Vegan Materials

What Are Our Vegan Leather Shoes, Bags & Belts Made From?

The materials we use are hugely important to the aesthetics and ethics of our shoes. The shoes we stock from other brands, and the Zette shoes we create ourselves are all made from high-quality vegan materials.
Fast fashion brands selling synthetic shoes will often use PVC, a toxic and non-breathable material, or a cheap version of PU. We avoid these materials, and instead opt for the best available vegan materials on the market: 


Microfibre PU (Polyurethane derived)

microfibre pu vegan leather sandals

Many of the brands Vegan Style stocks, as well as our in-house label, use European made (Italian and Spanish) microfibre, which performs like traditional leather and suede. It is breathable, durable, soft, water resistant, and moulds to the shape of your feet over time.

The microfibre we use in our in-house collection, as well as which is used by many other brands we stock, OEKO-TEX Standard 100 and Ecolabel certified. This ensures that harmful substances aren’t going out into the environment in their production, and that these materials are safe.

It’s good to know too, that Grupo Moron who create most of our microfibre material have a waste management system that collects, recycles and reuses and 500 tonnes of material per year! Grupo Moron also produces in a CO2 free manufacturing environment.



What Materials Are Vegan Shoes Made From

Also known as pineapple leaf leather, Piñatex is a plant-based, sustainable alternative to leather. Its fibres are made from pineapple leaves, which are a by-product of the pineapple fruit harvest. This means that no extra land, water, fertilisers or pesticides are required to produce them!
This material is transparently made and provides extra financial support to the local Philippine farmers, who harvest the fibres which are then transformed into Piñatex.

These fibres are then coated in a bio-resin derived from fermented sugarcane and other plant sources, leaving the material about 95% biodegradable.

The end product is a material that is waterproof, breathable and anti-allergic. (We also recommend applying a cream or polish to the material to help maintain its good condition over time).

Corn Leather

Corn leather is made in part from, you guessed it, corn. Well over half of the total material content is plant-based, made up of both corn husks and vegetable oils. The rest of the material is made of synthetic substances, which are blended with the plant-based ingredients.

It takes about 120 days for corn to grow from a seed to the point of harvest (while cows are killed after up to two years of grazing and growing). This far shorter time period makes corn production more efficient and sustainable. Once corn is harvested, it is fermented and chemically transformed so that dextrose – a type of natural sugar – can be extracted from it. This sugar is transformed into a polymer fibre, which is then melted and made into pellets which are able to be blended together with synthetic materials to create a leather-like material.

Corn leather is both supple and sturdy, making it perfect for shoes, and the particular corn leather we use is made transparently in Brazil.

View all our corn leather products


apple leather good guys don't wear leather boots

Some brands we work with use AppleSkin, commonly known as 'apple leather', in their shoes. This material is a blend of PU and fruit material, diverted from apple juice industry waste.

Apple cores, seeds and skins are not used to make juice, so they are dried and turned into a powder, which is transformed into up to 50% of this innovative, partially biological material.

This material is one of the most cutting edge options available in the vegan leather space at the moment, produced at a high quality to replicate the texture and feel of animal-derived, less sustainable and more cruel alternatives. 

View all our apple leather products

Recycled Materials

recycled boots

Recycled PET bottles, tyres, airbags, rubber and other goods are recycled and remade into beautiful new shoes and accessories by many of the brands we stock. 
The use of these materials diverts such items from landfill and also makes for a great, sturdy material. It's pretty amazing what you can recycle things into!


what vegan shoe materials are there apple leather

Cork is an amazing, fashionable material. It is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and moisture absorbing, which means it keeps your feet dry and odour free.

Cork is also a sustainable material, as the cork tree is not harmed in the harvesting of cork, and this bark removal process in fact helps the tree to sequester more carbon!
Many of our products feature cork, including all shoes inner soles from Brazilian brand Ahimsa. We love how comfortable this makes the shoes.

Organic Cotton Canvas

etiko organic cotton sneakers

Cotton canvas is a plant-based, natural and biodegradable material. It is also breathes very well, so makes for a great sneaker or summer shoe.

The Etiko made sneakers we stock are made from certified organic and fair trade cotton canvas, meaning that the cotton is grown sustainably, in an ethical supply chain.

Natural Rubber

sustainable shoes vegan leather and natural rubber soles

Natural rubber is used to make many of the thongs/flip flops we stock, and often the soles of our vegan shoes. When sourced sustainably – as our brands ensure – this is a great alternative to the use of petroleum-based, plastic rubber.



Plant Derived Linings

An increasing number of our shoes are now being made with bio-polyoils linings, which are derived from plant-based sources like seeds and grains. Using these oils is a far better option than sourcing oil-based materials that fund the fossil fuel industry.