Trend, Fair-Trade, Vegan Shoes … Yes it exists!
‘Clothing introduces you before you even speak ‘ a quote I read once and completely agree with. I think for most of us, clothing and accessories are really important as they are a reflection of how we feel and see ourselves.
When it comes to my wardrobe, I prioritize comfort over style most of the time. My lifestyle and work require me to either run around town going from meeting to meeting, or stand up for a couple of hours at the time for workshops, walk around at a fast pace in the city of Shanghai, and so to find a shoe that is comfortable, stylish, and eco-friendly is … a challenge. Even more so in Shanghai ...
But then, faith had it that I had the pleasure to meet one of the owners of the shoe brand BAHATIKA. He told me they were a start-up producing vegan shoes for the conscious, fashionable, urban young professional. I was so intrigued and as any good entrepreneur he showed me their look book he had in his bag and, I was hooked. Not only because of the values of the brand that he discussed with me, but when you see the design and brand ( I am a major branding nerd) I fell in love with their product. The design shoes that are easy to match for different occasions but also are timeless to avoid the impacts from fast fashion.
So I tried one of their sneakers, their ROCHA SAND shoe. Not only did they arrive in very minimal packaging (zero waste for the win!), but they are also very comfortable.
I composted the rice paper and used the box for storage.
Why vegan shoes? Well, because when you try to live a more sustainable lifestyle it means: a lifestyle that does not compromise the resources of our future generations. When we buy products made of materials such as plastic, petrol, obscene amounts of water, or wood from the amazon forest, the sourcing of these materials is not sustainable at all, let alone the travel distance they have gone through to get to your doorstep. Not only is it happening on a very large scale, it’s also very wasteful, but most importantly, we are wiping out thousands of species and harming animals unnecessarily for the sake of money and greed.
When we hear vegan, we think of the food that is on our plate, but we don’t immediately make the connection with the products we put on our face or the clothes we put on our body.
What I like about BAHATIKA is that their shoes are not made from any animal product.
NO unnecessary animal suffering or exploitation for material value or for the sake of fashion
NO grain is harvested and watered for their feed which reduces the carbon footprint of the production processes.
NO to toxic dyes: their manufacturers in Italy and Spain own certification of European community concerning environmental protection and their raw material comply with (CE) n.1907/2006 and certified by REACH. It means there are no harmful or toxic substance such as formaldehyde, asbestos, phthalates, lead, chrome, hexavalent chromium used.
YES to locally produced shoes and giving back to the community
Bahatika is currently based in Europe but with one of their co-owners is here in Asia. The way to minimize the impact on emissions, is currently through DHL green logistics which is a good alternative for now.
What about post-life?
Bahatika wants to take this philosophy further and is currently discussing the idea of a return policy post use that would allow the brand to recycle or repair and resell to people in need.