vegan shoe delivery, return, contact & other information
About us: Veganline.com was
about the first vegan shoe shop online in 1998 to use this cussed,
anti-fashion DIY way of selling some Bouncing Boots a Bouncing
Shoes we'd had made. (Our email address and address for sending
returns are at the bottom of this page.)
Gradually people asked for other things and a stock built-up
of everything unfashionable - wellies,
with hook and loop fastening to reduce the risk of falls,
boots from Slovakia. Now we are getting more stuff specially
made in the UK - court shoes with safe 1" heels and microfibre
uppers, high heel boots, and more to come soon.
Veganline.com's site is only 15 years old but looks old fashioned.
When set-up in about 1998, there were no Paypal buttons available
and merchant accounts were rare. The only way to order is via
a remote-hosted shopping cart called mals-e commerce which shares
secure order forms amongst dozens of shops and passes the order
details to us. As you work through process you'll find that the
url is a puzzling "ww8.aitsafe.com" and the the page
that asks for card details begins "https" and has a
At present we have no PR agent, no web design company, no
office outside home, and no pick-and-pack warehouse. It's a cheap
system that suits the relatively low margins available on UK-made
for more on the contact form below Press coverage:
Acknowledgements, Belts sizes,
Catalogues, Cheques, Cheques
and Currencies - see Overseas, Fair
Overseas: Currency conversion, Last posting
dates, Airmail, Surface mail, cost price, returns stickers, replacements
postage, privacy, returns,
shoe sizes and sale shoes, security,
These answers have just been moved to /more.htm
What's wrong with leather, Why me?
What's Veganline.com? Who?
sent automatically. We usually post shoes the same day, or at
least the same week before we ask permission to delay more. We
don't charge your card until the order is ready (unless you use
Paypal or Nochex, but we can refund those if there is a problem).
Everything on the site is usually in stock.
Belt sizes : If you
measure your waist we can supply a belt that has a centre hole
about that length from the buckle and an outer hole two or three
inches further. This
is the vegan belts page
Catalogues: We can
make a colour print-out of the web site and send it to anyone
Cheques in the UK to
"J Robertson" including postage. Please write
your order on the back of the cheque. If you need a paper invoice
before writing a cheque, or just to work-out the postage, please
begin your order on the shopping cart and print the most relevant
page. It's the third or fourth out of four or five, with "invoice
from Veganline.com" written at the bottom.
Childrens Shoes are a problem: this
is a statement on it.
Fashions in ethics are as much a
problem as ethical fashion: government subsidies and promotion
are awarded to groups with no interest in UK-made or vegan footwear
and every interest in promoting their other sponsors such as
third world governments. This
page about the fashion for "ethical fashion" gives
an idea, and ends-up with some facts as footnotes.
Labelling is imposed by government
to say what country a shoe is made in and what parts of it are
leather or textile. From these labels it's possible to guess
how green a vegan shoe is and something about the civil and welfare
rights of the people who made it.
- Fair trade
labelling from Fair
trade Labelling Organisations International members - the
blue & green symbol on coffee - does not much exist in a
standardised way for shoes. The scheme only applies to certain
listed countries that have been judged third-world at some point
in the past. UK and US factories are excluded as well as Turkish,
while Indian can be included. As the wealth of different countries
changes more rapidly than most of us can keep-track of, the list
stays the same. The general problem of knowing what suppliers
are doing and whether the money trickles-down is made worse in
societies without proper votes or human rights like China, so
the scheme can't be monitored there even though China is on the
list. Even where it's legal to ask questions, a shoe's origins
are wrapped in a long supply system which is seldom all in one
country or known to one person. Small shops, like individual
consumers and even large branded clothing merchants have trouble
finding out which of their shoes are good shoes with bad PR and
which are not-so-bad shoes with good PR. Just as the classic
idea that buying cheapest helps everyone is messy and easy
to find-fault with, the idea that trying to buy more goods from
countries with a welfare state, or more goods from the better
third world employers and fair trade certified ones is just as
messy. Ethletic and Sole Rebels shoes are fair trade certified.
Some importers belong to a trade association - the Ethical Trade
Initiative - which compares notes about minimum standards and
helps the companies make sure their stories to the press are
consistent with each other; the products of these companies aren't
- Country of origin labels lead to
information about the human rights in each country: the detailed
reports from Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch, and
the ratings agency Democracy Index which attempts to compare
democracies. There is no clear comparison for welfare rights,
but these are important too.
Veganline.com buys the maximum proportion of shoes from countries
with useful courts, votes, and a welfare state. Others might
sensibly think that to buy - indirectly- from the worst places
on earth is the default option for improving conditions in bad
places; that the Primark buyer is already helping the third world
to a certain extent and that it is only the odds-and-ends like
organic recycled laces that are newsworthy in this process. This
is a neat view. Everyone reading this will have bought apparel
from wherever their usual shop gets it, and to pretend not would
by hypocritical. To buy from the worst place in earth (or wherever
cheapness is combined with productivity: Vietnam, Cambodia, China,
Burma rather than southern Sudan) is also a rational view held
by well-informed people. Mrs Thatcher stated a decade or two
ago that to trade with China might improve human rights there
but she has still not been proved right, much, much as conditions
have improved in Taiwan.
For those who want to feel good in their clothes, there is another
option of preferring goods from Taiwan to China, or whatever
the equivalent is: to buy a few products from nice places in
the hope of encouraging them more viable than nasty places.
To buy shoes from nice countries and link to league tables on
the net are ways of strengthening the economies of nice countries
and the importance of league tables on the net. These benefits
are matched by more obscure ones. The chances of wealth trickling-down
the buying chain, so that the shoe maker is paid more and the
advertising department less, is greater if the shoe is made in
a country with universal schools & pensions than in China
which privatized its hospitals in the 1990s for example or Burma
which never had many. Environmental and employment laws are much
more detailed in some countries than others, too.
Governments and pressure groups are much less interested in publicising
the countries with the most comfortable welfare states than those
with the most democracy and legal rights. The CIA World Fact
book even slips-in a criticism of Italy's "excessive
pensions", as though none of us will get old and a cheap-to-run
universal pension is a bad thing. And federal countries like
India and the USA can have very different welfare in each state
from which shoes are stamped "made in USA" or
"Made in India" so the idea of a country does
fall-down for this purpose. Some vegan shoes shops have used
a factory in Wisconsin. Veganline.com used a UK factory which
then moved to India - we have no way of knowing which state.
In the UK and Europe, the use of 22
suspect AZO dyes have been discouraged by laws banning
their use in each member state, following an EU directive. The
dyes are most likely still used, for example in cloth and shoe
uppers brought-in to the EU, but company buyers have to be aware
of the problem and batches of material - including all the microfibre
shoe upper - that are made in the EU should be AZO-free, as should
cheap shoe-uppers made in Albania for making
into shoes in Italy.
In the UK and Europe, governments have
to outlaw industrial-scale glue users using volatile organic
compounds to dissolve their glue as most of us consumers
do. Only the trickier process of forming an emulsion of glue
in hot water to spray onto the bits is legal. When a shoe is
marked "made in UK" or "made in EU"
that generally means that the uppers have been stretched round
a mould and stuck-on to a sole in that country, so it's fair
to say that a shoe made in the EU has produced few volatile organic
compounds and this has a direct effect on footwear employees:
an old survey of Portuguese shoe factory staff found reduced
fertility among people who had to smell volatile organic solvents
all day before the EU directive, and that effect is now reduced
by buying EU shoes. Surprisingly, it is possible to glue shoes
at home - many UK motorcycle boots used to be made by home workers
and some Portuguese loafers still are - so the process may be
beyond the reach of anyone who can enforce the law, but hopefully
home workers are at least aware of the problem and can open a
window and turn-on a fan.
Footwear (Indication of Composition) Labelling Regulations 1995
give any UK consumer a chance to see how environmentally
friendly a product is: a recent UN report, Livestock's
Long Shadow, listed massive environmental benefits of
reducing the use of animal products, quite apart from reducing
cruelty to animals which is obviously a sane thing to be interested
in. There's no need to read the whole thing. The first page or
two summarises the rest as do in the Vegan Society's leaflets
Eating the Earth
and Give Leather the Boot.
One problem of about ethical and environmental claims made of
footwear is that they concentrate too much on the details, like
whether something is organic, or made in an interesting employment
project in the third world, or improves conditions in China by
a small amount while still undercutting factories in the UK or
India. From a journalist's point of view it is an attempt to
find new news in footwear. Footwear changes slower than tailoring
because the tooling costs are higher; a fashion designer can
get a sewing machine for free to make samples while a shoe designer
can't do much before buying £15,000 stretching machines
from Taiwan or £1,000 injection moulds for each size of
sole. Exceptions are larger companies which know they can sell
a thousand or a hundred thousand and factor-in the tooling and
set-up costs without even thinking about it - one of their suppliers'
criticisms - but these produce for the sleepy middle market making
them boring to read about even for the people who buy middle-market
shoes from mainstream shops.
Some shoemakers are extra-ordinarily thrifty with two of Veganline.com's
suppliers still keeping a hundred year-old machines in their
factories and some of the moulds or lasts dating from the 1940s,
but it's hard to report a green use of tools unless you're writing
for Footwear Today in the past, before it closed.
From a reader's point of view, journalists' articles over many
years have been absorbed and digested and tend to say that footwear
has gone to China now; there is nothing to be done in countries
with things like courts votes or a welfare state, only attempts
to help outsiders from even poorer countries join the market
or manufacturers with a green and organic tinge. This is not
a statement of the facts. Some footwear is still produced in
the UK, Spain, France and Portugal for example in factories following
employment laws and paying taxes towards welfare states. It's
just what's in the papers.
If there was a fair way of saying how quickly work should move
from comfortable countries to hard-working countries, it would
be possible to say that that production fairly transferred from
the UK or India to China is not newsworthy in either country
until any unusual fact emerges in either country, which is called
news. If it is not possible to say how quickly work should transfer:
if some governments hike-up or hike-down their exchange rates
to suit the elite in the UK or China, as both do, if autocracies
compete unfairly with welfare states and the judges of dumping
into the EU and US are Peter Mandelson or his US counterpart,
then it's hard to know what fair trade is.
Should an enterprising factory that stays open in the UK be reported
like a charity? Or if it's working conditions are better than
China but worse than the UK, a bad
scandal if in the UK or a beacon
of hope in China? Reporting of textile workers' conditions
suggests that, after being flogged to death, if their bodies
are disposed of in an eco-friendly way then that gets a good
press if it's in China but if the same shop employs people for
less than the basic wage in Manchester than that's a bad thing
because it makes a mess on the pavement. Turkish, Indian or Indonesian
factories are not reported as good or bad because the two extremes
are so hard to report, any position between the two is impossible
to report. That's an exaggerated description but one company
- Patagonia - with a very good reputation for well made hiking
boots, transparency, enthusiasm and such made it into the Observer
Ethical Fashion awards for just those reasons, even though their
adverts the same year for factory inspectors mentioned almost
nothing about employee's conditions, the shoes were made in China
and they were made out of leather. Such is Patagonia's transparency
that their newly employed factory inspector posted a believable
account of his views in video and audio format on U-tube. He
stated that the only job he wouldn't want to do among his employer's
contractor's staff in China was gluing; that the choice of leathers
in the past had been extravagant "because it's like putting
one plate through the dishwasher" and of course he mentions
nothing about employing staff in an autocracy. He might mention
it in private, but even this transparent company with its good
reputation for good boots doesn't write "we support autocracies"
in its PR and somehow this factory inspector must have known
this when he considered what to put on U-tube.
In this impossibility are placed fashion journalists, who by
nature are unlikely to be vegetarian or vegan because their job
is to report on leather; they are unlikely to be troubled by
goods made outside welfare states or democracies because that
has been the overwhelming part of their job these last decades
and anyway factory closures belong on the business pages. The
job of a fashion journalist is to make a paper look more upmarket
than any human being really is in order to attract advertisers
and advertiser's readers. To report the posh new Hunter Wellington
Boot for only £2,999 (Observer Special Offer) rather than
the fact that Hunter now imports Chinese wellington boots. Gradually
this job is turning-in to the job of reporting whether a boot
made in the UK is better than a boot made in China; for the world
of fashion journalism and shoes made in reasonable conditions
out of reasonable materials to meet.
- More labels will follow: Veganline.com is increasing the
range of symbols and information links next to each shoe so that
consumers can decide what to buy. Over time this information
might include the more attention-grabbing features like a shoe
being made in a staff-owned company, made using recycled parts,
using organic hemp canvas or being fit for the compost bin.
- We have not yet found a neat comparison of welfare systems
and access to justice in different countries and Indian states.
For example, Albania where
most of the safety boots are made is said to have free hospitals,
but we haven't linked to an online table to confirm that. Likewise
there are Indian states that provide good free hospitals, but
labelling regulations just require "India".
Those who produce tables tend to be in the USA or Europe, making
it hard to quote smaller human rights web sites published closer
to the problem. If you know of any kind of league table, please
let us know using the form below.
the UK is calculated from the price, and roughly related
to the cost of sending a Royal Mail parcel.
Overseas postage prices
are also roughly based on Royal Mail prices.
Currency conversion is normally by your Visa / Mastercard
company who may charge something like 2½% commission.
If you don't have a card that charges a reasonable commission,
ask our bank details so you can pay with one of the P2P money
transfer services like Transferwise, or select Paypal on the
For wholesale orders or orders over 2kg, we'd require payment
by transferwise or other bank transfer, and quote for delivery
Privacy : your data
is not shared with others, such as mailing list companies, nor
used for excessive follow-up promotions by us. We do give email
addresses to couriers.
It's possible to opt-in to quarterly e-mails with a specific
option on the order form. These don't exist at present but if
set-up they would have an opt-out on each email sent. Sometimes
lists are set-up of people who want to be told when a batch of
shoes come-in. These are only used once. Some people use Changedetection.com
to monitor additions to the sale pages. Each change detection
email has an opt-out link.
Shoe returns & exchanges
of goods which were as described, but not as hoped-for or don't
- Return delivery which is costed on Veganline.com/returns.htm
Ask if you would like a discount code to take another few pence
of the price.
- Please enclose a note asking for a refund or replacement
- Please return shoes in a condition you would accept yourself
if buying new.
- There is no fixed deadline nor rule about the condition of
the box, but we try to re-use them.
- refund of the original price - usually back onto your card
- outbound postage of the replacement, if we have it available,
at the cheapest rate
- Airmail replacements to Australasia and the Americas are
a special case.
Most people prefer to pay £5 to upgrade to airmail.
Some are happy with cheap green 12 or 8 week surface mail which
we pay for.
have to say
- Whether the consumer or the supplier would be responsible
for the cost of returning.
It's you, because we sell mainly European-made products on quite
low margins; that's part of the deal.
Obviously you can't return a postal service under section #13a
of the Distance Selling Regulations
- We have to say where the return address is.
Our vegan shoes London return address is 2 Avenue Gardens, London,
- Usually your shoes come with a chit that says
"please return with a note for refund or replacement"
and the address in large letters
American and Australian customers get a reminder about the cost
of airmail replacements, and a request to write "returns
- no tariff due" or such on the customs sticker to avoid
tariffs on parcels valued over £18.
Shoe Sizes / Sale Shoes
: There is also a Shoe-sizes.htm
in several sizes there is a drop-down menu to choose the size,
using the scale that the shoe was made in, either continental
Security & Privacy for
card details is run by an e-commerce company with its
own regular security checks, including the system for getting
data from their web page to Veganline.com. They are called Mals-e
commerce and their secure ordering pages are on ww8.aitsafe.com,
with an https certificate for the card details page. Their ordering
system can also transfer your order to a Paypal
order form which you can use with the usual cards, with no need
for a Paypal account. Generally, online orders are easiest to
track and less accident-prone than orders by phone and post.
There are plenty of other questions, less directly related
to shoes, which are now answered on the pages
/more.htm about why there isn't
a shoe industry in the UK, why the shoes aren't more trendy,
why we don't sell childrens shoes and more.
What's wrong with leather, Why
What's Veganline.com? Who?
Ask for more answers
or contact us below
postal address (no shop or stock)
2 Avenue Gardens, London SW14 8BP, UK
0208 286 9947 telephone
0870 1600 848 fax
0872 115 6193 fax we no longer have an in-bound
Please mention your shoe size and the country you are based
in if relevant. If asking "can you get a shoe for
/ like" it can help to show us a non-vegan version of what
you have in mind. Just find a photo on the internet and send
a link with your message. If returning a shoe from outside Europe,
please write "returned mail order, no tariff due" on
the customs sticker.
Veganline is a trading name of John Robertson, listed
on Dunn and Brad street and Checkrate
- search "UK non-limited"
Vegan shoes London is something people like to search.