Purple Impression — a socially responsible fashion brand that supports female artisans in Pakistan — is launching a line of eco-friendly vegan sneakers.
The sneakers are designed in San Francisco and then hand-embroidered by female workers in Pakistan, one by one.
According to Purple Impression, as more brands choose mass production to create garments, hand embroidery is becoming a dying art. The line of sneakers, named “Fuse,” will help to support the centuries-old profession.
“This is something that’s never been done before with the kind of transparency that they are able to provide,” notes a press release. “Each sneaker is hand embroidered one at a time by artisans in Pakistan proving economic opportunity and fair wages to artisans who are losing their craft to mass production.”
All the materials used to make the shoes are fair-trade and as environmentally-friendly as possible, the press release continues. The upper uses organic cotton and the sole is made with sustainably harvested natural rubber.
“Shoemaking today is still a very manual process which means a lot of human hands are involved in the manufacturing of our shoe,” said co-founder of Purple Impression Afshan Khan in a statement. “This makes fair trade and ethical working conditions an important consideration in our manufacturing & purchase decision.”
Khan’s sister Drakshan, the brand’s founder, added, “with climate change a big issue these days, we have made a classic sneaker design completely eco-friendly and have elevated it with our artisan’s hand embroidery. Making luxury more affordable and sustainable.”
As well as the new line of shoes, which are currently available to buy from Kickstarter, Purple Impression offers a selection of hand-embroidered scarves made from organic cotton.
Rising Popularity of Vegan-Friendly Shoes
Vegan shoes are becoming more popular, even mainstream brands are jumping on the bandwagon. Earlier this year, fashion giant Topshop launched a new range of PETA-approved vegan shoes in a variety of styles including sandals, heels, and mules.
Before this, UK retailer Marks & Spencer announced the launch of a huge new vegan Spring shoe collection, featuring 350 designs.
Rachel Smith, the senior footwear technologist for the chain, said, “after increased customer interest in veganism and a rise in online searches for related products, we decided to investigate the possibility of expanding our vegan-friendly offering into footwear and accessories.”