In this post I am so glad to introduce you to Hayley, co-founder of British brand Allkind, founded by friends Hayley McCardle and Kate Barrett. After finding a niche in the market for stylish, non leather footwear the duo launched Allkind in March 2020. They believe that wearing your values shouldn’t compromise your style.
Something I hadn’t considered before our chat is the traceability of leather and therefore where the leather is coming from. As a result a lot of leather products such as handbags and shoes have a high risk of coming from large commercial farming practices which can be detrimental to high animal welfare standards and the environment.
With that in mind, Hayley and Kate started looking for a factory, ideally in the UK, but unfortunately most of the factories in the country were no longer operational. The next step was to look in Europe, and they landed in Spain. They wanted to make sure that the chosen factory was compliant with their high ethical standards. Making sure that the work conditions of the employees were fair and safe was top of their priority list. They visit the factory regularly (pre pandemic) to meet with the owners and skilled work team who produce their sustainable and ethical designs.
In a nearby town to the factory they found a supplier for their vegan materials. Allkind are constantly searching for the newest vegan and plant based sustainable materials to use in their collection. They are open that not all their materials are made from fully recyclable materials as of yet but are proud of the amount of these materials they are able to utilise. For example, the beautiful soft soles on their main collection are made from 100% recycled and upcycled rubber.
On top of that, from day one they have commited to be a carbon negative business, partnering with Offset Earth on rainforest protection, renewable energy and major tree planting programmes. A few other examples of how Allkind are trying to support their causes are; working with local businesses such as the warehouse who store and fulfil their orders and they donate 5% of their profit to causes they believe in, in particular the animal charity PETA and The Rainforest Trust.
As usual, we talked about the direction the fashion industry is heading. Hayley believes that it is a great sign to see how magazines are talking more and more about sustainability and featuring ethical brands frequently. Hayley finished by saying ’everybody is moving towards doing their little bit, and if everyone does their little bit this combines to make a big difference overall and a positive impact on all our futures. The amazing support that Allkind has received in such a short amount of time shows a desire towards ending fast fashion and moving towards a more ethical and sustainable way to shop.’