Delivery, return, contact and other information

Delivery

£3 in the UK, usually, or £1.40 for belts. The order form works it after you press "save" so that it knows what country you are in and quotes a price.  European and World prices are much higher, but based on what Royal Mail charge us. The zones are UK, Europe, World, and Oceana with prices rising per quarter kilo to each.

Returns

You pay

  • Return delivery: just ask for cheapest postage and free proof of posting at a post office. Hermes drop-off is sometimes a few pence cheaper.
  • Please enclose a note asking for a refund or replacement size.
  • 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.

We pay

  • refund of the original price - usually back onto your card
  • refund of UK outbound postage on your original order, at our standard rate, if you return within 28 days or during January for goods bought in December
  • 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.

We 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.
  • We have to say where the return address is.
    Our vegan shoes London return address is 2 Avenue Gardens, London, SW14 8BP
  • 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.
  • If business picks-up we might get an account with Rebound, who organsise this kind of thing, but for now you have to organise your own postage label payment.

Lost post - how long to wait? - see royalmail.com/receiving-mail/redelivery

  • UK Royal Mail tracking confirms delivery, and it's very rare for anything to be lost. Unfortunately, cheap postage has no tracking for the stages before delivery.
    If you get a red card through your letter box headed"Something for you" you are in luck because it allows you to collect the parcel from a sorting office or tells you which neighbour it was left with. You can also email veganline to ask if there's any note of delivery on the web.
  • If you can guess the details on the card, you can still request a re-delivery online even if you haven't got it.
  • Royal Mail sorting offices and phone staff don't help unless you have a card.
  • 14 days after postage, Veganline can make a claim for lost mail. The figure is 10 working days in Royal Mail's terms, so about 14.
    In order to be sure that our claim will work, we ask you for a note to state that the item wasn't delivered. There is no fixed format but a one line letter with a signature and description like "vegan shoe parcel" should be enough. Sometimes we email you proof of posting, partly for re-assurance, and partly so that the customer can print it out, write your note on the same sheet, and send it back to us. Scan and email is the cheapest method.
  • Some of our 1kg slippers and vegan court shoes might be sent by Hermes which has a similar system but different in detail. We have customers who's deliveries are made by Australia Post, New Zealand Post, or USPS in the USA. The waiting time is a little longer before a claim can be made, and unfortunately no tracking information is sent-back to us, even if it exists in the system. You will know better than us whether it is worth asking at the local post office or sorting office or giving them a ring.

About the shoes

  • All vegan, to reasonable standards of guesswork, and often made for us direclty.
  • Mainly made in democratic welfare states like the UK. With luck that makes them feel better to wear - better than wearing leather from China with an advertised brand on it. Although Couldron Sausages sold better when the firm took the word "vegetarian" off the label or put it in small print! We have now put much less about the word "vegan" on the front page.
  • There's detail on each shoe page about the mid-sole, the fit, and why your foot might want to go and live in it.

About the blog posts

The previous web site didn't have a system for writing blog posts, but it hosted a lot of them anyway, in answer to points of vew that seemed important at the time. If you see the other points of view, you'll see why all these words seemed worth writing.


Economics

When we started at the turn of the century, the UK had survived 20 years of a monetary policy that made exports much harder and imports much easier than a free market. The policy ran from 1979-2009 and closed a fifth of manufacturing in the first five years. There were and are very few shoe factories left in the UK, and that that might make it feel good to wear shoes made in the few surviving factories. The policy survived till the next recession in 2008, and is still considered respectable. At the same time, Chinese imports were made cheaper by an undervalued currency there, and countries without the costs of a welfare state had an unfair advantage. UK factory space was hard to get as the south of the UK got more and more crowded. There was so much to say, that it probably put us off the job of learning to make shoes!

Why Vegan 


When we started, the internet was less used and there was a need to put arguments for being more veggie or vegan on the shoe web site. I don't know if we did as well as the Vegan Society or PETA, but we had a go. At the time, conventional wisdom in the shoe trade was that "leather is a by-product of meat", which is true in a way; leather supply goes up and down according to meat demand, but there a still good arguments for boycotting it.

Debunking the PR of "Ethical Fashion" from government PR agencies.


In 2005, a strange thing happened. A trade association and underwear company appeared in a building set-up by the Greater London Authority, claiming to represent "ethical fashion", and publicised by "a raft of measures" which were favours and small grants from government organisations.  Token rent. The V&A and the Crafts Council held exhibitions. The Department for International DevelopPRment awarded a Development Awareness Grant. Business Link contracted the firm to do business training, as did an obscure sector skills council for the creative and fashion industry. London Fashion Week allowed a stall. The British Council funded "course material" for fashion courses, commissioned to quote Ethical Fashion Forum founders as "case studies". 

The organisation was more or less bogus; most of the members were people like interns who had done Chevening Scholarships, fashion consultants looking for trade, and people inserted by Futerra, a public relations agency that did a lot of work for government at the time.  One director worked for NIke. The point of view was bogus as well. It promoted goods from badly-run countries that are poor, for lack of a welfare state. It warned against buying British goods on ethical grounds. One of the main jobs of UK manufacturers and of a Vegan shoe company was to debunk the PR, which Veganline did, with pages of researched words. In the end, we won. There is still a lot of work to do, to get a fair deal fo UK manufactuers instead of things like London Fashion Week, but there are plenty of other people asking for it, and nobody like Ethical Fashion Forum urging us all to import from Sri Lanka instead. Except fashion colleges and London Fashion week, but when students read the job prospects and student feedback for London College of Fashion courses, fewer and fewer will apply.