Native Shoes, a Vancouver-based, vegan footwear line has opened its first physical location today. After two months of construction, the store is open to the public, offering the brand’s shoes for men, women, adults of all genders, and children. With offerings from slip-ons, to sneakers, and boots, there’s something for everyone — what’s better, all of the shoes are vegan and “beast free,” as Native Shoes calls it.

CEO Scott Hawthorn talked to LIVEKINDLY about the mission of Native Shoes, as well as the ethos behind the brand. “Choosing to include more beast free products in your life has a positive impact on personal wellness, animal rights and on the environment. It’s one way we can each have a positive impact on the world.”, he said.

Hawthorn elaborated further, discussing the positivity and longterm impacts he sees from choosing animal-free products:

We believe that when we choose to have more beast free products in our life it has a positive impact on our personal wellness, animal rights and on the environment. My experience has been that people are more likely to adopt change into their own life when they are presented with accurate information and they choose alternatives for themselves.

At Native Shoes we don’t lecture people on their personal behavior but present them different possibilities that they might not have considered before. I find this has a higher chance of having people consider and adopt change. This has been true in our office.

While Native Shoes are a plant based brand, Hawthorn urges non-vegans to be open to their products, as they’re about much more than fashion. “Our purpose at Native Shoes is to create happiness and enlighten lives one Beast Free step at a time. Leading with love and kindness we accept the choices people make in their life.”

More and more these days, designers are choosing to use ethical alternatives to create products that were once made from animal skins and fur. We’re seeing it in both high street apparel, all the way up to the runway. Compassion encourages more compassion and the ripple effect shows little signs of stopping.

For a sneak peek of the Native Shoes’ first location, check out the story on The Georgia Straight. To get some of their shoes, check out their new store or buy some online.