Photo credit: @begoveganlabel via Instagram
Finding quality vegan leather shoes can be hard.
Finding quality, trendy, vegan leather shoes can be harder.
Finding quality, trendy, environmentally-friendly vegan leather shoes feels near impossible.
Well folks, we’ve got great news for you! Meet Bego Vegan Label, the Quebec shoe company making quality, trendy, environmentally-friendly vegan leather footwear.
What are Bego’s shoes made of?
Photo credit: Bego Vegan Label
Bego’s shoes are made mostly from pineapple (yep, you read that right). Created by fashion designer Audrée Lacombe-Pruneau and her partner Alexandre Coulombe, this PETA-approved company uses water-resistant recycled rubber with anti-slip outsoles to keep you warm and dry. To prevent waste, Bego sells any of their damaged footwear that have minor scratches and marks for a lower price.
How is Pineapple Leather made?
Photo credit: @pinatex via Instagram
Bego’s two entrepreneurs source their pineapple leather from a company called “Pinatex” who produces materials made from fibres found within the pineapple leaves and fruit.
The Philippines is one of the world’s biggest sources for this tropical plant we all know quite well. You may be surprised to learn that 13 million tonnes of pineapple leaves are wasted every year making this sweet, juicy fruit one of the biggest contributors of food waste.
In processing pineapples to make usable materials, workers harvest and sort the leaves to extract its fibres with a semi-automatic machine. These fibres are then washed and dried in the open air and sunshine. After any impurities are removed to achieve the desired texture. The fibres are then mixed with a corn-based polylactic acid before they are colored with GOTS-certified pigments making the material more durable and water resistant.
Bego’s sandals are made in Chengdu, a city in China known for its shoe production, in a facility known for having its employees’ well-being at heart. It’s always reassuring to support companies who have solid ethics and values!
Be Cool, not Cruel: The Leather Industry and its Impact on Animals
Not only is the production of leather hazardous for the environment, it is also cruel to animals. Billions of animals are slaughtered each year for their skins that are then used to make bags, shoes, belts, and other accessories for companies in the fashion industry. The animals killed for their skins include but are not limited to: cows, pigs, goats, sheep, kangaroos, elephants, zebras, and several exotic animals like crocodiles, snakes, and lizards.
According to a 2016 article released by Forbes, an investigation conducted by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) into the exotic skin trade found that crocodiles were being skinned alive and left in excruciating pain for hours until they died. A 2019 article released by Animals Australia asserts that when adult kangaroos are killed for their skin, their babies are usually clubbed to death or left to starve. Another article released by AnimalEthics.org stated that cows are often branded alive, meaning an extremely hot iron is pressed onto their body to prevent any skin damage from showing up later when used in products.
The chemicals used in tanning the leather also cause great damage to communities and animal populations, as these chemicals pollute the air, soil, and water where leather is being produced.
The Future of Fashion: A Conscious Way to Dress
Photo credit: Bego Vegan Label
In recent years, we have seen a change in society’s mentality when it comes to production. We’ve seen the food industry respond to demand for vegan products, as well as beauty and fashion industries. Although these changes have taken time, and not all fashion companies have followed suit, we now have more cruelty-free options than ever before!
As mentioned before, the leather industry for fashion poses a real problem that many are still unaware of, or choose to turn a blind eye to. The leather industry has caused great damage for far too long, without regard for the sentient beings who suffer a lifetime of torture and pain for a “trendy” product. It’s sad to think that the fashion industry often encourages superficial material luxuries over the safety and well-being of animals.
When we see companies like Bego, we realize that we do not have to deprive ourselves of high quality products that are equally as stylish and unique as their cruel counterparts. Bego is just one example of many fashion brands using cruelty-free, environmentally-friendly alternatives to leather. There are now several companies in Canada alone who are adopting more ethical means of producing clothes, bags, and shoes. There is no longer a reason to buy animal leather and encourage companies who test on, or use animals in the making of their products. Real change starts now, and it should have a long time ago.
A Step in the Right Direction for Fashion
There you have it folks! Be sure to check out Bego, the vegan footwear company changing the shoe game one pineapple at a time! By choosing Bego, you help prevent animal cruelty, environmental destruction, and global food waste. There’s no longer a reason to invest in animal-based leather when the alternatives are just as gorgeous and of high quality (not to mention a bit more budget-friendly). Supporting small, local businesses is always in style, so be sure to visit Bego Vegan Label’s website when making your next shoe purchase!
Finding quality, trendy, environmentally-friendly vegan leather shoes isn’t so hard after all, is it? 😉