Exhibit A: Gorgeous grey pump (the Opal). Stats:
- Comes in charcoal (pictured), brown and fuscia(!);
- Has a wickedly-curved 3.5-inch heel;
- Is soft-looking enough for the office, but would dominate at happy hour; and
- Is made entirely of sustainable materials.
Exhibit B: Cuffed bootie, aptly titled the Hendrix Boot.Stats:
- Comes in black and brown (pictured), the latter of which is perfect as a transitional Spring bootie;
- The angled cut is elongating on any body type;
- Faux suede and faux snakeskin upper – no cows or snakes were harmed in the making of this bootie!
Exhibit C: This is so fucking Mad Men (aka the Apollo Pump.) Stats:
- The triangular heel is unique, even in a world of Alexander McQueen and Lady Gaga (though slightly more walkable);
- Navy is so.not.black.;
- The patterned fabric and Mary Jane strap are a little retro, but won’t look weird with jeans;
- Again with the sustainability – without sacrificing aesthetics or quality.
The culprit behind all three of these designs is Beyond Skin, an English footwear label that takes ethical design very, very seriously. Not only do they refuse to use animal byproducts in any of their shoes, but they also manufacture sweatshop-free (in fashion-forward Spain, no less) using energy efficient methods, and on top of that, they use recycled and sustainable materials for their shoes as well as their packaging. Their inks are vegetable-based, and a percentage of their profits go to charity (whether or not it’s popular at the moment).
In a world where greenwashing is constant and everyone is looking to appear “ethical,” Beyond Skin actually is. You pay the price for this sort of thing – the pumps start at upwards of $200, notwithstanding sales – but for a well-made European shoe, eco-friendly or no, that’s almost average these days.
I love ‘em. They don’t have that granola look, and they’re on-trend without being one-season shoes. (I’m not buying $200 shoes that I can’t wear for at least a couple of years. That’s just crazy.) Here are a couple more favorites – one for winter, one for spring (which, apparently, is all about muted 70s colors and boot-cut jeans…YES PLEASE).
Beyond Skin Apricot Boot
(It’s made of hemp. Hemp!)
Beyond Skin Ruby Pump
(It’s on sale for $137 – 45% off.)