Birkenstock has launched another addition to its vegan line of sustainable shoes and sandals. After first introducing vegan versions of the brand’s best-sellers in the US in 2017, this international company has expanded its cruelty-free fashion offerings with new vegan styles and colors.
The first round of vegan Birkenstocks included vegan leather varieties of the Arizona slides, Gizeh thongs, and Boston clogs. In February 2018, the company extended this vegan collection to include the Mayari crisscross sandal and the Madrid, the original Birkenstock sandal. Each new style comes in a variety of earthy colors, staying true to the Birkenstock brand.
Birkenstock claims that all of its vegan footwear is made with “animal-friendly, ecologically-sound and sustainable material.” The company uses its name-brand Birko-Flor material to replicate animal leather, which is “processed in a special manner [for a] two-tone effect that is nearly impossible to tell apart from real leather.” Like leather, Birko-Flor is also durable to ensure Birkenstock’s company standards of “quality, comfort, and support.”
Although Birkenstock still produces animal leather products, it is beginning to shift toward more cruelty-free options. It has received several recognitions for its efforts, winning two PETA awards for Most Vegan-Friendly Shoe Company in 2017 and the Vegan Fashion Award in 2016. Birkenstock CEO Oliver Reichert accepted the 2017 award, stating, “Especially among younger customers, there is a growing percentage who choose the vegan way of life…we offer many vegan products for these customers. The peta2 Libby Award motivates us to continue on this path…if the demand for vegan shoes continues to grow, so will our range of vegan products.”
Finding quality, comfortable vegan shoes was once a challenge. However, more mainstream companies are beginning to develop cruelty-free collections as a result of consumer demand and innovations in vegan leather. Like Birkenstock, companies are developing their own vegan leathers from eco-friendly, sustainable, and plant-based materials. Footwear brands such as Free People, Native Shoes, Third Oak, Beyond Skin, and TOMS offer vegan collections in every style, from evening heels to everyday sneakers.
Vegan Birkenstocks are available online and in stores across Europe and the US.
Image Credit: Birkenstock.