is far less common. This takes more time and costs the industry money. Plus, even with vegetable tanning there is still the fact animals are used, which takes its toll on the environment and is not the most ethical choice.

Producing vegan leather also means using chemicals and water unfortunately. Back in the days PVC (polyvinyl chloride) was used a lot. This type of material was proven to be damaging for the environment due to dioxins and is not the most sustainable choice when you want an alternative for real leather.
However, nowadays PU (polyurethane) is used, which is less damaging and doesn’t contain dioxins. When producing the more modern PU, companies are constantly making an effort to reduce fossil fuels and chemicals which are released during the manufacturing process. Although it may not be perfected yet, the forecast is this technique will only develop more in the coming years, since it is something mankind is doing for quite a short time in comparisation to producing real leather.

Gentleberg uses the best quality of PU for its vegan men’s shoes. The outsoles are made from recycled rubber, which is also 100% recyclable again.

Quality and comfort

When you buy vegan shoes, you don’t have to compromise on quality at all. Back in the days, fake leather looked like actual plastic and was easily distinguished from real leather. Nowadays, vegan leather feels so soft and luxurious, it actually is often mistaken for real leather. So you get the looks of real leather, but without the animal cruelty. How amazing is that?
Did you know Gentleberg’s are also breathable and water resistant? This makes your vegan shoes extra comfortable to wear.

Although it is a common thought vegan leather is not as durable as real leather, reality often shows the lifespan is actually comparable. There are definitely some simple things you can do to make your vegan shoes last longer. For example, storing them in a place without direct sunlight. Sunlight can fade the colours over the years and storing them in a dark place prevents this from happening.
Don’t worry, the colour of your vegan shoes will not fade if you wear them on a sunny day. Your shoes can take it! Just place them back in your closet, a shoe box or another place without direct sunlight after wearing them. Easy!

Cleaning your vegan shoes is perfectly possible. All you need is a warm and damp cloth. Just rub your shoes lightly with the cloth, making sure it is not soaking wet. After cleaning, just dry your vegan shoes with a dry cloth. That’s all it takes!
If there are stains on your shoes, just dillute a little bit of regular soap in warm water before you start cleaning. Absolutely no smelly shoe polish needed!


Style

Vegan shoes can definitely be classy! Just because you are against animal cruelty and care about our beautiful planet, doesn’t mean you want to dress like a slob.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to! Gentleberg offers several types of timeless but still modern vegan men’s shoes, which will definitely complement your style.
So whether you like a pair of vegan sneakers for ‘Casual Friday’, you dress up for a business meeting, or even when you are attending a wedding and need vegan dress shoes: Gentleberg has got you covered.


So, are you a true gentleman, who cares about animal lives and the environment, but still wants to look smart? Then Gentleberg’s and you are a perfect match! Whether you live in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, New York or Berlin, with fast, worldwide shipping (and free returns!) your vegan men’s shoes are just one click away. What is your favorite style?