Fashion

Walk the eco talk: Olsenhaus Pure Vegan Shoes


We interrupt this food-related program to bring you a very important announcement: There’s an amazing shoe sale going on… and it’s eco friendly!

I was 14 when I first began to pursue a vegetarian diet. Was it an overnight change? Nope, not even close. But the longer I stuck with it, the easier it became. At 20, swayed by the health benefits, I decided to go fully vegan. Again, initially there were many slip-ups (mostly cheese-related), but with time, my cravings faded away as I enjoyed the virtues of the plant-based lifestyle. Eventually, I felt strong and solid as a bonafide “vegan” … except for just one dirty little secret.

Shoes.

I was still buying leather shoes.

As a vegan, I knew it was wrong; as an animal lover, I knew it was gross (when you really start to think about it); and as a environmentalist, I knew it contradicted everything I supported and promoted. And yet, inevitably, I would pass by a pair of THE most amazing heels, and suddenly find myself overwhelmed with a case of temporary insanity. Swept up in the momentum of beautiful design, my personal ethics were simultaneously swept under the rug. “No one will know,” I’d think. “I’m doing the best I can,” I would lamely tell people who DID know. “I’ll just get this one pair and it will be my last leather item. This is seriously it.” Finally, in 2004, I bought my true last pair of leather shoes: a pair of hot pink flats with dots. They were pretty ugly. And I realized I felt the same way buying them. “No more,” I told myself. And I meant it.

Though I had solved my ethical dilemma, it wasn’t long before I found myself faced with a new challenge: what, on earth, to wear on my feet. Sure there were a handful of companies that made “vegan” shoes, but I didn’t really like them. And the only other option was to wear shoes that were vegan by default – the cheapie shoes that were made with man-made materials that smelled like chemicals and pinched my feet. Worst of all was the time of year when fall fashion hit, when hot boots lined store windows with their tall zippers and “I mean it” heels, screaming “fabulous” in my face and daring me to even step foot in the store. As boots girl, I felt bothered.

But, my friends, that was YEARS ago.

Fashion is progressive by default, so it makes sense that, in time, it would begin to evolve environmentally and intellectually in addition to soley aesthetically. One of the first companies I discovered on my quest for an all-around “better shoe” was Olsenhaus — and they continually hold a special place in my heart (and closet). Olsenhaus presents a whole new level of yes when it comes to footwear: beautifully-considered heels, perfect flats, funky party kicks, and, of course, amazing boots. But best of all? Their shoes are in line with a compassionate lifestyle without an ounce of sacrifice, via gorgeous design, impeccable quality, AND an ethically and/or environmentally friendly footprint.

Olsenhaus has kindly allowed me to share with you a 30% discount off of their entire website good through Nov 10 – just enter “JMLOVES” at checkout. If you are a shoe girl (or guy), this is one shoe experience that has absolutely no regrets. How fun!

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