Please note: This article was first published on The Vegan Tourist and last updated December 28, 2012.
A few days ago I wrote about the challenge of finding vegan shoes on the High Street – practically impossible in Vienna, Austria, where I live.
So where do I buy my shoes?
In the United Kingdom, that’s where.
About ten years ago, I saw an ad for Vegetarian Shoes – in Ethical Consumer magazine, if I remember correctly – and shortly thereafter mail-ordered my first pair of shoes from this company, a pair of Derby Boots. (They are no longer being sold, but Boulder Boots are similar.)
The following year, in 2004, during a week-long vacation in London, I took the train to Brighton, where their store is located, and bought three more pairs of shoes.
I chose a pair of Office Shoes from the men’s collection. It’s one of their most popular models, and still being sold today. I also bought Nevis Boots (discontinued, try Snowdon Boots), and a pair of Bush Boots (or a similar model).
Back then, Vegetarian Shoes didn’t have as large a selection as today, and their selection of women’s shoes was particularly small, so I chose all my shoes from the men’s collection. I didn’t care, I was just so happy that I’d finally found shoes that were not made from leather. In 2003/2004, non-leather shoes were still hard to find, and that was my main concern. I didn’t even know about vegan glue back then. (All shoes from Vegetarian Shoes are 100 % vegan).
I only became a vegan about two years ago (after almost 29 years as a vegetarian), so I did on occasion buy plastic (but non-vegan) shoes in the past, like sandals or espadrilles. But each year during the last ten years, from autumn to spring, I’ve worn almost exclusively those four pairs of shoes, which I bought at Vegetarian Shoes. They were hand-made, and are of superior quality, worth every penny. Today, only the Nevis and Derby boots remain, I’ve worn out the other two pairs of shoes.
I’m planning another vacation in London in the spring (2013), and will once again take the train down to Brighton to stock up on shoes from Vegetarian Shoes. They now offer more than 300 different models, and it’ll be fun to be able to choose from such a wide variety of shoes. Please know that Vegetarian Shoes also delivers by mail to many countries (including continental Europe, the US, and Canada) – I simply prefer to buy my shoes at their shop in Brighton. It’s a lovely city, and a day-trip from London to Brighton is always fun. (Make sure to visit the Royal Pavillion.)
In addition to shoes, you can also buy vegan jackets, belts, wallets, and satchels at their store. On their website, you can take a virtual 360-degree tour of their store. You can also read up on the company’s history. They have photos of all their shoes on their website as well as detailed product information.
Address: 12 Gardner Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1UP, UK
Phone : +44 – (0) – 1273 685685
Office hours: 9.30 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday to Friday.
Tel: +44(0)1273 691913
Fax: +44(0)1273 626376
Mail-Order Email: email@example.com
VISITING THE SHOP?
They ask that you please phone ahead to check that they have stock of what you want.
Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Saturday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Wednesday: 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Closed Sundays and holidays.