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Old 07 February 2013, 08:25 PM
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Default Vegan couture: Faux meets fabulous

For Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, being vegan isn't only about what she eats and chooses to wear each day.

Avoiding meat and dairy in her diet and animal-derived products in her closet is just part of the equation for the 30-year-old designer, businesswoman and animal lover. As founder of fashion label Vaute Couture, her dedication to creating animal-free coats, sweaters and other cold-weather gear has earned her a global cult following among animal rights activists and eco-conscious fashionistas.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/07/living...ure/index.html
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  #2  
Old 07 February 2013, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
"I started with outerwear because I found being cold was an excuse to wear animal products," she said. "I wanted to figure out where I would be needed to make a contribution to the movement so people would no longer need to use products and materials made from animals."
I was surprised, when I first started trying to avoid leather, at how easy it was to find shoes, purses, belts, etc. made from leather-like man-made materials. Pretty much everything at Payless, for example, fits the bill. But what I also found was that, not only were these fake-leather products less durable, there was a noticeable difference in comfort when it came to work shoes.

For years, I wore a brand called Shoes For Crews, which is pretty much the restaurant industry standard for comfortable, supportive, non-slip footwear. Almost everything they sell is leather; the only exceptions I saw in the catalogue were the Croc-style kitchen shoes that servers weren't permitted to wear. I was thrilled when I found out about Safe-T-Step, the cheaper alternative carried at Payless, which carried an "all man-made materials" label. Unfortunately, I found that by the end of a busy shift, my feet were swimming in them because they just didn't breathe as well. I continued to wear them for the shorter shifts, like weekday lunches, but ended up buying another pair of Shoes For Crews for those inevitable weekend double shifts.

I'm sure it's possible to make a faux-leather shoe that's functionally equivalent to one made of real leather, but currently it seems there's not enough demand; people who want quality go for leather, and only people who are primarily concerned with price go for the fake stuff. Maybe this fashion-show approach will increase that demand.
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Old 07 February 2013, 09:06 PM
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I think there's a tendancy to use leather for higher-quality shoes, especially work shoes, because leather breathes better than synthetics. You'd think that could be overcome with modern technology and some creativity, though.
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Old 07 February 2013, 09:36 PM
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I prefer leather shoes because they have more give. My feet are quite wide, and the way leather stretches is a big help in having shoes that don't feel like some kind of torture.
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Old 07 February 2013, 09:55 PM
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I prefer leather for shoes, too, because not only do they breathe better, but they wear better. I only buy high quality leather because my feet are hard to fit and because I must wear a zero heel and I use orthotics. I have a pair of NAOT I've been wearing to work for three years, with the except being during the warmest summer months I wear something like EasySpirit, but not too many days in a row. The NAOTs have held up exceptionally well. I hardly wear my Merrells and another brand, the name of which evades me at the moment, anymore.

It might be easier for me to go with natural fibers if they can make them warmer. I prefer natural fabrics, but it's becoming harder to find anymore. I really don't care for man-made fabric.
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Old 08 February 2013, 02:53 AM
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I used to avoid leather for ethical reasons, but leather shoes are definitely more comfortable and often look better and are more durable, too. I still feel a bit guilty about buying leather, but my picky feet appreciate it. Also, it seems that the synthetic materials that faux-leather shoes are made of (especially at the price point that fits my budget) are pretty terrible for the environment.

ETA: This article says that, environmentally, leather may be worse than synthetics. I am so conflicted.
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Old 08 February 2013, 12:51 PM
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Wear that leather proudly Ariadne. What are they suppose to do with the hides covering my steaks? Put them in a landfill? Would they kill animals solely for the leather?

ETA: Wait. Don't answer that. I don't want to know. *pulling my rose-colored glasses on*
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Old 08 February 2013, 06:08 PM
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Leather is more profitable than beef, so it's more accurate (though still not quite true) to say that your steaks are a byproduct of the leather industry than the other way around.
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