Vegan Bags & Now Shoes: Matt & Nat Make Eco-Friendly Shoes

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Matt & Nat (MAT(T)erial and NATure) the company that’s known for producing cute and fashionable vegan bags by using more than two million plastic bottles, is now making eco-friendly shoes.

The lining inside all of Matt & Nat bags is made from recycled plastic bottles.

The shoes are made from 100 percent vegan material.  The eco-friendly collection is ethical and stylish, metallic in a (non-leather) brogue gives the shoe a chic look.

They’re hip and cool right down to their company motto:

“Live beautifully”

“Living beautifully means appreciating the humanity, creativity and positivity found in all of us. Our values include social responsibility, excellence, inclusiveness, integrity, learning, authenticity and, of course, love. We are inspired by the textures and hues of nature and, to better protect it, we aim to constantly better our ways,” they write on their website.

Matt & Nat Make Eco-Friendly Shoes


The brand was born in 1995 in Montreal. From the start, the brand has been committed to not using leather or any other animal-based materials. Instead, they look for materials to divert from landfills and creatively repurposed into products that will become something beautiful for others.

Using materials such as recycled nylons, cardboard, rubber and cork have inspired the company to create uniquely fashion-forward.

“Since 2007, we’ve been committed to using linings only made out of 100% recycled plastic bottles. We have also recently introduced recycled bicycle tires to our collections.”

The company also promotes “upcycling” which is rooted in the growing consciousness of living with less: if you haven’t used something in the last six months, give it to someone who can use it.

As more companies offer high-quality alternatives to the once lust-worthy leather products, a major shift in consumerism trends is coming. Big data from environmental organizations is helping push this greater awareness.

A report by Greenpeace called, Slaughtering the Amazon, revealed that the cattle sector in the Brazilian Amazon (with about 200million head of cattle) was responsible for 14 percent of the world’s annual deforestation.

“This makes it the world’s largest driver of deforestation, responsible for more forest loss than the total deforestation in any country outside Brazil except Indonesia.”

This movement to switch to both more environmentally friendly and cruelty-free products really has me thinking. Long before I started, I, like many people cherished my leather bags and boots.

Now, even though I’m not 100-percent vegetarian, I do eat more plant-based than ever before and I find the plant-based lifestyle has taken root in my other shopping trends too. I question if it makes sense to use leather products. There’s something that isn’t quite sitting right anymore.

The wheels are turning and that always comes before big change is made.

So, while I can’t say that I’ve completely cleaned out my closet and rid myself of a few leather bags and boots, I find that I no longer feel the attraction that I once did to them.

The trend to use materials that don’t come from animals is evidenced not only in the growing number of companies producing these products but also by the pending patents for new eco-friendly materials that mimic leather in look and feel.

Awareness + Conscious Reflection = Positive Change.

Photo credit Matt & Nat


Phoebe Chongchua is a multimedia brand journalist who consults and writes on wellness, all things plant-based, fitness, lifestyle, and travel. She is yoga certified and earned her certificate in Whole Food Plant-Based Eating in 2010 through eCornell and the T. Colin Campbell Foundation. She's also a top podcaster for her marketing/storytelling podcast, The Brand Journalism Advantage at

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