AERA: the fusion of Italian footwear craftmanship and vegan luxury vangard

Vegan fashion: where are we at?

There are many brands that make vegan clothing and accessories in the fashion industry today, although it is unknown to many. World is changing, discoveries are increasing and people are gaining more and more awareness. For these reasons the vegan fashion industry has been constantly expanding and will not stop. Over time, some brands have made a global vegan choice thanks to a precise declaration of intents and thanks to a clear new mission; instead, other brands, have added some vegan pieces of clothing in the collection without a real ethical stance. Vegan Shoes

When can we consider a piece of clothing vegan?

First of all: no percentage of animal-derived materials shall appear on the label. This means: no wool, no alpaca, no leather, no fur, no feathers, no silk and no cashmere. The use of innovative, certified, non-polluting, natural and not derived from petrochemical substances materials it’s a plus.

Is this possible without sacrificing luxury, aesthetic and quality?

The answer is only one: obviously yes, it is. This is demonstrated by AERA, a brand of luxury footwear based in New York, that produces in Italy.
AERA is born from an idea of Tina Bhojwani which wanted to realize a project that contributed to the greater good and to the health of the planet. Bhojwani is well known in the fashion industry and she has behind her a career that needs no introduction. Thanks to her background, she has understood that it is possible to combine luxury and sustainability without having to sacrifice anything.

AERA chose Veneto as the location for its production sector. The Italian region is considered the spearhead of Made in Italy footwear production, because it is the homeland of a craftmanship and manufacturing know-how that characterizes the whole complex shoemaking supply chain. Starting from the pulsating heart of Veneto, where the footwear industry is among the most flourishing at the Italian level, combining the sensitivity for style with design and craftsmanship with the presence of a complete and integrated supply chain, AERA is committed to redefining luxury shoes incorporating aesthetics, ethics and transparency and to bringing the excellence of Italian fashion around the world since 2019, working the materials with great skill, ensuring a high-quality final result.

AERA is committed to redefining luxury shoes incorporating aesthetics, ethics and transparency.

It is precisely about materials that the debate concerning the environmental impact, pollution and waste of resources has long been heated. Anyway, behind the choices of AERA there is a commitment to evolve the materials used day by day, with the aim of being able to create – sooner or later – a shoe with zero impact. The challenge is open, and the hope is that it would be possible. The prospects look good. In fact, the supplier of AERA has pioneered eco-friendly and vegan materials that manage to look and fell like leather. Recently, they have invested in new materials with an increased percentage of recycled content. They furthermore were the first company to develop 100% solvent free materials for shoe making. They have also invested in solar electricity generating panels and they are investing in new bio-based materials, wich have significantly reduced environmental impacts.

What materials can be vegan?

Currently, AERA uses man-made materials. For his production, AERA uses Thunit®, a made in Italy material, very similar to leather, flexible, resistant to abrasion and water, even more than leather. As a matter of fact, AERA has created an initiative to compensate the plastics used in the shoes production by 110%: The “110% offset” philosophy. This is the core of AERA’s commitment to neutralize the impact of the business on the planet, and also to help in heal. Different and conscious vegan materials but only one aim: to create current, trendy and high-quality collections, quickly responding to the continuous needs and to the fast changes of the market, which today sees a significant growth of people interested in the vegan lifestyle.  The careful look at the contemporary is powered by the perfect combination of history and innovation, know-how and experimentation. Everlasting design, without sacrificing the trends of the moment, is the watchword of the brand, which gives life to timeless shoes, handcrafted from certified vegan materials.

AERA is indeed the first B Corp certified luxury footwear company, demonstrating its commitment to respect precise ethical, social and environmental standards, by combining economy and profit with ethics, sustainability and well-being. AERA has a goal and, through the continuous improvements, one day it will be able to produce its shoes with materials and processes that have no negative impacts on the planet.
Product, people, animals and planet have the same value for AERA, which strives to make sustainability the new normal.  The AERA’s dream is to create a luxury vegan brand built on an ethos of sustainability and responsibility for the people and the planet.

Shoes veganVegan fashion seems to raise the bar of the fashion system: the goal is to reach a new standard to consider for the fashion industry. AERA is a brand characterized by an eternal, classy and timeless design. Simplicity and elegance are the key words of the brand, that never gives up quality in its production.  Fashionable design is accompanied by the Italian footwear tradition, where simple lines and balance are the dominant.  Each model takes on a feminine name. Vivien represents the most iconic and suitable for every season model: it is to wear barefoot in summer, and enhanced by stockings in winter.  Vivien are 95 mm high-heeled slingback sandals and they are perfect for any elegant evening out. There are also the Claudia slingback sandals, which represents the lowest version of Vivien, perfect to wear all day and night. These iconic sandals have been made with style but also comfort in mind. Indeed, they are equipped with cushioned insole which ensures a more comfortable fit and a unique silhouette.
AERA offers luxury eco shoes seasonless to wear with a longuette with or whitout slits, but also with an elegant palazzo trousers. There are also some models suitable for the winter season, including Steffy, a very cute and wearable 45 mm low-heeled rock’n’roll boot. Shiny and soft are two main features, but the boots are really gritty and they complete the look giving an extra gear.

AERA’s collection have nothing to envy to the other leather footwear, on the contrary, AERA can boast a very high quality although the production does not require exploitation, violence and waste of resources.

AERA has been methodical and precise in measuring the environmental and social impact deriving from its production. In fact, thanks to the data collection and the control of the supply chain, AERA is able to understand how to concretely compensate the negative impact.  Continuous improvements are on the agenda for AERA, which aims to realize shoes made to last for a long time and that – despite this – has a forward-looking perspective: to consider a strategy for the product end of life, which will come sooner or later (better later). 

Photo credit: AERA



Anna Volpini

Anna Volpini is a content creator specialized in luxury vegan fashion. Since her youth she has been keen on fashion system and fashion publishing. This is the reason why she graduated in Communication Theory with a specialization in the Fashion Industry.
Over the years, she has become passionate about sustainability issues, so she decided to focus her thesis on how this affects the world of fashion and luxury. Her studies and interests are making her an expert for this sensitive topic which represents the future of this business: vegan fashion.
After several experiences as a copywriter and as a columnist for a communication agency in Milan, now, she is dealing with the creation of content related to luxury vegan fashion.


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