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Vegan shoes are going mainstream

Sometimes small changes are actually big changes.

They just don’t seem like big changes at the time.

When it comes to veganism, I’m always on the lookout for these changes.

A celebrity announcing that he or she has gone vegan.

That’s not a big change.

But when a major retailer begins highlighting vegan products, that’s a big change.

It’s a sign that more and more people are putting their wallets where their values are.

Take the simple act of finding a pair of vegan shoes.

The easiest approach is to shop at an all-vegan store, like Moo Shoes.

But what about the more mainstream online stores, like REI?

About six months ago I noticed that REI had developed a “vegan” filtering option for men’s shoes, shown here:

At the time, there were maybe 11 shoes in this category.

I just check again today and, there are now 38 vegan shoes available. I think the increase is partly due to shoe manufacturers focusing on producing vegan shoes — as well as making a point of labeling vegan shoes appropriately. For example, many running shoes are already vegan, but not labeled as such (though Brooks does a very good job in this regard).

Zappos also now offers a vegan sort option (though it can be challenging to find).

This is a new feature — added over the past six months.

Now what about Amazon (the parent company of Zappos)?

Six months ago, Amazon was headed in the right direction.

Here is a screen grab of Amazon offering a small selection of “vegetarian” shoes.

Vegetarian? Does that mean these shoes might include cheese or butter?

Clearly, Amazon was still figuring things out — and, apparently, simply gave up. Today, there is no vegetarian or vegan filter for shoes.

But Amazon has invested heavily in offering vegan food, as shown here:

So it’s just a matter of time until Amazon adds a vegan search option to more products.

Veganism is good business, and a growing business.

And these changes, small as they may seem, are big.

 

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