884. Walls of cute shoes and bags!

How great to walk into a store and know that everything in the store is not the result of skinning or plucking an animal!

This was my experience today at Alternative Outfitters in Pasadena.  Their primary business is online but there is a storefront to see, smell and try on the merchandise in person.  Yes, I said smell – no leather smell in that store!

Shoes, belts, bags, wallets are often a problem for vegetarians because bits of leather sneak into everything, even if not the entire product it’s often trim.  Reading labels for a pair of shoes is much more difficult than food – they often say “All man made materials” or “leather upper” or similar but not always.  I have to depend on small and touch, and frankly I can’t always tell.   It is truly shopping in ease at a store like this!


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  1. Marianne

     /  August 28, 2011

    Hi Karen
    Love reading your blog! This topic got me thinking about how and where some of our shoes, purses, and clothing is manufactured & if that process is kind to the earth, animals, and people. Everyone knows most of the things we wear and purchase in the US are manufactured in Asian countries where the people and earth are exploited. Do you know if the animal free items are really manufactured and delivered kindly?

    Keep up your good work!

    • Thanks!
      And no I can’t be sure all animal-free items are manufactured and delivered kindly. There are many animal-eco-friendly manufacturers that are very concerned and upfront with their entire process and will allow investigation any time. But as with anything, I’m sure there are some animal-friendly products that might not be so human or earth friendly. In fact, i do know that a lot of “fake leathers” are petroleum based, so best to avoid those and just use canvas, hemp etc.
      I think it’s a process for anyone who wants to make a difference to investigate for themselves and decide what fits with their values.
      As I mentioned in another post, it’s overwhelming and impossible to change everything at once, so small steps in the right direction is better than none!


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