Eco-Beauty Bridesmaid: Part 1


Once you’re settled into a routine as an eco-gal, it can be pretty easy to stick to your environmentally minded values. But special occasions can sometimes throw a wrench in things, or at least present a few (often fun) challenges. Such is the case as I prepare to be a bridesmaid in a close friend’s upcoming wedding. I’m having a great time finding creative solutions to the myriad beauty and fashion demands of being a bridesmaid. For instance, in a past post I wrote about the toxic chemicals used in nail salons and nail polishes. A mani and pedi will be essential come wedding day, so I plan to either track down a “green” salon nearby or, if need be, bring my own non-toxic polish to a regular joint. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. As the August wedding draws nearer, I will be posting about fabulous eco-beauty fixes to several bridesmaid musts. Future posts will explore natural self-tanning, teeth-whitening, and photo-worthy makeup.

Today, I want to spotlight my favorite places to get eco-friendly shoes. As a vegan, I’m on the lookout for man-made materials when scouting for new kicks. When it came time to find the perfect nude heels, as requested by the lovely bride, I first checked my Santa Cruz shoe standby, Bunny’s (1350 Pacific Ave.). They don’t advertise anything as vegan, but many of the shoes are—it just requires reading the small print or asking an employee. Alas, when the brick and mortar shoe haven failed me, I turned to my favorite online fashion hubs, and (the latter of which even has an Eco-Friendly page with an assortment of their greenest items). I search “vegan” or “man-made” in the shoe sections of these sites and never come up short. Although several pairs caught my eye, I wound up with a gorgeous, very tall pair from called Vienna Waits Open Toe Heels.

There are also entire websites devoted to eco-friendly footwear worth checking out. has a zillion pairs of shoes to scroll through—many aren’t especially stylish, but there are some real gems mixed in there. is another vegan fashionista staple, but tends to be fairly pricey. In general, it’s often possible to find some great vegan styles at any good shoe or clothing store, as well as from brands you already know and love (two of my favorite pairs of vegan heels are from Big Buddha and Chelsea Crew).