Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

Are Your Accessories Poisoning You?

Published on February 1, 2010 by   ·   37 Comments Pin It

Cri de Coeur eco shoe and bag designer, Gina Ferraraccio, dishes up the straight story on the toxic faux leather drama;

It’s been a rough month for H&M first trashgate, then cottongate, and now the chain is among a group of the nation’s top retailers involved in a settlement to remove faux leather handbags from shelves in California, after an investigation by the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) found disturbingly high levels of lead in the bags. Other retailers named in the investigation include Target, Macy’s, Forever21 and Kohl’s.

So why is the CEH finding lead in women’s handbags?

It turns out they’re made of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, a cheap faux leather material. A known carcinogen since 1966, PVC is very dangerous when manufactured, as it requires large amounts of chlorine (two-thirds of the world’s chlorine supply) with dioxin as a byproduct. Other toxins involved in its production are lead, which damages brain development and impairs cognitive ability; cadmium, a neurotoxin and carcinogen; and organotins, which suppress the endocrine and immune systems. PVC also contains phthalates, another known carcinogen linked to asthma and reproductive problems.

Eek, how to avoid these nasty chemicals and toxins?

The study by the CEH recommends avoiding all faux leather so what’s a cruelty-free fashionista to do? We’re already used to scrutinizing our food labels for animal-derived and unhealthy ingredients, now we just have to double check the label on our accessories too! Polyurethane, or PU, is another leather-alternative material that not only looks amazing, but it breathes well and is super durable. PU contains none of the volatile compounds that are found in PVC-based products. The production of the highest quality PU uses environmentally friendly raw materials, and the finished product doesn’t emit toxins.   Many eco-vegan shoe designers are now using other eco materials and organic cottons and canvas to make their chic and body-friendly shoes.

How do you make sure you’re not buying toxic PVC-infested products?

PVC can be used to make cosmetic bottles, pets’ chew toys, construction pipes, plastic packaging, food wrap, babies’ toys and teething rings, computer parts, etc. Check to see when you’re purchasing if they’re labeled as #3 plastic. If so, they’re PVC, which also means they’re not recyclable. So all that PVC will end up in landfills, where the lead and toxins will gradually leak into the environment. For more info on safe everyday products, check out PVC: The Poison Plastic.

On handbags, accessories, and clothing, check the fiber content label. Make sure it’s made of PU or some other textile material no PVC or vinyl. And remember, leather is no better, environmentally or in the quest to avoid cancer.   Read all about that here.

Cri de Coeur Felicity, Made from distressed cotton canvas

HAPPY FEET! Cri de Coeur "Felicity", Made from distressed cotton canvas

Shoes are a little trickier to know if they’re PVC-safe, since footwear is not required by law to state the content, only whether it’s leather or synthetic, so do some research into the brands you’re considering. Any company that claims to be eco or sustainable should avoid PVC. Cri de Coeur uses 100% high quality PU in all linings, with uppers of PU, recycled ultraseuede or textiles. collection of shoes made from recycled TV fibers! collection of shoes made from recycled TV fibers!

A general rule the cheaper a plastic or faux leather product is, the more likely it is to contain harmful materials. PVC is so widely used because it’s inexpensive. And while you may save a buck now, the long-term detriments to your own health and to future generations’ health just aren’t worth it.

So forgo those three or four pairs of shoes from Forever21 and Payless, and save up for Cri de Coeur! Good for you, the planet and animals, all our footwear is lead-free, so you can rest easy knowing your feet aren’t absorbing harmful toxins as you’re rocking some hot cruelty-free fashion. Plus we’re currently in development on a line of Cri de Coeur handbags, which will be available to purchase starting this summer using the same top quality materials!

Want discount codes for many eco, vegan, and organic designers (like our faves; Cri de Coeur and OlsenHaus) that won’t kill animals, the planet, or you?   Click here for GirlieGirlArmy EXCLUSIVE discount codes! Want a great, big list of eco and vegan-friendly shoe and bag designers?   Look no further than this huge list of compassionate shopping love!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pin It

Readers Comments (37)

  1. Suasoria says:

    Damn, is this why this hot $40 French Connection bag can’t be shipped to Cali?

  2. elaine says:

    Very important information, but unfortunately has the unintended consequence of making veganism even more elite as a lifestyle.

    Vegan diets don’t have to be expensive.

    But keeping EVERYTHING one owns and wears vegan and environmentally safe? Sounding more and more like something only a fairly small percentage of the population can literally afford to do.

  3. Ali Berman says:

    This is fab advice. I totally agree with saving up for a nice pair of shoes instead of buying lots of cheap ones. Same goes for purses. The good ones last a super long time. And if you can’t afford the great brands, then wait for the end of the seasons and buy items on sale. Now, for example is the perfect time to shop!

  4. Chloe says:

    Elaine, There is no difference between a vegan or non vegan lifestyle in terms of price. In terms of fashion, you buy high end/ ethically made what you can AFFORD to buy (just like when you exclusively bought leather) and buy cheap what you must. This blog is just a suggestion. And Ali is right (above) – sales on all these lines are APLENTY. I’ve gotten almost ALL of my vegan shoes and bags on online sales or at sample sales or using discount codes, etc. IF you are a smart shopper (vegan or not) – you will find a way to get the deals on the brands you WANT to support because their ethics go along with yours.

  5. elaine says:

    Chloe — You’re assuming I’m not a bargain hunter (I am, big time). But the cost difference between a Cri de Coeur or Olsenhaus shoe, even on sale, and a shoe at Payless (especially on sale) is BIG. I don’t disagree that people in my income bracket can afford to be totally vegan; I can and I’m working on it. But there are millions of people who would not be able to buy these products, even on sale. I realize your site is, at least in part, about glamour — so it makes sense that you often highlight high-end items. But for a HUGE majority of people, the closest they can get to a vegan shoe is, indeed, some PVC crap from Payless. I didn’t want to start an argument here, just to comment that it’s fair to note that being vegan-all-the-way may not be as affordable as being “almost” vegan (and of course, that’s assuming that veganism is an important value for a person in the first place).


  6. Chastity says:

    This is great to know! I was a little worried because my 7 inch heels were PU and I was absolutely convinced they were not environmentally friendly. Thank goodness this has been sorted out!

  7. Chloe says:

    Elaine – What you are talking about being entirely ECO — NOT vegan. To be VEGAN (fashion wise) is INDEED far cheaper than not. We buy synthetics, Payless is indeed vegan and I’d buy Payless shoes over leather shoes any day of the week, and twice on Sunday. Gina’s article (above) is about going entirely GREEN which is a step above vegan. When I was not vegan, I bought leather shoes which are FAR more expensive than most faux leather shoes I now buy. I’m assuming you didn’t click on my list of alternative designers – where you will find a few designers who feature almost-Payless prices – items that are totally vegan and beyond affordable.

  8. Donna says:

    I hesitated to jump into this conversation since I own a vegan boutique and I didn’t want to be seen as an “interested party”. Aside from the whole issue of what the shoes are made of, we need to think about who is making the shoes and if they are fairly compensated. And so, I agree with Ali – truly ethically made vegan fashions may not be within everyone’s reach at the beginning of the season – but by the end, the discounts are so deep (especially when combined with discount codes) that the majority can buy these styles. I not only love Cri de Coeur, Vaute Couture, olsen Haus, Neuaura, Novacas and many more because of their great styles but because of their concern for the people who make the shoes and the conditions in which they work – now that is truly vegan!

  9. Catherine says:

    I agree with Elaine on the price points. Why isn’t the price of the boots listed next to the picture? The boots on the site are listed as: “Now $140.00 !!!” (on sale from $340). That’s a bargain? Maybe for those living on the Upper West Side.

    Women are always being trained to replace perfectly good items in their closet so they can be ‘on trend’ (READ: have no sense of personal style of our own and buy whatever bloggers/fashion editors tell you). How green is that?

    I think the pressure to veganize one’s closet is too much. I don’t support buying new leather and such, but if people have things in their closet, I don’t see anything wrong with still using those items. If challenged on it, tell them as I do, that I detest waste (financial and environmental) and will make a better decision next time. I don’t covet a life I cannot afford because it’s sold in a glossy image.

    I find vegan clothes, shoes, bags, etc. at swaps, consignment shops and charitable thrift stores. I scored adorable vegan ballet flats for $10 at a consignment shop. So that’s an option for those not in an income level to buy the higher end vegan lines. But I know you’ve blogged about the greatness of swaps and second-hand, so you already know that.

  10. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by GirlieGirlArmy: Are Your Accessories Poisoning You? Taking on the PVC drama of the last 2 wks:

  11. Gina says:

    As Chloe pointed out above, vegan and eco-clothing isn’t always that expensive, relative to conventional designer brands.

    Even so, the price tags aren’t come up with arbitrarily…every step of the production process adds its own cost to the bottom line. For example, Cri de Coeur shoes are made in socially responsible factories that pay fair wages. The shoes are made by hand, since the vegan materials don’t lend themselves to automated production processes that were developed for leather footwear. The materials are high quality, so not only do they look and feel good, they’ll endure many years of wear.

    It’s also important to keep in mind that the cost of a product isn’t solely what’s on the price tag. Everything has a footprint that it impacts upon our planet. While buying the sustainable, organic or fair-trade product may be slightly more expensive in the short-term, its long term benefits are more than worth it. It’s beyond being GREEN, it’s about being socially responsible on every level for the animals, the environment, ourselves, our children, their children, etc, etc

  12. elaine says:

    I understand that green is a step above vegan and that production costs, particularly if done in a socially responsible way, will likely add up to a more expensive item. The point that (and I think, Catherine)are making is that this laudable goal of vegan-and-green is likely out of the ballpark for the average person.

    Catherine — I totally agree with you about waste. If I already own it, I have no problem wearing it. I have no desire to be trendy in my clothing, as long as I don’t look *too* out-of-style. Example: I haven’t bought new leather shoes for myself or my kids since I went vegan, but as I sit here typing this, I’m wearing an old pair of leather clogs and a hand-me-down, 20-year-old wool sweater. And I do not feel guilty about either. At all.

  13. Tarrah says:

    I disagree Elaine.. I spend EXPONENTIALLY less money now that I’ve gone green and vegan. I used to buy lots of crappy leather shoes a year.. now I save up for one pair that costs $150 per season.. and I find I spend tons less cash on other items as well since I find myself participating in far fewer splurge purchases at crappy stores like H&M or Strawberry. I won’t wear wool or leather because it promotes that wearing those items are okay, and it’s not. It’s never okay to wear animals. I donated and sold (consignment stores) all my old animal skins and hairs years ago. And I feel no guilt about that either. At all. Isn’t the goal to do as much as we can. That said, you’ll stop wearing your old leather when/ if it feels wrong for you to do so. Like I did.

  14. Catherine says:

    Elaine, please don’t feel dispirited or bullied. I am confident in my beliefs and know the issues aren’t this black and white. So $150 a season on shoes=$600 year, just on shoes. What if you have a family of four? People just can’t comprehend others have mortgages, tuition, taxes, etc. to pay and it’s not just about ‘me, me, me’ with finances.

    I wear the same two winter coats in my closet (one is non-vegan) year after year. I don’t feel the need to go buy an ‘eco-friendly’ coat, shoes, etc. to use as a talking point. Eco-friendly is using what I have. I have a pair of suede sneakers I still use to pick up trash at river cleanups or to walk my family’s rescue dog in the park. They are in no condition to donate (the same with some other shoes) and would all end up in a landfill (many thrift store donations do, by the way). Is that good for animals?

    What would happen if everyone abandoned their non-vegan items? I run clothing swaps and know many second-hand shop owners, and used clothing has massive stigma (sadly, living beyond our means does not). If people want to feel better about themselves because they spent a high sum of money, let them go right ahead. I have no credit card debt and have savings for the future, two things most Americans cannot claim since they are busy shopping for the ‘perfect’ life marketed to them. But vegans shouldn’t shame others into thinking what’s right for them is right for everyone else, and I am so sad that people equate living green with spending a lot of green.

  15. Donna says:

    Catherine and Elaine,
    It is definitely not my intent to encourage anyone to spend a lot of green in order to be green. It sounds like you already live a life of consious decision making which is the best thing that we all can do. The outcomes of these decisions will be different for everyone – there is no one right way. It saddens me to see how divisive our community (animal rights activists, environmentalists) can be. Many, many years ago I was at the monthly TSU (Trans Species Unlimited – anyone else remember them ?) meeting – we were very lucky to have Dr. Neal Barnard as a guest speaker. He made the comment that our movement could learn a lot from the NRA – a lot of people initially took offense at this comment. But if you really think about it, you know what he meant. Our best hope in making things right for the earth and all of it’s inhabitants is in our ability to stand united for what we believe in regardless of our individual differences.

  16. Catherine says:

    Donna: I completely agree about the divisiveness. The judgment that goes on will frighten people away.

    The point was about accessibility to pursuing a veg lifestyle. What someone thinks of a bargain may be way off base for others.

    A few months ago, there was an article about surviving the recession on VegNews’ site which gave very little useful information (it was basically product plugs for many companies). Dozens chimed in with comments about they were single parents looking for tips, had major job struggles, couldn’t spend $10 for shampoo, and so on. Economic concerns are real. I see ALL the time the comment “it’s so hard to be green on a budget.” Why do people think that? There’s so much advertising going on with respect to ‘green,’ it’s almost becoming a diluted, meaningless marketing term (think ‘natural’ foods).

    I will stand up any day for someone’s right to continue to use what they bought before learning about its production. I have an IKEA couch with down in the cushions I bought a decade ago before pursuing a veg lifestyle. According to some people, I should probably sell it and buy some high-end “eco” couch since it’s probably not okay to sit on animals either. We cannot undo past misinformed decisions, we can just strive to make better ones next time. Do we always get it right? No. But at least we are trying to live the most educated, aware and humane life we can.


  17. Elizabeth Olsen says:

    Going vegan is about breaking the cycle.

    It is a commitment to the statement (((( I in NO WAY condone the usage or cruelty of any living being for food, clothing, experimentation, or entertainment)))))

    It is the responsibility of anyone that is speaking on behalf of animal rights to WALK THE WALK and TALK THE TALK, anything less is half- ass and an injustice to the animal kingdom. You have made the choice to be vegan from your higher realms of consciousness, you are here to be a teacher, and a guide!

    The mainstream masses are waking up to realize eating animal products is unhealthy, giving humanity diseases/cancer. The media is exposing what the factory farming and fur industries are doing. Lies that have been feed to us by the USDA are being uncovered…..

    As humanity goes through this transition of waking up,the message of the truth needs to get out faster… not stalled by a vegan still wearing leather worried about saving a few hundred bucks…if you believe in the “recession” than you will have one….rise above it!!!

    The masses will cling to any little idea of the old to make themselves feel better, “you don’t eat meat yet you wear leather,wool, silk etc” will be an excuse to carry on their old ways, and they will not get the message.

    Clearing out ones closet is part of the experience. It’s not a big deal, nor expensive and should be seen as a cathartic experience instead of an expensive chore, you aren’t going to replace everything the next day, take time, buy only high quality goods, and less of them, you’ll feel better and be supporting more noble causes than consumerism. There is probably already a portion of your closet that is already vegan.

    It’s also not about keeping up with fashion- it’s about taking the dead animals out and replacing with classic wearable non- animal pieces.

    When I cleaned out mine, I had 5 pairs of non- leather shoes.. so I gradually re-built. sweaters, shirts and coats are all easily replaceable….furs- weren’t even necessary to begin with.

    The more aware one is, you won’t be able to wear dead animals on your body anymore….how can one not picture the agony these beings have gone through to make a product-a sheep with a bloody ass, so you can have a sweater….having salt rubbed in their eyes, and throats slit while still alive for a handbag… or anally electrocuted…..

    Give your animal goods to a shelter- there are people that have literally nothing, and they would benefit from these items more so.

    You however are a teacher/ guide/ example of the evolution and you need to represent.

    As a vegetarian for 15 years, when I went vegan I was embarrassed I hadn’t put 2 and 2 together sooner, and I could in no way wear an animal product and feel like I was living in the truth.


  18. Catherine says:

    Well full disclosure, Elizabeth, you have a high-end vegan shoe line to sell, so I’m not surprised to hear you trying to plea with people to get rid of their non-vegan items. Ultimately, shoes have a limited life span and will end up in the landfill. I’m more impressed with people who buy leather at thrift and maintain them through cobblers than some $200 “eco” shoes.

    Who is going to want people’s smelly old leather gym shoes? Why should I buy new shoes to pick up trash in the park? Ridiculous.

    I’m really sick of smug vegans who think they are morally superior and bully others around, and how extremely judgmental they are. They frighten so many off from pursuing a veg lifestyle. Shame on them for trying to “guilt” others about their choices, especially when they are trying to SELL you something.

    I’ve stated my peace. I don’t want to invest any more energy on bullies. As Forrest Gump would say, ‘that’s all I’ve got to say about that.’

  19. elaine says:

    Catherine, I wish I knew you in person!!! I appreciate your virtual support for my points and totally agree with you about the smug attitudes of some vegans who insist that they “get it” and that, poor me, some day I might…

    I, too, am not saying anymore on this particular issue.

  20. Joslyn says:

    Thank you for this information. I do have a question however; the link you provide, “compassionate shopping love”, do you know for a fact that none of those sites are selling PVC products? I shop from many of them frequently, but they often to not list what the products are made of, only that they are vegan friendly. The fact they are so is of course wonderful, but in light of this new information, I am wondering if I will have to get rid of my Matt & Nat, Ragazzi, and Alternative Outfitter products!

  21. Chloe says:

    Time for Mama Bear to chime in! You are all wonderful and ALL have totally valid points. Thank goddess for all of you. Thank goddess for Elizabeth for changing what the WORLD (particularly the fashion world!!) thinks of us and shifting what a vegan is supposed to look like! We are high fashion and grungy Mamas (sometimes ALL in the same day!!) I think wearing what you have and buying what you can AFFORD to buy and making the most earth friendly decisions is important. Obviously nobody should not be able to send their kids to College because they want new shoes. The world won’t end if we wear the same pair of shoes for 5 years! I don’t buy much new, and donate and clothing swap what I no longer wear. One of my favorite new-vegan things to do was ebay my old animal-stuffs and use the money for donations to my favorite non profit organizations. The only place I don’t skimp is my food – personally I’d rather spend the few extra bucks on organic and pay less at the Doctor’s later. But I will still buy some good ole Payless, because they are cute and still vegan afterall. I could be accused of being animal-friendly first and foremost. I’m vegan first, and green second. When I have the choice, I will always make the decision that protects the animals first. Not like buying anything new protects the animals.. but on a bad pms day, if the mood strikes to shop and I can’t afford OlsenHaus or Cri… a vegan bitch has gotta do what a vegan bitch has gotta do. ;) Still.. ideally we would all support women-owned, ethical, vegan-owned and run companies like Elizabeth’s and Gina’s. I know them both personally and they are both unbelievably kind and ethical girls. They give back exponentially to the community and really only started their businesses because they genuinely ADORE animals and want to do their little part (with their particular talents) to change the world.. even if it’s just a tweensy bit. We should be grateful that Cameron Diaz is rocking her OlsenHaus on the cover of Vogue instead of some Pony hair or Alligator pumps from Gucci. Joslyn: I am personally not getting rid of ANY of my vegan bags and shoes from cheapy stores – even with this new information. But we wanted to present this issue, as we’d been getting so many comments from readers. In terms of finding out what a product is made from, we suggest contacting the manufacturer and outright asking. If it makes you feel comfortable, ask them what their exchange policy is regarding the new PVC warnings. I highly doubt carrying a pvc bag for an hour or two a day can really do any harm.. still it’s good info for us all to file away and perhaps make different buying choices (or not.) Either way, it seems ALL of you agree that veganism (for us) isn’t about being green or skinny.. it’s about choosing not to support cruelty. Agree?

  22. Suze says:

    All I can say is yes- I too am foremost a vegan and choose vegan products over anything else. However, after spending my teens and 20’s wearing chintzy, throw-away shoes from teeny bopper stores and converse sneakers (not made in the usa anymore) I revel in the ability to now buy quality vegan shoes. I can buy vegan shoes and support vegan companies!! hello finally!! It is a relief to find companies with regards for the materials they use to make the shoes and refusal to use sweatshop labor that are exactly representative of my ideals and the example I strive to set as a vegan. Now in my 30’s, people have known me to be vegan for many years. I can live the lifestyle and dress the part in a sophisticated manner with an educated mind, an educated wardrobe, and a sound heart. As for cost, sure I have to save up, but in the long run I feel supporting these like minded companies and their conscious practices is what is going to create change in the industry, change I wish to see. And as said previously, the cost of these shoes are way less in the long run.

  23. Donna says:

    I’ll be quiet after this (promise). I recently read a post on Vaute Couture’s facebook page – it was “Why My Coats Aren’t Cheap”. Leanne spelled it out so well and yet it saddened me to read it because it made me realize that she was probably being criticized by some for her price points. Everything about her coats, Gina’s and Elizabeth’s footwear and other top notch vegan designers is ethical from start to finish. And yes, it’s true that not everyone can afford their designs – or maybe not at this moment. All of them have been pushing their respective industries to create more sustainable materials – this comes at a cost. I’ve always felt that cheap always comes at someone else’s expense. My parents were blue collar workers and their fathers were coalminers. And one thing that I learned from them is to save up and buy quality. Whether you buy these quality items at swap meets, thrift shops or elsewhere, it doesn’t really matter. But let’s celebrate the fact that we have some incredibly talented designers that are going to bat for the animals and making the fashion world take notice.

  24. Chastity says:

    The Vegan Society’s definition of “Vegan” (after all, they were the ones who invented the term!): A vegan is someone who tries to live without exploiting animals, for the benefit of animals, people and the planet. Vegans eat a plant-based diet, with nothing coming from animals – no meat, milk, eggs or honey, for example. A vegan lifestyle also avoids leather, wool, silk and other animal products for clothing or any other purpose.

    Vegans aren’t being judgmental and divisive. It’s just that there is zero tolerance for mucking up that definition and having it convenience you rather than the animals. That is why vegans will chime in and correct you.

    As for the “it’s too expensive” argument, it isn’t. When you are dedicated to a cause, your life will change. A lot of our money is spent frivolously–junk food, alcohol fueled evenings, impulsive shopping sprees, chemical laden cosmetics, etc. Being vegan is priceless and it really shows you just how privileged you are–no matter where you live or how much you make.

    You start to extend your heart to those who are born or put into helpless circumstances. If you walk into a mall, you’ll be disgusted with the majority of the merchandise because you will know a large amount of exploitation was involved. That’s where the impulsive shopping sprees are cut down. When you buy whole, organic plant based foods, your body doesn’t really care for drunken debauchery. Plus, you’ll be more comfortable in your skin because you will no longer be drugged by your food and makeup. The reason why crappy food is cheap is because their companies make it as accessible as possible for us so that we turn a blind eye to the more ethical industries. Also the government subsidizes them. The food and cosmetic industries LIVE to tell you lies and to make you feel inadequate and hopeless (in your overall health and self esteem) thus encouraging you to keep spending money.

    In the Western world, we are not poor. We’re conditioned to believe we are. Put it this way, when you go out and vote with your dollar in the right places, you are helping someone else’s livelihood, not someone’s greed.

  25. Joslyn says:

    Another question; Melissa shoes are sold in stores that state they only sell “green” products, and Girlie Girl recommends shopping at many of them. However, it appears that some (if not all) shoes are made from PVC. Again, I am very confused. I searched the Melissa site, and they state the PVC is not only safe for the foot, but for the environment. So, again, what gives? Are only some PVC products dangerous? And does anyone know if all Melissa shoes are PVC, or only some? HELP!

  26. Elizabeth Olsen says:

    It is shocking, completely weird and fascinating that someone would perceive what I am doing as “bullying” and others seeing veganism as “elitist”, it is simply stunning to me.
    It really could not be further from the truth. I have been a voice for the voiceless since I was 15 years old, and I have never bullied a soul, nor would I personally accuse someone and call them a name on a blog. If anything I have been bullied for not complying with animal cruelty, and being outspoken in the public-eye speaking for animals. Most vegan communities are ultra welcoming, as it is an automatic bond of caring for the voiceless, how is that elitist?
    Wearing leather or another animal product, simply is not vegan, and does nothing for changing people’s deeply embedded belief that animals are here for us to use. No one expects anyone to replace everything in their closet at once, nor spend tons of money doing it.
    I created Olsenhaus as a way to get veganism further into the public, a way that mainstream can relate to. Expecting me to write a reply on this blog to sell shoes is simply untrue. Chloe put my info in this article because she knows me, and my company. I did not know she was doing it until she sent me the link.
    This blog is about information, and I am posting comments as everyone else is doing.
    I could not care less if you buy my shoes or another brand – the only thing I truly care about is that they are not made of animals.
    On the PVC topic- Olsenhaus has never used any PVC. In fact we were the first to use Ultra Suede as our main material and the cost is 5x times more than what a normal company would spend. All Gina’s comments apply to the costs of manufacturing.
    Again, it is always easy to donate to a shelter, or do as Chloe has done, ebay and donate profits to an org. Those without at the shelter would be grateful, and most likely are not being questioned on veganism.
    If you are wearing products made from their bodies, you are not being a voice, and that is just a fact.
    Thank you to everyone commenting and especially to Chloe for getting the party started-

  27. Mats says:

    I totally agree with Chastity and Chloe!

    Just one thing about the price point: the higher the volume, the lower the price, that’s basic economics. If h&m wanted to, they could make an ethical, vegan and green collection for everyone’s budget. It would just cost a little bit more (because of higher wages, factories closer to stores, etc.) and that’s just why they won’t do it. It’s all about profit margins and they probably studied the market, knowing that it isn’t worth to change their ways because most people don’t care enough.

    That is why OlsenHaus is so wonderful: they have the right values, and their prices are very good, considering the size of their company!
    You probably know that high-end fashion houses multiply the ‘Cost of Goods Produced’ like crazy (multiplying by 6 is not uncommon) so they can heat and pay the rent of their giant stores on the most expensive streets. So they can hire 5 sales people to attend 2 customers a day, spend millions on advertising, organise million-dollar runway shows, etc. etc.
    Again, from a realistic economical point of view; if OlsenHaus (and similar labels) would sell at lower prices, I guess the brand wouldn’t even be able to exist or the people that work there wouldn’t have a proper wage. That would make it a sweatshop!

    One last thing, of course it’s more ecological to buy nothing, but this is an informative blog on ‘glamorous living’ that tells you where you can find responsible stuff in case you WANT to buy something. Isn’t that great? Go Chloe!

  28. admin says:

    Thanks Mats! :) Fantastic points!

  29. Kate says:

    This is in response to the comment regarding Melissa shoes… the company states: “The PVC used in Melissa shoes is created from our own patented technology called Melflex that eliminates all heavy
    metals from its formulation (such as nickel, lead, etc). There has not been one case of toxic allegation or discovery in Melissa in our history,
    so all tests deem us non toxic and safe. We are in the process even of getting a green certification from Switzerland.”

  30. […] ***The GirlieGirl Army*** » Blog Archive » Are Your Accessories Poisoning You? – view page – cached Cri de Coeur eco shoe and bag designer, Gina Ferraraccio, dishes up the straight story on the toxic faux leather drama; […]

  31. Julie says:

    What info is there on OBERMATERIAL?

  32. Chastity says:

    Thank you, Mats! :D

    Elizabeth, when I saw your site a few months ago I was really happy to see someone like you out there and promoting genuine compassion and putting it straight into your products. I’m going to plug myself in here but I am an actress so sometimes I have to wear fancy shoes at times (I’m more of a sneakers and band shirts type of girl) so it’s really awesome to know that there’s someone out there who can provide that stuff without anyone getting hurt. :) You’re definitely on my shopping list.

    Chloe: without you, we would be totally in the dark. We would still be wearing our wool and leather and purchasing from opportunistic companies who really don’t care and who would rather jump on the bandwagon by offering a line as opposed transforming themselves completely. So thank you once again for the existence of this blog.

  33. Chastity says:

    PS Elizabeth: we’re in the second stage of truth (violent opposition). Don’t listen to the naysayers. ;)

  34. Elizabeth Olsen says:

    Thank you for the support sistas and brothas!!

  35. Chloe says:

    Thanks for the love Chastity! You are why we do this!!! xoxoxox

  36. Joslyn says:

    KATE!!! Thank you so much!! I was all over their site and didn’t find that. Thank you for sharing, and for allowing me to love my shoes even more!

  37. Donna says:

    Just wanted to share the reply that I received back from my Matt & Nat rep re: the PVC issue:

    “In regards to the ongoing concern regarding PVC products, our handbags are made from various materials including polyurethane, some are lead and sanitizer-free PVC and some are made from 100% recycled plastic bottles; It really depends on the collection. Recently we have been experimenting with many different materials other than PVC. For our Spring 2010 collection, for example, all of the linings are made from 100% recycled materials.”

    We are constantly researching and sourcing new and innovative fabrics that are in-line with our vegan beliefs. Additionally, the majority of our packaging and marketing materials are made from recycled content.”
    Hope this helps –

Shop GGA

  • Contributors
  • Press
  • Cheapskates
  • Sign Up
  • About
  • Advertisers
  • Contact Us
  • Style & Beauty
  • Lifestyle
  • Mamazon
  • Nosh
  • Wellness
  • Exclusive
  • Default
  • Get This
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008