Today, we're highlighting a brand we carry in the store—Brazilian vegan shoe-maker, Ahimsa. Though the company's only been around a few years, they immediately became a favorite in both our New York store and our Los Angeles one.
Ahimsa's truly a family affair, having been started in 2013 by Gabriel Silva and his father, Cisso Silva. Before he got in the vegan shoe biz, Gabriel was an airplane pilot. But, after being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, he had to hang up his wings.
The diagnosis also led to some bigger life changes for Gabriel, moving him to a vegetarian—and eventually vegan—lifestyle. As he began to make these lifestyle changes, he returned home to work with his father—a 30+ year veteran in Brazil's footwear industry. As he started to eliminate animals from his diet, Gabriel came to the realization that most vegan footwear available to him wasn't up to the standards of the traditional, hand-made, high-quality footwear .
From there, the rest is history. The father-and-son duo started Ahimsa by outsourcing production for a small line-up of products in their first 6 months. But after that initial run and the positive reaction to the products, they decided to step up their game, starting their own, all-vegan shoe factory.
Today, Ahimsa continues to produce high-quality, stylish shoes using durable, sustainable materials while employing old-world tradition. They family-run factory pays fair wages to their workers and has brought a thriving industry to the region, keeping cruelty to animals out of the mix at every step.
All photos: raven + crow studio.