Part II: Sources of Non-Leather Goods

Posted on: Thu, 08/25/2005 - 22:59 By: Tom Swiss

Online Sources of Non-Leather Goods

Vegan retail sites

Once upon a time, finding things like leather-free shoes was a difficult process, involving hours of combing through catalogs or the stock at your local department store, wondering if the trim on those shoes was plastic or leather. But in the Information Age, several companies have come on-line specifically to serve the vegan community. Now leather substitutes are just a few mouse clicks away! And for the old-fashioned, you can call for a catalog printed on dead trees.

  • Ethical Wares ( carries cruelty-free footware (including vegan Birkenstocks and some heavy-duty hiking boots) and accessories. Caegwyn, Temple Bar, Felinfach, Ceredigion, SA48 7SA, Wales, UK. +44 (0) 1570 471155 (voice), +44 (0)1570 471166 (fax)
  • Heartland Products ( carries shoes, accessories, and baseball/softball gloves made without leather. They feature vegan Birkenstocks and cowboy boots. Box 218, Dakota City, IA 50529, USA. (800)441-4692, fax 515-332-4831
  • Pangea Vegan Products ( carries an extensive line of vegan goods including body care, household, and pet care products, in addition to clothing, shoes, and accessories. 2381 Lewis Ave., Rockville MD 20851. (800) 340-1200
  • Vegan Wares ( has shoes and accessories. 78 Smith Street, Collingwood 3066 VIC, Australia. Phone 61+3+9417 0230
  • Vegetarian Shoes'( ) website now features worldwide on-line ordering for their line of shoes, jackets, and accessories. 12 Gardner Street, Brighton, East Sussex U.K. BN1 1UP. +44 (0) 1273 691913. (Note on international dialing: +44 is the UK country code and the 0 is for non-international callers only.) (Their line used to include genuine vegan Doc Martens,until the owner of that brand moved production to China; they still have vegan Birkenstocks.)
  • Vegan Unlimited ( carries non-leather belts and bags, as well as foodstuffs and cosmetics.
  • VeganLine ( has vegan shoes, boots, belts, and wallets. Also an interesting note on the "Doc Martens" brand.
  • Moo Shoes ( specializes in vegan shoes. 152 Allen Street, New York, New York, 10002. 212.254.6512 or 866-59-VEGAN.
  • Alternative Soles ( has cruelty free shoes, personal care, and health products.
  • A niche market, but good to see it supplied: ( manufactures hand-crafted vegan bondage gear, whips, belts, harnesses, and other items. Who says veganism is boring? (They also carry bulk vegan "leather" material.)

Environmental retail site

Several companies specializing in environmentally-friendly good carry shoes, backpacks, and other goods made from recycled materials or from hemp.

  • Gaiam ( often carries shoes, backpacks, or other products made with hemp or with recycled materials. Catalog changes often.
  • REI ( carries a large variety of fitness equipment, including non-leather sandals, hiking boots (the "Garmont Vegan"), bicycling gloves, bags, backpacks, deck booties, and watch bands. Sumner, WA 98352, USA. (800) 426-4840 or (253)891-2500


Other retail sites with vegan products

  • Birkenstock Express ( has the Alternative line of Birkenstock, which are non-leather. This is the mail-order operation of Footwise - the Birkenstock store. 301 SW Madison Avenue, Corvallis, OR 97333 (800) 451-1459 from the U.S, (503) 758-7631 outside
  • E Foorwear ( has the famous canvas Chuck Taylor All Star shoes. 527 Chester Pike, Prospect Park, PA 19076, USA. (888)333-3668, Fax (610)586-1059
  • Lark in the Morning ( has non-leather hand drums (doumbeks and the like). PO Box 1176, Mendocino CA 95460, (707) 964-5569, fax (707) 964-1979; also South Arcade Building, 1411 First Ave., Seattle, WA (206) 623-3440.
  • Mid-east Mfg., Inc ( has non-leather hand drums (doumbeks and the like). 7694 Progress Circle West Melbourne FL 32904, USA. (407) 724-1477, fax (407) 952-1080.

Other related websites

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Mail Order and Catalog Sources of Non-Leather Goods

(Note that most of the on-line sources above also have paper catalogs.) The following carry only non-leather items: (note that this list may well be outdated, since I can't easily check information...)
  • Creatureless Comforts, 702 Page Street, Stroughton, MA 02072. Synthetic leather purses and belts.
  • Just in Case, 2718 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405, (800) 326-4036. Bags, briefcases, wallets, etcetera.
The Compassionate Shopper regularly lists companies that sell non-leather shoes. Contact Beauty Without Cruelty, 175 W. 12th St., #16G, New York, NY 10011-8275.

The following sources carry both leather and non-leather products, so read carefully:

  • Avon Fashions, Avon Lane, Newport News, VA 23630, (800) 322-1119. Shoes, belts, and other clothing items made from synthetic leather. (I get the impression that they only carry women's clothing, but I'm not sure.) I have had a complaint about the quality of the goods sold by this company; caveat emptor.
  • John Blair Co, Warren, PA 16366. Mostly women's shoes, some men's shoes and work boots.
  • Brights Creek, Bay Point Place, Hampton, VA 23653, (800) 622-9202. Excellent selection of non-leather children's shoes.
  • Forestry Suppliers Inc., 205 W. Rankin St., P.O. Box 8397, Jackson Ms 39284-8397, (800) 647-5368. LaCrosse Timber Boots (see below).
  • J. Crew, One Ivy Crescent, Lynchburg, VA 24506-1001, (800) 932-0043. Men's and women's canvas deck shoes and thongs, women's espadrilles, slip-ons and tie sneakers.
  • L.L. Bean, (800) 221-4221. Various New Balance shoes (see below), Canvas Main Canoe Shoes, River Runner Thongs and Sandals, canvas Sperry Top-Siders, non-leather bags, watch bands and jackets.
  • Mass Army Navy, 15 Fordham Road, Boston MA, 02134. (800) 343-7749. Non-leather belts, briefcases, and boots can sometimes be found in their catalog.
  • Massey's, (800) 627-7397. Canvas and synthetic slip-ons, leather-like flats, pumps, and other styles. Somewhat pricey.
  • Old Pueblo Traders (OPT), Palo Verde at 34th, P.O. Box 27800, Tucson, AZ 85726-7800, (602) 748-8600. Women's shoes, sandals, and boots, many in hard-to-find sizes. Leatherlike pants, suedelike skirts, and faux furs.
  • J.C. Penny, (800) 222-6161. Often carries some non-leather products.
  • Roaman's, (800) 274-7130. Often has some non-leather shoes.
  • Sears Roebuck, (800) 366-3000. Several types of synthetic footwear, in canvas and suede-like materials.
  • Smith & Hawken, (415) 383-2000. Rubberlike garden clogs for men and women.
  • Sports Wave, 5484 S.W. Alger, Suite #G-13, Beaverton, OR 97005, (800) 322-3381. Avia shoes (see below).
  • The Tog Shop, (912) 924-4800. Women's shoes: canvas sneakers, rubber rain boots, sandals, slip-ons and slippers.
  • WearGuard Work Clothes, (800) 388-3300. Walkers in Chukka and Oxford styles, rubber steel-toe and waterproof boots. "No Sweat" work gloves (see below).
  • Salvage, 656 Romero Canyon Rd., Montecito, CA 93108-1527, Voice: (805) 569-5988, Fax (805) 969-7422. Oxford and High-top convertible to a mid-top. (I'm not sure if all their products are leather-free or not.)

Hi: I saw your site and am interested in purchasing vegan leather so I can make my own purse - do you know where I can get vegan leather in Canada (or if not in Canada where can I order it from?)

Thanks very much!


Hi: I love this guide, first of all. But, I'm from Australia and at the end of the year I need to get new school shoes and my mum thinks I’m making a big deal about not wanting leather school shoes. Do you know anywhere in Australia (preferably Sydney) that I could go to buy them?

Thanks muchly


I researched bio-plastics some years ago and found they were yet in their infancy. I would like to know if there any non-petroleum based synthetic leathers in the market or possibly in development.

Lorica claims “…was designed to satisfy the wide-ranging and demanding requirements of the current market in an environmentally-friendly way. The products used in the various Lorica manufacturing phases are in fact neither toxic nor harmful to man or the environment.”
I’d like to believe that but wonder about what they conceder eco friendly. Hope someone can help me or point me in the right direction.

Here are soem others:
Vegetan: A microfiber material designed and used as a leather substitute.

Lorica: Made of several microfibers and used by Italian footwear company, Sidi—known best for its champion biking shoes but also admired for its motorcycle boots (undeniable added cool quotient here).

Birko-Flor Birkenstock's baby, made from acrylic and polyamide felt. A spin-off of the regular Birk sandal variety looks more like pleather.

Birkibuc: The younger Birk sib, made of the same fibers but with a nubuck leather look.

PVC: Polyvinyl chloride, otherwise known as the poison plastic. We don’t like this one so much. But it is vegan.

Kydex: An acrylic-PVC alloy manufactured by Kleerdex.

Where is a good place to find good vegan cowboy boots? I don't like most of the ones I find...usually the shape is what I don't like.

Thank you:)

I have seen you sites, online sources of Non-Leather Goods. I want to buy hiking boots and hiking accessories, i need also 1 pair of vegan shoes but like casual shoes. I need these things in US, i m in NJ, what will be the cost for these things??

I'm looking for vegan cowboy boots, all i found didn't really look cowboyish. Could you help me, please?

I was looking for US suppliers of vegan shoes, however I was very disappointed, as only non-microporous were available.

That condemns US vegans to sweaty, smelly, feet.

A brilliant UK site (don't know if they deliver to US) is

Love you fellow vegans!