Vegan Slippers: Plastic Vs. Sustainable Materials

Whether on Instagram or flipping through a magazine, we notice a lot of people turning to a plant-based or vegan diet. Some even sharing vegan products they love.

But what are vegan products? And what exactly does that imply?

Vegan means something is free of all animal products, including meat, eggs, dairy, and other animal-derived products. A vegan shoe for example, is one that has been created without using any materials sourced from animals. It also excludes products that are subjected to animal testing. Many typical shoe materials, such as leather, wool, fur, and even glues, come from animals. Despite how strange it is to use skin to produce shoes, millions of animals are tortured and slaughtered each year for the fashion industry.

Vegan Slippers

Are vegan slippers really environmentally friendly?

It helps to remember one thing: If a brand says it’s shoes are vegan, it’s not necessarily “good” for the environment. Most faux leathers for example, which is used in the production of vegan shoes, is not environmentally friendly as tehy’re made from plastic, which is where the term ‘pleather’ comes from – plastic leather. PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and PU (polyurethane) are the two most common materials in vegan leather (polyurethane).

What is PVC?

PVC, which has traditionally been the primary component of artificial leather, has a harmful effect on the environment. Toxins released into the atmosphere by PVC, such as chlorine and dioxins, contribute to environmental damage. Greenpeace has designated it as the most environmentally harmful plastic.

What is PU?

PU is a material that is bonded to cotton and is less hazardous than PVC while also resembling leather more. When manufactured, PU still produces harmful chemicals, so it isn't perfect.

Buying shoes made of recycled plastic is better than PVC or PU, however these days you can also find shoes made of all kinds of materials.

What are eco-friendly vegan slippers?

When it comes to eco-friendly vegan shoes, few people have a good understanding about it, which is why we want to clarify what they are and how they are made.

Many people are skeptical of plant-based shoes because they believe they are more delicate than regular shoes since they’re made from bio-based or recycled materials. Vegan shoes made from these sustainable material options are none of these things.

Not every vegan fashion label has a significant environmental impact. While less common and more expensive, there are some environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic in the industry. Here are some just to name a few: Pineapple Leather, Apple Leather, Mushroom Leather, Grape Leather, and even Cactus Leather. These are all beautiful yet durable materials that make be used make environmentally friendly vegan shoes. 

That isn't all, though. The adhesives and dyes are also chosen with vegan principles in mind.

How long do vegan shoes last?

Quality varies widely, as it does with every product. Vegan kicks of good quality are generally available and a great investment!

So here’s something to remember!

When it comes to sustainability and the fashion industry, it's always complicated. Even the most environmentally conscious manufacturing methods have an impact on the environment. When deciding where to spend your money, consider your personal values and read about the materials a brand chooses to make its products.

At Dooeys, we use vegan materials like apple leather, vegan suede made from recycled plastic, sugarcane EVA, and cork just to name a few. We focus on using plant-based & recycled materials to make our cozy slippers designed for all-day comfort. We love when people check out our “How They’re Made Page” to learn more about how their made at a small factory in Portugal before making a purchase. Cruelty-free, our vegan slippers are eco-friendly, durable, and super comfortable. 

Whether you’re in need of a good pair of house shoes or a new handbag, take a little extra time to learn about the brand and make sure the products you buy are ethically-sourced, sustainable, and kind to our planet.