Truly beautiful shoes are more than skin deep. Who makes them, where they're made and what they're made of, is everything. Part of Loyal Footwear’s mission is to improve footwear manufacturing and protect our planet by shattering the myth that animal leather equates to higher quality.
We're an all-women team making animal-free shoes of high style and comfort with sustainable methods where shoemakers earn fair wages in the USA. We are changing the dynamic of shoe making and availability by creating an accessibly-priced vegan shoe line, using the cleanest materials available, with a pricing structure to support being manufactured locally with love, right here, in-house.
What we believe are the best ways of doing absolutely everything converge in this single collection. We use lower environmental-impact raw materials including vegan upper materials free of animal products and byproducts avoiding the toxic mess that is animal-hide tanning. Instead we use plant-based textiles such as Piñatex, recycled rubber, cork, ultrasuede linings with recycled fibers, and durable microfiber vegan leather — and absolutely everything we use is PVC-free.
Loyal shoes are designed to be durable and long-lasting. When you buy better, you buy less and own something you'll use everyday.
They are also designed to be repairable. When the time comes, just send your shoes back to us. For a small fee we will revive your soles, significantly extending the shoes' lifecycle.
We maintain a small inventory, creating less waste. The shoes are made-to-order, or made in small batches, then sold directly to you.
They're designed for everyday wear, prioritizing your comfort without compromising your style. We choose materials for their softness, flexibility, and quick break-in time and use a minimal amount of stabilizers and stiffeners for a generous, flexible fit.
Only 1% of shoes purchased in the USA are made in the USA. We want to increase the percentage of locally-made shoes purchased in the United States. We have all become accustomed to paying low prices for shoes as a result of outsourced production, too often to parts of the world that allow companies to exploit workers. By keeping production here in the United States, we ensure there is fairness in our production system from beginning to end.
Buying direct from us ensures the majority of what you spend goes directly to the shoemakers.
Our shoes reflect our values — using materials of known origin and processing without animal products or byproducts. Leather is not just a passive byproduct of the meat industry. The skin of the animal is considered to be one of the most significant economic co-products of the meatpacking industry.
Animal leather is often marketed as being ‘eco-friendly’ because it’s ‘biodegradable’ — neither of which are true. The whole point of tanning is to stop the leather from biodegrading by stabilizing the collagen and protein fibers. Making leather from animals is extremely destructive: trees are cut down to create pastureland, vast quantities of water are used, and run-off from feedlots is a major source of water pollution. This is why animal leathers receive such a high impact score on the Higg Index.
Implementing a Sustainable Material Mix: The Higg Index is the measure of an apparel or footwear raw material’s environmental impact based on the combination of these four categories:
- Global Warming (emissions)
- Eutrophication (water pollution)
- Water Scarcity (water consumption)
- Abiotic Resource depletion (fossil fuels)
Polyurethane alternatives to leather already have a low raw material impact (see below). Even more so if the durability and the full lifecycle of a complete shoe is accounted for. This is mostly due to the many advancements in microfiber vegan leathers that have made them stronger than their animal-derived counterparts. They are polishable and repairable, and are no longer subject to the cracking and peeling of leatherettes of yesteryear.
This Kickstarter will help us to...
make your shoes,
support our workers,
continue to innovate,
grow our staff,
and prove that it is possible to craft an affordably-priced shoe here in the U.S.
We’re always looking into new techniques, and new materials just hitting the market. We can’t continue to evolve without your help. You’ll be supporting not only where we are now, but more importantly, where we're going.
Contribute whatever you can, it all matters, every single dollar brings us all closer to our shared mission of making animal-free shoes here in the U.S.
We have five beautiful, animal-free and PVC-free materials available across our eight styles. Your style/color choice will be collected in the survey at the end of the campaign so don’t worry, you have plenty of time to decide!
Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for any sizing specific questions, or just send us a message here on Kickstarter!
We're excited to now offer a deluxe tote bag option for only $24 more. Check out our rewards to buy. If you've already pledged for the original tote bag, no problem, you can still upgrade your pledge to include the deluxe version, and any of the other rewards that included a tote bag can also be upgraded with the new reward levels!
Rebecca Heykes — BK Shoe Factory Co-Founder; Loyal Footwear Design Director
Keiko Hirosue — BK Shoe Factory Co-Founder; Brooklyn Shoe Space Founder
We met in 2014 teaching classes together at Keiko’s shoemaking space in Brooklyn. In 2015 we adding consulting and prototyping services for clients, and with two additional partners we spun the consulting services into a new small-batch production factory in 2016.
In 2017, we conceived of a factory-direct line of shoes to provide a high-quality, locally-made product with the highest value, and in 2018 when we began developing this line it was clear that it was the perfect opportunity to showcase beautiful, sustainable, vegan shoemaking.
We have built the foundation of our footwear manufacturing space over the past 2.5 years and now we're ready to grow.
The Loyal Team (circa 2018)
Even if you are unable to pledge today, you can help us by sharing our story with your friends and family on Facebook.
Follow us on Instagram to be the first to know when new styles are released and for more behind-the-scenes photos and videos of your shoes being made.
To access hi-res branded and non-branded shoe imagery, photos of our staff, our factory space and our logo, please click the Dropbox link below. Don't hesitate to contact us with press inquiries or for any specific image requests at email@example.com.
Risks and challenges
As the manufacturers of our own shoes, thus the makers of our own destiny, we have a great amount of control over the capacity of our talented artisans, and we have set conservative lead-times to avoid disappointing our supporters. That said, delays can arise due to raw material shipment issues, staff illnesses, natural disasters, etc., so we will be updating our backers regularly, both here on Kickstarter and via Instagram.
We take great pride in our alignment with Kickstarter’s goals for sustainable design practices. Visit Kickstarter’s Environmental Resources Center to learn more.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)