If most ethically crafted vegan shoes run too rich for your blood, know that Beyond Skin feels your pain. The cruelty-free footwear purveyor, known for its vintage-inspired aesthetic and eco-friendly materials, is rallying support for a diffusion line of everyday styles that favor both comfort and lower prices. With a campaign currently live on Kickstarter, the Brighton-based company has set a goal of £20,000—roughly $30,300 in American dollars—to fund an initial 10-piece range. “We hope to introduce more affordable, stylish vegan footwear to the world,” explains Heather Whittle, who co-founded Beyond Skin a decade ago with former makeup artist Natalie Dean. “We are now at a crucial point within our business that in order for us to move forward and flourish, we need to reach a much wider audience and cast our vegan net further afield.”
As an independent, self-funded firm, Beyond Skin has experienced both crests and troughs. The sudden closure of its primary factory in Spain, in particular, has left the company strapped for cash. “Our journey although mostly fun and exhilarating has not been all roses along the way,” Whittle says. “Like many small brands we have had our fair share of challenges from the turbulent economic climate to manufacturing mishaps combined with the impact of our strict policy of sourcing ethically within the European Union.”
Backers can expect myriad perks in return for their pledges, from fair-trade shopping bags to shoes from its Fall 2013 collection.
Whittle and Dean aren’t looking for a handout, however. Backers can expect myriad perks in return for their pledges, from fair-trade shopping bags to shoes from its Fall/Winter 2013 “boutique” collection. Pledge £150 or more and you could even have your name (or that of a loved one’s) immortalized as a shoe in the upcoming line (you get to keep a pair, too). For the true footwear aficionado, a pledge of £2,500 or more lets you design a custom pair, which Beyond Skin will send to you in five different colors.