Ballet flats are a must-have shoe because they are comfortable and casual but also manage to add a sophisticated and chic touch to any ensemble. Paired with cigarette-leg trousers for the quintessential Audrey look or worn with pretty dresses and jeans, a pair (or more) of ballet flats will soon have you pirouetting down the street in style!
Purchasing a fabulous pair of black ballet flats is a great place to start if you are editing your shoe collection and looking to stock up on quality staples. Black shoes will go with everything, look stylish from daylight to twilight and will probably be worn daily (so you will definitely get your money’s worth). I’ve picked out 5 stunning black vegan styles for you to peruse below (all ethically made with vegan materials). Let me know which ones are your favorite.Joy – Beyond Skin (pictured above)
Handmade in Spain
Also available in red
Beyond Skin £55
Endless Shoes and Handbags
Audrey – Vegetarian Shoes
Made in Portugal
Vegetarian Shoes UK £49.95
Ivy – Beyond Skin
Handmade in Spain
also available in a red & pink colour combination
Beyond Skin £55 sale
Ace – Vegetarian Shoes
Made in Portugal, (red and white shoes made in Spain).
Moo Shoes – Available in black, red and white (US $75).
Vegetarian Shoes UK – Available in black, red, white and olive ( £39.95).
Darcy – Vegetarian Shoes
Made in Portugal
Vegetarian Shoes UK £42.95
If your closet is starting to fill up with one too many black pieces, perhaps you should venture over to the navy side. Navy is just as sophisticated as black, but less harsh. A dash of navy here and there can soften your look but still keep you looking chic. So take a look at my selection of the best navy key pieces for your eco friendly closet.
The Organic Market Bag – Moop
Handmade in Massachusetts
Organic Cotton and Vegetable Based Dyes
Etsy is my new best friend for finding creative and stunning handmade gems from designers such as Moop. Their large midnight blue bag is ideal for the girl who literally has to cart her life around in a bag. At least now it can be an organic, ethically made bag!
Visit Moop’s Blog.
Karida Coat – Amana
Made in Morocco
Hemp, wool, tencel and organic cotton lining
This sophisticated nile blue coat is on sale and available in a long and short version. Grab your style and size now at such a good price and remember you can’t go wrong with a navy coat in your ethical closet. The colour and style will look good for years to come.
Fashion Conscience £99 (was £165)
Amana £105 (many other Autumn / Winter ’08 items on sale also)
Cheryl Cardi – Frank & Faith
Made in the UK
100% Organic Cotton
Bravo Frank & Faith for manufacturing your clothes in the UK and for making them so darn cute! I love a good lightweight cardi to throw on with jeans or over a dress. Frank & Faith are also members of 1% for the Planet, donating 1% of their sales to environmental organisations.
Frank & Faith £52 (Also available in black and green)
Karen Dress – Wildlife Works
Made in Kenya
A stunning shirt dress for those times when you need to look ‘businessy’ and organised. This dress is also extra fabulous because it is helping wildlife conservation in Kenya. Wildlife Works have established a sanctuary and eco factory in Kenya to ‘save endangered and threatened wildlife’ and to also provide valuable employment opportunities for locals. Wow! This dress is going to make you feel really good now! By the way, the dress looks black but is actually a deep navy colour.
Wildlife Works US $150 (was US $300)
Eugina Jeans – Del Forte Denim
Made in the USA
Definitely one of the Top 3 wardrobe items a green girl needs to invest in, organic skinny jeans. Del Forte’s Eugina jeans are Equa’s best selling shape and look ultra flattering and comfortable.
Equa £75 (was £135)
Pure Shoes – Olsenhaus
Made in Mexico
Don’t these shoes just scream, ‘don’t mess with the vegan!’ The mock croc style will ensure seamless blendability with the Net-a-Porter set but will also keep your vegan friends impressed as well.
Olsenhaus US $215
Whether you work in an office or just need a chic look for meetings or formal occasions, I have a few key pieces that are perfect for moments when you need to be at your best and ready to ‘impress’.
Anatomy Brown Top
Made in England.
Materials: Hemp, tencel and wool.
This stylish brown top is flattering in both shape and colour. The lapels can be worn in a cute bow or left untied. Pair with black tailored pants and wear with or without black blazer for a glam power dressing, ‘I’m CEO of something but I’m not saying what’ kind of look.
Devidoll – £71.25
Amana Black Suit
Made in Morocco
Material: Organic Cotton (SKAL certified)
Fair Trade to IFAT Standards (not certified yet as company is less than 2 years old)
A black suit is a wardrobe staple and worthwhile investment. Ideal for work with the above Anatomy brown top or other feminine blouses. Can also be worn with tees for a more casual look or pair with a flirty dress for a great evening look!
Fashion Conscience – Jacket £99 and Tailored Pants £89
Olsenhaus Black Vegan Ankle Boots (Truth)
Made in Mexico
Vegan Materials (Patent Mock Croc)
Factories personally inspected by Olsenhaus Founder every 3 months.
I featured these Truth boots in the 6 Best Vegan Ankle Boots recently and had to turn to them again as they work perfectly with the organic black suit and brown top. Stylish and sophisticated with just the right amount of edge!
Amazon Life Computer Bag
Made in Italy
Material: Rubber and Organic Cotton Canvas
Fair Trade and Sustainable
Pop your laptop into this eye catching black and brown computer bag and you’re ready to commute and hit the office in style with eco credentials to boot! Amazon Life make their bags from vegetable leather derived from latex which comes from rubber trees in a FSC certified section of the Amazon. And they also provide incomes for South American tribal communities.
Visit Amazon Life.
Brazilian model Aline Weber in John Rocha (photography by Eric Guillemain)
Here is a way to make a difference in the world and look fabulous while doing it! The UK based charity, the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) has collaborated with top designers and A-listers to create a collection of fair trade and organic t-shirts to help raise awareness to end forced child labour and the use of toxic pesticides within the cotton industry.
Sophie Ellis Bextor in Zandra Rhodes (photography by Jane Mcleish Kelsey)
EJF’s Program Director, Juliette Williams explains how ‘our buying power can be a force for good’ and by choosing to buy ethical cotton we can help support ‘communities in some of the world’s poorest nations’ and help put a stop to child labour in countries such as Uzbekistan. According to the EJF, Uzbekistan is the world’s third largest exporter of cotton and shockingly many adults and children are ‘forced to work in conditions near slavery for the state run cotton industry’.
Ashley Jensen in Allegra Hicks
(photography by Ryan Michael Hackett)
Show your support towards the EJF’s ongoing work by purchasing a t-shirt from designers such as Zandra Rhodes, Giles Deacon, John Rocha and Allegra Hicks. The designs range from cute and quirky to pretty and simplistic and will make you look good but more importantly feel good knowing you are doing your part to help improve the cotton industry.
EJF’s Organic Cotton Designer T-Shirt Collection
Purchase at EJF’s online store (from £30)
The organic and fair trade cotton is picked and manufactured in Turkey (Fair Wear Foundation) and printed with organic certified inks (Soil Association).
Joss Stone in Giles Deacon (photography by Paul Conroy)
More exciting news from the EJF – The Great Fashion Cycle
Have you heard about the EJF’s other wonderful campaign, the ‘Great Fashion Cycle?’ If you want to cycle from London to Paris and raise funds to support the EJF’s work ‘addressing human rights and environmental abuses within the fashion industry’ you can visit their website for further details. The Great Fashion Cycle takes place from the 9-13 September 2009.
I often dream about having a walk-in closet filled with wonderful and stylish organic and fair trade clothing, so when I stepped into Rococo’s teeny eco boutique in North London, I was immediately smitten and ready to move in. Rococo looks just like the ethical walk in-closet I’ve always wanted!
The rails are lined with the very best eco friendly fashion from brands such as People Tree, Enamore, Tammam and Miksa. Rococo is great for actually sighting and trying on organic clothing (which is still surprisingly hard to do in London with the small sprinkling of eco boutiques around). If you can’t make it to Muswell, you can still shop online though and now couldn’t be a better time to visit Rococo’s site because they are having a sale, with many gorgeous People Tree items available at bargain prices!
Shop at Rococo online
Visit– 16 Avenue Mews, Muswell Hill N10 3NP. Ph: 07779 01004 (Saturdays only or by appointment)
Vintage Shopping – Another way to build the ultimate eco friendly wardrobe.
I thought I should incorporate a few posts about my green life in amongst the regular postings on organic beauty and ethical fashion. My ‘greeniphany’ happened about 18 months ago and I have enjoyed the cross over to a more ethical lifestyle where I now take time to consider where my clothes come from and what ingredients I am putting on my skin. There have been challenges along the way (so long H&M and cheap European flights) but mostly there have been exciting discoveries, which is what prompted me to start Green Lashes and Fashion. I would love this site to be a resource for green girls who want to find the very best eco products.
Today I’ve been out and about in East London poking around Brick Lane, Spitalfields Market and Columbia Rd Flower Market (quite small but very cute, quaint shops behind the flower stalls). I made sure I visited vintage mecca, Rokit too as I had heard it was the place to buy vintage in London.
I must be honest, in the past I haven’t spent much time in vintage stores and was never too keen on wearing other people’s clothes (it must be an only child thing). However, once I stepped into Rokit, I immediately saw the error of my ways. The store was filled with urban trendsetters, the rails lined with spectacular fashion and the price tags so low I had to keep double checking them. My inner stylist came out and I began reaching for clothes I would normally shun. Bubblegum pink coat? ‘Sure, why not?’ Orange polo top? ‘Yeah, it’s tight but do it while you’re still in your twenties’ I thought to myself. Okay, maybe I was in a slight vintage stupor!
Vintage Purchases – 3 items for £26
Pink Coat – £10
Orange Top – £4 (I know!)
Navy Sheer Shirt – £12
I seem to have channeled a ‘Samantha from Bewitched, 60’s vibe’ with the pink and orange colours.
Green Glee (how I was green today)
I refused the store paper bag in favour of my reusable bag which I had stashed in my handbag. Felt quite chuffed that I was proving you can get by without paper or plastic. Also walked away (some might say pulled away) from a divine aubergine cardigan at Spitalfields with sweet little buttons on the bracelet sleeves. It was £10 but because it was not made ethically and the fabric wasn’t organic or recycled, I said no. I had to be strong but I said no.
Mean Green (how I was not so green)
I don’t think this one is too bad but toay I got a tea to go in a paper cup. I read somewhere that Julia Roberts takes her own thermos to coffee houses to get her drinks (or maybe it was her own tupperware to the supermarket deli section). Either way, I wanted to be like Julia but instead I sheepishly drank from my paper cup. I should say I carried the cup all the way home because I couldn’t see anywhere for it be recycled! I don’t know if carrying it all the way home (along with my friend’s plastic dessert dish) was admirable or tragic?
I will definitely be stopping by Rokit
more regularly, which won’t be difficult as they have several London locations at Brick Lane, Covent Garden and Camden. Rokit also have an online shopping site.
To celebrate America’s Independence Day, I thought it would be fitting to ensure today’s fashion was head to toe, made in the USA. It can be difficult finding products (especially vegan shoes) but once you know where to look, you’ll soon see their are many beautiful American eco brands available that will still make your shopping experiences fun and most importantly leave you looking stylish and stunning!
Happy Fourth of July to all US readers!
Bella Top – Mountains of the Moon
made from hemp + organic cotton
Nothing could be better than a sun quenched, pretty yellow top right now. I love the boat neckline and triangle detail of this Bella top, designed by Melissa Baswell.
Bluebelle Jeans – Del Forte
Del Forte lead the organic denim pack with their flattering styles and eco credentials. The jeans are made in LA and this Bluebelle design is especially popular.
Model T Tote Classic – English Retreads
Made in Boulder, Colorado
You can’t go wrong with a black bag and English Retread’s amazing selection of bags made from inner tubes couldn’t be better. This Model T Tote Classic is so slick with its rivet detailing and straps made from seat belts!
Size 5 High Walnut Wedge Sandals – Mohop
Handmade in Chicago by Annie Mohaupt
Made from wood, recycled rubber and faux suede
Here’s a chance to pop into a pair of Mohop shoes that are on sale at Etsy. These wooden soled shoes are incredible and so unique. They come with 5 different ribbons which can be laced onto the shoe to suit your style and mood. Love them!
Arcs Ring – Kirsten Muenster
San Francisco / recycled sterling silver
I’m such a fan of Kirsten Muenster’s gorgeous oversized eco rings, particularly her Cast Silver collection. It’s hard to pick a favourite but this ring has a great quirky / chic thing going on that I love.
Pop Rock & Roll Earrings – Millie Hilgert
Handmade in Boise, Idaho / old vinyl records
Such a stunning purple colour that would clash in the best way possible with the sunshine Bella top from Mountains of the Moon.
Vintage Kimono Eyeglass Case – Designed by Aya
Made in San Francisco / vintage kimono fabric
I don’t really need an eyeglass case but I thought this sweet kimono case would be ideal as a little coin purse or for stashing small knick knacks.
Do-Ni vegan ballerinas are the sweetest shoes you will find and one of the few shoe labels out there that have a whole lot of soul and substance behind the style (forgive me, I had to have fun with the word soul just once). I was introduced to these stunning shoes via English Retread’s blog and now my feet and I could not be happier knowing that there are Do-Ni shoes in the world! Do-Ni translates to the word, ‘gifts’ in Italian and when you buy a pair of these precious shoes, 100% of the retail proceeds will be donated to participating non-profit organisations. You can choose from a wonderful range of beneficiaries that all help the planet, people and animals in profound ways (Animal Acres, Medicines Global and FA Home Away from Homelessness are just some examples of the worthy organizations).
Once you’ve selected your organization, the next decision involves picking your favorite shade of ballerina shoe! Not an easy decision when you see how designer worthy they all look with their lovely, French ribbon bows, luscious color range and the option of having an Audrey-esque medallion on either the black or champagne shoes!
Decisions and pretty shoes are never a good combination. I could ramble off numerous reasons for needing each and every pair on offer – black (quintessential classic), champagne (for when you are feeling fancy), grass (to prove green is glam), ruby (for a Dorothy moment) and amethyst (chic alternative to black).
Whichever pair you pick, they are guaranteed to pretty-fy any outfit instantly and will look sublime day or night, with jeans or with a vintage dress. A girl definitely needs a pair of ballet flats in her shoe collection. You will live in them and practically start skipping with delight at how these shoes combine much desired comfort with lashings of style!
Designers Nancy Dong and Carlotta Fiorini not only added their immense amount of talent, creativity and compassion to these shoes but they also added their names to the label (Do from Dong + Ni from Fiorini = Do-Ni). Nancy has previously worked at Charmone and now has her own shoe collection, Kailia (will feature them in an upcoming post soon) and Carlotta has experience at Gucci and also has her own delicious shoe line, Carlotta Fiorini.
Do-Ni ballerina shoes are hand made in Portugal with the ‘best leather-free materials from Italy’, water based glues, recycled insole boards and ribbons from France. Ooh la la! The champagne and black ballerinas are $119 or $135 with medallion and the remaining grass, amethyst and ruby ballerinas are all $119.