Get companies like Bloch and Capezio to sell vegan dance shoes online and in store
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As the animal rights movement grows and more people switch to a vegan diet, the demand for more vegan options increases, especially in the performing arts industry.
For those who don't know, dance shoes are made with leather and/or suede by-products from animals, and certain glues that dance footwear companies use to hold some materials together can include gelatin, which is created by boiling animal tissues. Those who have adopted a vegan diet choose not to contribute to the sales of these products.
Performing arts colleges and dance companies often have strict uniform policies where you are required to only purchase from specific brands like Bloch and Capezio. After personally asking Bloch and Capezio whether or not they had much interest in vegan shoes I found out that they do indeed get a high demand, so why have they not made them available to buy in store or online? Bloch informed me that they had once attempted to produce a vegan shoe but it had fell through due to ‘lack of durability’. Whereas Capezio have managed to produce a durable vegan shoe but only in one single design of each dance style and unless you email the company directly you are lead to believe that vegan shoes aren’t even available because their website does not state that a custom vegan option is available.
From my research it would seem as though only a few small companies produce vegan dance shoes, but at whacking prices and I have only been able to find one vegan jazz shoe with a company that still charges 3 times the usual value. Many vegan dance students that I have been in contact with have told me that that they are unable to afford to pay the extra fee for vegan shoes - shoes that should in fact be cheaper in price due to the use of less-expensive materials. Oh and did I mention that Capezio offers the vegan jazz shoe for £150... and fifty pence? Students who struggle to afford dance wear have had to go against what they believe in and have had to purchase an animal product. That can be excruciatingly upsetting.
You might be thinking “you are offered one vegan shoe, is that not enough?” and the answer would be no, it is most definitely not. I would like to express the significance of the amount of options dancers get when it comes to dance shoes. For non-vegans there are 33 ballet slipper options on the Bloch website, as well as 25 jazz shoes, 21 contemporary foot undies, 20 tap shoes, 26 ballroom & Latin shoes and 14 character shoes. Whilst Capezio have 10 options of ballet slippers, 13 tap, 11 jazz, 7 ballroom, 9 lyrical/modern foot undies and 6 character shoes. A majority of these shoes from both companies are made with canvas and so all that would need amending would be the small suede foot patch at the bottom of the shoes and from the evidence discovered the big picture is that they CAN produce and sell vegan dance shoes.
Why should vegan performers be treated any different from performers who choose to wear animal skin on their feet?
I ask for anyone, be it dancer or not, to sign the petition to convince Bloch and Capezio and other dance shoe manufacturers that there are enough people out there who want vegan dance shoes available to easily buy in store and online to all, and at their righteous price. Thank you.
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