Before you run to the mall for a new pair of flats that was more than likely sewn by child laborers in a third world country, think about ordering a pair of Do-Ni shoes. Designed by Nancy Dong of Kailia Shoes and Carlotta Fiorini, Do-Ni is a vegan footwear company that aims to “create great looking shoes that are eco-friendly and help those without a voice.”
The Nobilia ballerina slippers from Do-Ni’s 2009 collection put that very promise into action. Using only non-animal materials, European artisans handcraft these slippers and add ribbons and embroidery for adornment with the aid of water-based glues. Although the shoes are leather-free, they provide the same comfort provided by leather shoes and come unlined with a padded insole. Do-Ni’s artisans also maintain the company’s environmentally friendly practices through the use of pre-consumer recycled components.
Do-Ni’s efforts to make this world a better place do not stop with the ecological construction of its shoes. Italian for “gift,” Do-Ni joins forces with six non-profit organizations that receive 100% of its retail profits. These NPOs include Animal Acres (a farmed animal sanctuary that promotes kind living and participates in rescue and refuge efforts), Four Legged Friends Foundation (an organization that helps needy families pay their veterinary bills), Go Vegan with Bob Linden (a radio program dedicated to animal-liberation and vegan education), Medicines Global(an organization of adventure travelers who donate basic first aid supplies to the destinations), Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (an organization that promotes compassionate medical research and practice), and A Home Away From Homelessness (an organization that seeks to meet the needs of homeless children in shelter programs). Each customer may choose which beneficiary receives the profits of their purchase.
The shoes themselves come in the following colors: champagne, a satiny gray; grass an olive green; amethyst, a deep purple; ruby a rich red; and black. Above the toe, each shoe features a knotted, matching ribbon. The champagne and black styles are also available with a crystal medallion cinching the middle of the ribbon for a dressier look.
We at Conscious Living are huge fans of Do-Ni shoes (Bianca loves them!) and believe fully in their ecological and social mission. To check out these sustainable and beautiful shoes and learn more about Do-Ni and its founders, visit http://www.do-ni.com/main.html. Or, to see co-founder Nancy Dong’s Kailia shoes in action, watch our “Chicago Eco-Fashion Cafe” or “Winter Fashion on the National Mall” episodes on the www.ConsciousLivingTV.com style page.