Are TOMS shoes really ethical?

Look at my new shoes! Aren't they chic? And they are made of real leather! - Yes, they are super chic, dear Barbara. But, if you believe that a REAL LEATHER seal means that there is also quality in this product, then you are most likely on the wrong track. And why, I'll tell you in this post, which is aimed at all REAL LEATHER - Barbaras out there and all those who, like me, are looking for vegan and sustainably produced shoes without animal suffering are.

First of all, I don't know any Barbara and have changed the name on purpose so as not to step on the big toe of any of my friends. I hear Barbara's sentence all the time and my heart bleeds every time. More than 50 years ago, when there were still many tanneries and shoemakers in their own country, GENUINE LEATHER was perhaps still a quality feature, but times have changed. There are hardly any cobblers left and if you used to get the animal skins from cattle from the area in order to process them into leather in regional tanneries, today most of them are only produced cheaply and in mass production on the other side of the world. In addition, dear Barbara, it has become almost impossible to trace the leather on your shoe. Just as impossible as it is to determine which animal this leather actually comes from.

REAL LEATHER = animal suffering, human suffering and environmental pollution

Most would now suspect that the leather comes primarily from slaughter animals, and by and large that may be true. With the term Slaughter animal Not only cattle and pigs whose hides end up in the tannery are meant, but also cats, deer, kangaroos, dolphins, walruses and many other animal species.

The animals are kept under catastrophic conditions for leather production and executed under excruciating conditions. Before that, however, they are fed huge amounts of soy, for whose production large parts of the rainforest are still being felled. Most of the animals are called Cheap product in developing countries without effective animal welfare laws like China, India, where the cow is not as sacred as one might think, Brazil or Bangladesh killed. The skins of these animals are then processed and sold all over the world. In China alone, around 2 million cats and dogs are killed every year for their fur and skins alone.

As with the labeling no information about the species, the country of origin, or the chemicals used must be specified for leather production, it is completely unclear which animal skin your leather shoe was made of and where the material for it comes from. Seal like Made in Germany also refer exclusively to the place of leather processing, but not to the country of origin.

Also the health aspect for humans plays a major role in the manufacture of leather. Because in the cheap-producing countries already mentioned, people work under catastrophic, sometimes even slave-like working conditions, where they face dangers in the chrome-polluted sewage without proper protective clothing and the necessary education. Wastewater that sometimes even gets into the surrounding rivers due to a lack of protective devices and thus poisons the drinking water of the residents who live there. Greetings from Erin Brockovich!

The fact is that the extraction and processing of leather is very resource-intensive. Animals suffer, people get sick, the environment is polluted and the ecological footprint is huge.

–> You can read more background information on leather and animal suffering on the PETA website

In addition to the problem of leather, the Wool and fur production terrible downsides. Especially when it gets colder again, the shoe market with warm and cuddly soft boots is booming. Incidentally, the main export country for wool is Australia. After painful keeping in a confined space and hurtful shearing, the animals are then usually brought to the Arab region in weeks of mass transports, including by ship, where they are once again sold at a profitable meat market.

It is not much different for the animals, who have to give up their lives because of the greed for fur. Held under the most adverse conditions, mistreated and sometimes even skinned alive. In addition to mink, fox and angora, more and more cat and dog skins can be found on the European market.

-> Do you dare to look behind the dark side of the wool industry?

-> Everything you should know about the fur industry

The thing with the glue ...

The purchasing decisions of every consumer have economic consequences and effects on our environment. I became aware of this some time ago and so I decided to focus on sustainability and vegan materials not only the next time I buy shoes, but from now on (the old, non-vegan shoes are of course still put on).

By the way, vegan shoes that have also been sustainably produced in conventional shoe stores are almost always an impossibility. It is much like looking for a needle in a haystack, but finding the needle is more likely than finding a nice and matching pair of shoes. In addition, the sales staff is still far too little trained in this area. Buying vegan shoes not only means doing without leather, but also using fur, wool and felt.

But that's not enough! Anyone who thinks a fabric shoe is inherently vegan is also wrong and should think of my lines the next time he or she tries on a pair of Chucks. The look at purely externally used materials, as well as the Shoe material labeling is therefore unfortunately not enough to be absolutely sure when buying shoes. Because the adhesives that are used in the manufacture of shoes can also contain animal products such as proteins or bones.

Did you know: The leather symbol is supposed to represent a hunted animal.

Your life, your statement, your vegan shoes - Anifree Shoes

So I'm all the more pleased that Anifree Shoes, an online shop that exclusively offers vegan, sustainable and fairly produced shoes, as well as bags and accessories, became aware of me and supported me with some samples for this post. Anifree is made up of the words animal and free together and thus the shop is committed to a vegan and sustainable way of life.

We do not see ourselves as a mere dealer who offers goods without love. We see ourselves as part of a change that is about living consciously and consuming consciously. We are ethically vegan and we don't want animals to suffer for us or fashion./ Anifree Shoes

A look at the online shop is definitely worth it and even dear Barbara would find more than just a pair of chic shoes here that do without leather and animal suffering. The selection is really great and so you can find next to the now very well-known French sneaker brand Veja also the One for One Toms shoes, as well as the best known to me in my opinion vegan and sustainable shoe brand Ecoalf.

In the online shop of Anifree Shoes you can find out more about each of the brands on offer and be sure that all shoes offered in the shop are vegan and sustainably produced. You can find out what materials the shoes are made of and you can even find information about the exact fit. So you know in advance whether the shoe is smaller, larger or cut to fit.

This makes returns less frequent and what I definitely have to mention: Anifree Shoes waivedon plastic, used exclusively vegan packaging material and you can specify in the ordering process whether the order is in a already use cardboard may be packed. Just great!

And because it was really difficult for me to decide which shoes to choose, I have a small preview of the most beautiful shoes from the online shop that you can find here Anifree Shoes expect:

LADIES shoes:

1.Flamingos ’Life - Oslo Navy Stripes, 2.Grand Step Shoes - Tessy Banana, 3.Grand Step Shoes - Evita Plain Banana, 4.Ecoalf - Oregon Mint, 5. Toms - Ballet Pink Heritage Sneaker, 6.Muroexe - Oasis Pink, 7.Toms - Blue Multicolour Canvas Viv Sandals, 8.Toms Blue Multicolour Canvas Viv Sandals

Men shoes:

1.Ecoalf - Ohio Midnight Navy, 2.Flamingos ’Life - Oslo Ocean Marfil, 3.Flamingos ’Life - Oslo Ocean Marfil, 4.Toms - Space-Dye Men’s Cabrillo, 5.Grand Step Shoes - Billy Taupe, 6.Grand Step Shoes - Tim Mint, 7.Ethletic - Fair Sneaker Root Collection - different colors, 8.Ethletic - Fair Sneaker Root Collection - different colors

Step by step towards more sustainability!Anyone who buys vegan shoes can use this purchase decision to send a signal against animal suffering. Vegan shoes also have the advantage that recycled or sustainable materials are often used. The manufacturing process, as well as the ecological aspect and fair remuneration for all people involved speaks for itself!

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