Lyndsay- that is funny about the Dansko mary janes- I almost talked about that above- I was wearing them during my 'vegan' discussion along with the giant leather purse. They last forever and are amazingly comfy and were kind of expensive so they will be worn until they fall apart- which probably will be never... in the meantime maybe Dansko will produce a non-leather version!
It takes awhile to totally veganize. Unless you have a ton of disposable cash and free time- replacing all of your shoes, belts, bags, wallets, pillows, blankets, sweaters, coats, beauty products and household products is a longterm goal. Cut yourself a break and make the next right choice. Being a perfect vegan isn't possible. There are animal by-products lurking everywhere. In our bicycle tires, automobile fluids, inks, glues etc, etc. Just do the very best you can. Your next purse will be vegan! You aren't doing the cow any good if your purse is sitting in a landfill.
I like the point that you bring up Lea. It can be unrealistic and stressful to make a 100% change with everything overnight. I think it's important to model to others that you can start by making subtle changes and subtle changes can make a difference as well. My mom became vegetarian shortly after I became vegetarian (and now vegan) once I started sharing all the information I was learning. However, when she tried to go vegan she got very overwhelmed because we not only started changing our diets, but also the products and accessories I bought. She got so stressed I was afraid she was going to give up! So, I just reminded her to do the best she can because that is still making a difference and encourages her to stay the course.
Dansko also has a brand called Sanita that carries some vegan clogs but not a lot. I also bought some really nice clog like mary janes made by J-41. They are so comfortable. To get an idea of what shoes are vegan and vegan options, I'd recommend looking at the mooshoes website (www.mooshoes.com). I bought 2 pairs of shoes there when I visited NY.
As for leather use, I've swapped out most of my old leather goods over time. I have gladly given up items still with plenty of use in them to local charities.
to me buying inspired designer bags is not the greatest idea because they are usually made by in sweatshops by children or women for bacially nothing and that's a whole other topic... but i find that you can find a lot of vintage clutches and handbags that are made of durable vinyl and satin etc that are amazing and this option works for me because i feel that I am not endorsing or justifying that industry and I feel like I always have bags and clutches that are one of a kind and people always compliment me on my finds.
I was trying to look through zappos today and realized that you can just click vegan and there are hundreds of options. If there are any guys looking for sneakers, my boyfreind got some Macbeths a few years ago and wears them every single day and will not get new shoes.
I am a SUCKER for a good, designer bag. That has always been my gift of choice for any major holiday. I'm always looking for a cute style and quality. Matt & Nat make some SUPER cute handbags! I've got my eye on a few of them, maybe I'll ask the hubby to get me that for Christmas! :) Here's the link if anyone's interested: http://www.mattandnat.com/ and I pulled this info off the website, I thought it was pretty cool! :)
MATT & NAT's 21 water bottle initiative has further stepped up our commitment to social responsibility and to the environment; all linings are made from recycled plastic water bottles. A message inside of each bag will let you know exactly how many bottles were recycled to produce your accessory.
For the Fall 2009 collection, there is one men's collection (FEUTRE) and one women's collection (SUEDE) where the shell is also made using recycled plastic water bottles--up to 55 for certain styles.
In 1991, Co-owner and Creative Director Inder Bedi was challenged by a mahatma to go vegetarian for thirty days. It was during this time that Inder devised the business plan for an eco/vegan fashion house. First written as a university project in 1995 and eventually launched as MATT & NAT.
By combining cutting edge fashion and social responsibility, a balance of opposites emerges, representing the duality of MATT & NAT's soul.