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Eco Shoe Brand Switches to Vegan Leather in 2018

Shoe brand FeelGoodz ditches animal leather—in favor of high-quality vegan materials—in the new year to build more brand transparency.

Shoe brand Feelgoodz will replace all animal-based leather with vegan materials from its collection in 2018. The now-vegan brand—which works with artisans from around the world to craft slippers and sandals from sustainable materials—developed a recycled vegan polyurethane-based material sourced from Vietnam. “Sustainability and high ethical standards have always been at the core of our business,” Feelgoodz founder Kyle Berner said. “After extensively testing vegan leather alternatives, we feel we have a product that looks and feels as good or better than genuine leather while being more in line with the Feelgoodz brand ethos.” The brand also sources sustainable natural rubber from Vietnam and Thailand to reduce the environmental impact within its supply chain. “Navigating the leather industry proved challenging,” Berner said. “In the end, we found that we could create products with all of the benefits of genuine leather without major drawbacks. We believe our new vegan leather material can stand up to anything in the market.” Feelgoodz's vegan leather shoes will be available online and at Whole Foods Markets nationwide. A number of shoe companies have recently turned to vegan materials in lieu of leather, including T.U.K. Footwear, which launched a seven-style vegan line of its popular creepers in October using durable material TUKSkin.

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