The popular Chelsea boot silhouette is receiving a certified vegan makeover thanks to footwear brand Blundstone. The Tasmanian label is known for its heritage workwear boots and, according to WWD, underwent a four-year process developing the vegan alternative, which is traditionally made with leather and suede.
Blundstone’s decision to create a version of the brand’s original, best-selling Chelsea boot with vegan verified materials is in response to the growing demand from customers over social media and the vegan community as a whole. “You asked, we listened,” states the brand on its site. “We are a consumer-led brand, so it’s vital to listen to the people who wear our boots,” said Blundstone designer Joe Carfora.
The vegan Chelsea boot ($190 USD) is available in men’s and women’s sizing and comes in black and brown color options. The boot swaps animal-derived materials typically used for the upper for a breathable, lightweight, water-resistant onMicro microfiber material developed by Grupo Morón. A breathable onSteam microfiber material, also developed by Grupo Morón, lines the boot for thermo-regulating as well as antibacterial and antimicrobial benefits.
Both upper and lining fabrics have an Oeko-Tex Standard 100 class I seal certifying each eco-friendly and free of harmful substances. The vegan boot also features a removable comfort lite footbed made with anti-compression materials for support and the Blundstone’s patented SPS Max Comfort system, which includes vegan XRD cushioning technology in the heel absorbing up to 90% of impact as you walk. Classic Chelsea boot details like the black elastic side and iconic pull tabs finishes off the weather-ready boot.
The turn to vegan options is one that should not compromise the longevity Blundstone products are known for. It’s a product benefit the brand prides itself on and notes as part of its sustainability strategy: footwear that is durable and made to last longer than shoes you would typically throw out in a shorter amount of time.
“Blundstone has a firm commitment to behaving as ethical citizens. We are always working to improve business practices and minimize our impact on the environment. Our boots are made from the highest quality and most durable material. They are made to last and I think that’s a testament to slow fashion — it’s a question of what you define as sustainability,” Blundstone Managing Partner for Brand Initiative and Head of U.S. Marketing Kate Shevack told WWD.
Blundstone also mentions its close work with the Leather Work Group for ethical leather sourcing of its other boot lines as well as its use of recycled and recyclable materials such as returning offcut from its gumboot products back into the manufacturing process.
“We have a long history as boot manufacturers and our new vegan styles allow us to remain true to our brand mission. We are known for comfort and durability, and everything to do with this vegan boot incorporates the DNA of Blundstone,” said Shevack.
In other footwear news, Allbirds launched its first sustainable trail shoe made using materials derived from sugarcane, wool, and trees.