This year's PETA award for animal-friendly fashion goes to BIRKENSTOCK. PETA Germany has given the coveted award for the best vegan design in the "Best Women's Shoe' category to Germany's biggest shoemaker. Recipient of the award was a vegan version of the classic Madrid sandal. PETA uses the "Vegan Fashion Award" to honor designers' and labels' commitment to animal-free fashion. The award has now been given for the fourth time in twelve different categories. An expert jury judges the products by style, use of innovative materials, sustainability, and animal-friendliness. With over one million members PETA is Germany's largest animal rights organization.
"Many of our customers consciously lead a vegan lifestyle and are committed to animal rights. For them we have developed a range of animal-free products that nonetheless guarantee the comfort for which BIRKENSTOCK is renowned," says Oliver Reichert, CEO of the BIRKENSTOCK Group. "The award from PETA gives us encouragement to continue valiantly along this path."
"With the Madrid sandal, BIRKENSTOCK is sending a clear message that fashion can make a contribution to an animal-friendly world. Ethical practices can also be embraced in a fashionable lifestyle," says Harald Ullmann, assistant chairman of PETA Deutschland. "We congratulate the winners and thank them for their trendsetting and convincing designs."
The Madrid gymnastic sandal: a classic for the vegan community
Launched onto the market in 1963 as the first BIRKENSTOCK sandal, the Madrid "gymnastic sandal" has since sold by the millions worldwide and become a real fashion item. Function and fashion go hand in hand perfectly with this elegant mule. The strap, footbed, and toe grip on the single-strap sandal are designed to promote the natural rolling motion of the foot. While the heel lifts out of the bed when walking, the toes are stimulated to induce a strong walking motion as a result of the rolling action of the balls of the feet. The muscles relax again when the heel returns to the resting position, lightly training the foot and calf muscles with every step taken.
A vegan design of the sandal classic has also been available since spring/summer 2015, completely animal-free. Leather is taboo here, as is the use of adhesives of animal origin. The upper material is made of a particularly soft microfiber fabric, the inside of which has been lined with a layer of breathable fleece. The material that lines the footbed is also made from a microfiber fabric. The footbed is made from a mix of cork and natural latex milk. EVA, a high-quality, particularly lightweight, elastic synthetic material with extremely good cushioning properties is used for the outsoles, leveling out smaller bumps on uneven ground and gently cushioning the steps while walking. The vegan material composition is regularly analyzed by independent testing laboratories. A corresponding label can be found on every pair of BIRKENSTOCK vegan shoes. The vegan sandals are sold in Germany in specialized shoe stores and via the official BIRKENSTOCK online shop www.birkenstock.com
In addition to the Madrid model, BIRKENSTOCK has various vegan designs of the unisex Arizona sandals in its product range. More recently, the classic Madrid, Arizona, Gizeh, and Boston sandals have been available in ultralight EVA, along with the Rio sandals for children. The sandals are made entirely in Germany.