| ||company: Shoes with Souls (SWS)|
product: belts and shoes
distribution: worldwide via Internet
company: San Diego, California based Shoes with Souls (SWS is one of several major companies today that crafts high quality non-leather footwear for people who refuse to wear leather). The company was founded on three principles: shoes manufactured without the use of animal products; the use of environmentally friendly materials whenever possible; and exceptional quality.
products: working in this spirit, the company’s Deja and Daya shoe lines demonstrate what can be accomplished when outstanding designers come together and dare to ask “why not?” The result is urban styles with a consciousness, geared toward a mainstream audience. Shoes with Souls continue to manufacture and introduce new products every year.
sustainability features: Shoes with Souls and companies like it use hemp and synthetic leathers to make their footwear. Hemp is known for its incredible durability and longevity, making it a terrific substitute for leather.
Two kinds of microfibres are used in the Deja line from Shoes with Souls. One is non-coated and has the look and feel of suede. The other is coated and it is very popular because of its impressive ability to nearly mimic true leather. After an exhaustive world-wide search, Shoes with Souls selected what they have found to be the best microfibres made anywhere. Sourced directly from Italy, each microfiber is extremely fine - about 0.001-0.003 denier (a human hair, to offer a comparison, is 16 denier). Just 10 grams of this material would be enough to circle the equator twice!
The microfibres are intertwined and tied together with a special polyurethane, producing the same structure as leather. The non-coated microfibres result in a material that has the look and feel of suede. The coated microfibres are covered with a very thin polyurethane coating to create a “full grained” look that is virtually indistinguishable from leather and can be finished with shoe polish.
In both cases the results are breathable, colourfast, and lightweight materials, perfectly suited for footwear but without the associated killing of animals and the polluting of the environment resulting from the use of tanning chemicals.
quote: “At Shoes with Souls – we strive to support our founders’ and customers’ core belief that respecting animals and the environment by not wearing products that are harmful to these interests is the very essence of what it means to be fashionable.” [Christopher B. Hansmeyer, President and CEO]