Global Vegan Awards 2022 Page 11 LUXlife Global Vegan Awards 2022 Founded in 2012, BHAVA is an international premium vegan footwear brand based in the US which manufactures its products in Spain. As a vegan brand, it does not believe in the use of leather. It always has and will be a cruelty-free company, while believing in a truly compassionate approach to design needs which go beyond using leather alternatives to include the environment, working conditions, its loyal supporters – and of course their feet! Best Ethical Women’s Footwear Brand 2022 - USA Oct22112 BHAVA was the first fully vegan premium footwear brand to be founded in New York, and for a decade its people have been crafting beautiful footwear from the finest Italian custom vegan leathers in its small family-owned factory in Spain. It is a company that is passionate about producing the highest quality artisan, organic, recycled, cruelty-free components while also protecting the health and wellbeing of the workers who create them. Shows like Sex and the City romanticise running around the concrete streets of NYC in stilettos, and while BHAVA Founder Francisca Pineda loves to run around NYC, she doesn’t love the idea of long-term pain, disfiguration, sprained ankles, or any of the other misfortunes that come with wearing poor quality footwear – and not many other people are fond of the idea either. BHAVA’s shoes don’t even make it to the market without a test run through NYC first, to ensure their complete comfort and durability. Indeed, BHAVA designs shoes that last, with all of its styles coming with repairable soles, and shoppers can add an eco-friendly shoe care kit to their shopping cart should they need it. BHAVA is dedicated to a sustainable business model and is always researching the latest technology in sustainable materials. It is even excited to be testing biodegradable options that go beyond footwear to belts and bags. Francisca is truly passionate about conscious fashion and combatting the global leather industry and the devastation it causes, between it every year slaughtering more than a billion animals, and the toxicity it creates, with The Blacksmith Institute having found Hazaribagh in Bangladesh to be among the most toxic zones in the world. The skins created are exported for finishing to Europe, China, and the US, and there is no requirement for their origin to be provided, thus there is no way to verify the sustainability of most leather goods. BHAVA however embraces the challenge of finding the most beautiful, durable, and innovative materials for its footwear which are not derived from animals. From organic cotton linings to hand painted embossed cork and premium recycled microfibers, Francisca travels throughout Europe and India to develop the company’s signature fabrications. Francisca says, “I am very grateful to my local customers; most customers have been buying our shoes for a decade and it is this loyalty which allows small designers to continue without needing to take outside investment and compromise on creating unique designs with premium materials.” Company: BHAVA Contact: Francisca Pineda Email: [email protected] Website: