What a great feeling to find an e-commerce site that states in big letters on its home page that it sells “only goods made in countries where labor laws or unions are in place to protect the workers! We don’t sell any products made in China or other countries known for sweatshops.”
The site is Pangea, a.k.a. the Vegan Store. I’m not a vegan, but I buy vegan shoes (and avoid leather in general) because of my deep antipathy toward industrial cattle operations and their harmful effects on the environment. Plus, quite frankly, I feel bad for the cows.
Pangea sells not only shoes but all sorts of things: cleaning products, pet supplies, cruelty-free cosmetics and body care, etc.
How does it vet its merchandise? I traded email with Pangea employee Phil, who told me that the company’s main source of information is its founder, Shari Kalina. “Over the past 11 years she’s had to do so much research and have so many discussions with various experts that she has probably learned more than can be found at any single website,” he wrote. “For any unfamiliar ingredient, she’ll use the internet as a starting point and then get in touch with as many people as necessary for us to be confident about the ingredient.”
Which tells me that Pangea must be a pretty small operation. But it’s one I’m happy to support. In fact, I’m eyeing a pair of red No Sweat high-tops right now...