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Eco-Fashionista: Cri De Coeur!

Cri de Coeur // Cry Of The Heart

Vegan Shoes. It doesn’t elicit quite a beautiful picture, does it? It makes me think of …well, anything but a fashionable shoe. I am a shoe snob. I admit it. As an avid collector of new and used shoes, I can’t help but look at the feet of others. I love buttery Italian Leathers, and exotic animal hides, and am jealous of those that can afford those! I’m a woman for god sake!! I have been hearing more and more about these so-called Vegan Shoes, so I decided to check them out, once and for all.
I understand the reasoning behind Vegan Shoes. Shoes and sneakers come with their own set of environmental ramifications. Leather is heavily exported out of developing countries. I don’t think I need to go through the process of letting you know how many global warming agents are emitted when so much fossil fuel is burned to shop these shoe parts around the world. But perhaps a little history might be better to go along with it?
Leather production used to be made by leather tanning in tiny cobbler stores within cities. This process used vegetable based tans, a process that could take up to two years. Now, however, it takes about two days with a chemical soup comprised mainly of chromium, a cancer-causing agent. Still not convinced? So you’ll wear flip-flops? What about PVC?

Polyvinyl Chloride is the plastic parts incorporated in a lot of footwear. The problem is not so much at the beginning of the life of the shoe but at the end, when disposed. Rarely recycled, it is burned and the dioxins generated are chlorine-based carcinogens that are recognized as the most toxic chemicals in production. Once airborne, it can be deposited in water, through air, digesting, ingested…..
So…perhaps I have your attention. What can you do?
Vegan shoes are made out of a high-tech synthetic micro-fiber material blended from polyamide fibers and polyurethane, which, though sound intense, have less impact on human and environmental health.
But are they cute? Will they hold up to the mean streets of the city?
After searching, I found out that vegetable shoes, so to speak, can, in fact, be a great looking shoe. Gina Ferraraccio, designer of Cri de Coeur, a vegetarian and owner of a vegan footwear line, hails from Washington, DC. She designed this with handmade paddock ankle booties, t-strap heels, and gladiator wedges, all made from sueded micro-fiber, cotton canvas, and nontoxic water-based glues.
You can find the line on her wind-powered website, http://www.cri-de-coeur.com/. What’s even more fantastic? She has partnered with Carbonfund.org. For each pair of shoes sold, a tree will be planted to offset carbon emissions. All shoes are hand-stitched in a factory in Portugal by local women, and all office materials and packaging are made from recycled materials.

To view the complete collection, since I can’t cut and paste the shoe, view:
http://www.ravinstyle.com/shop/products.asp?d=337

3 comments:

Ari said...

They are too cute!

Lindsay said...

I know! I am visiting the picture and drooling over them myself...

Crafty Green Poet said...

These look great! I hate buying shoes, its always such an ethical conundrum and I can never find anything to fit. This link solvesat least one of those problems!