Well, the clocks have gone back, the nights are looking gloomier than Eeyore’s birthday party and the weather has finally realised that winter is just around the corner. As you start to wrap up warm and do everything you can to keep dry in the lashing rain (which has an uncanny knack of falling horizontally here in windy Brighton) spare a thought for your favourite vegan shoes and vegetarian boots which, like you, might need a little more TLC at this time of year. While non-leather shoes and boots are generally hardier in the inclement weather than their animal-skin cousins, there are still a few extra things you can do to keep your Beyond Skin beauties in peak condition throughout the winter months. First up, as with all shoes, it’s important to store them in a dry, well-ventilated room, away from direct sunlight (shouldn’t be too much of a struggle at the moment but definitely something to bear in mind if the sun ever shows her face again). A lot of the beautiful old houses here on the Sussex coast suffer with damp and condensation; if you have a similar problem then keep a weather eye on your shoes and invest in a dehumidifier if you think it might be worthwhile.
There are a few other things you can do to make sure your vegan shoes stay in good nick, depending on what fabrics they are composed of. Pick up a few pointers about our favourite animal-friendly fabrics below:
Meave – Dinamica™ Faux-Suede Microfibre
Our classic Meave court has a faux-suede upper made from the revolutionary microfibre, Dinamica™ – a thoroughly modern textile constructed from recycled PET products (Polyethylene terephthalate for the science fans) including plastic bottles. It’s so durable, in fact, that it is the go-to fabric for the designers at Jaguar and Mercedes Benz when they’re upholstering the interiors of their lust-inducing (if not entirely planet-loving) cars. This refreshingly eco-friendly man-made fabric won’t water-mark or perish in the rain like non-vegan suede, but if you want to keep your shoes in mint condition then give them a gentle once-over with a clean suede brush every so often. This will keep the fibres fluffy and get rid of any irritating little muddy splashes.
Head to the bottom of the page for more information about Dinamica™.
Grace – Italian Poly-Cotton Jacquard
The Grace bootie could not be made from a sturdier fabric; the bespoke Italian jacquard is one of the most resilient vegan materials we’ve come across. If you get caught in a downpour then just sponge off with a warm, damp cloth. We’ve even been known to rock out the baby wipes when we get in a pickle on the go, but try to steer clear of anything too abrasive as you might start to get fuzzy patches. No one wants fuzzy patches.
If you get carried away splashing around in muddy puddles (we’ve all been there) then make sure you allow your shoes to dry thoroughly at room temperature before putting them away. They won’t warp or shrink to the same extent as leather shoes but the cotton content means it’s always worth stuffing the toes with newspaper when your shoes get wet, just to make sure they retain their beautiful shape.
Ellen – Poly-cotton Jacquard and Dinamica™
Every girl needs a pair of minxy red heels in their armoury and our Ellen courts, in glossy red geo-pattern jacquard with a scarlet vegan-suede bow, are the perfect mix of lady-like elegance and youthful fun. We know you’ve got better things to do at this time of year than hours of gruelling shoe-maintenance, which is why these are the ideal choice if you want to add a pop of colour to a classic black dress or sleek tux – they require very little care due to their construction from super-clever space-age fabrics (science again). If you do want to make sure your Ellens stay up-town pristine for as long as possible then a quick spritz of spray protector (available in most shoe shops and big chemists) wouldn’t go amiss. Just triple-check your spray is suitable for man-made fabrics.
Bertie – Italian Faux-Patent
Owing to their eminently practical wipe-clean surface, the Bertie vegan-patent shoe-boots are about as simple to care for as shoes possibly can be. As the party season draws ever nearer we know that the sleek Oxford shape is ideal for office-to-bar shenanigans and the heel-height makes them perfect for dancing the night away, which (if you’re anything like us) will lead to inexplicable sticky marks and questionable smudges. Any scuffs (even if they’re the result of slightly more mundane adventures) can be gently removed with baby wipes or warm soapy water on a soft sponge or cloth.
Sary – Polyurethene Faux-Leather
Our favourite faux-leather (or pleather, if you must) riding boot is so immensely practical (and beautiful, if we do say so ourselves), that it is hardly going to be off our feet throughout the winter. If you love the Sary boots as much as we do then make sure you keep them in tip-top condition by gently sponge-cleaning whenever they fall prey to the elements. If you get into any scrapes then use a small amount of ordinary boot polish on a synthetic chamois cloth (just like when you were at school) and buff away any imperfections.
Did you know…
Dinamica™ is an ecological soft faux suede is made with 100% recycled plastic bottles (Fast Fact: in 1 yard of suede there is an equivalent of 20 plastic bottles). Therefore reducing CO2 emissions by 60%, compared to the regular process of making polyester from petroleum. It also is super durable, easy to clean and is beautifully soft!
All of Beyond Skin’s linings are made from either high quality Italian PU (polyurethane not PVC) that is both breathable and antibacterial (the same brand as Stella McCartney) and our fabric uppers are either Italian or Spanish and are generally made from a cotton or polyester mix. Our soles are made from a part-recycled rubber resin.
We endeavour wherever we can to find more eco-friendly materials as they come on to the market to try and make our range as eco-friendly as we can but finding fun, interesting and colourful fabrics that are suitable for footwear and available in smaller quantities is still difficult but things are slowly changing.