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Second hand leather?

Curious as to what people may think of my second hand leather habit, I'm okay with disagreements.

I grew up in a financially troubled home, I grew up below the poverty line.  As such I've developed certain money saving habits.  I'm willing to spend money on food, on my health, on my pets, but most things I buy secondhand or make myself, or have the help of relatives in say, making a book shelf, etc.  I rarely buy clothes, but when I do I don't buy leather, silk, etc.

One of the habits I've picked up, that I didn't realize was odd until I talked to some other girls about their shoe collection, is that I don't buy shoes much.  One girl told me she has 5 pairs now, but that she usually has at least 8, 0_0.  I always have 2 pairs, one pair of boots, one pair of sneakers- no dress shoes, no heels, etc.  I wear them until they fall apart, and then I go to goodwill or any second hand store and buy a replacement.  Both the boots and the sneakers I have now have leather.  The sneakers I bought for $5.

What got me thinking was that an acquaintance of mine told me she thinks I'm "cheating" because they aren't vegan.  I think that my buying used, $5 sneakers is significantly less evil than buying a brand new leather jacket, or a leather couch.  If I were to buy new sneakers I'd buy leather free, but I don't buy new shoes.

What do you think?  If you think that what I'm doing isn't "cheating" then where would you draw the line?  Are secondhand leather jackets okay?  Second hand silk scarves?  I live in NH, USA, so boots are kind of necessity if you want to keep your toes, :)

-Alika

I have never owned more than 3 pairs of shoes at one time in my life: one dress pair (that I seldom wear), one pair of summer sandals, one pair of trainers. I always wear them out. When I see people on TV with like 50 pairs of shoes (or more!)--and I mean people who just have a shoe addiction, I think that is so  :o. I mean, you can only wear one pair at a time, surely.

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I mean, you can only wear one pair at a time, surely.

Haha, like Russian nesting dolls, under the rain boots there's a pair of sneakers, then sandals in the sneakers, and then the feet, :)

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Do what works for you. I personally wear a pair of leather boots my uncle gave me before making the switch to vegetarian/vegan. If I buy any other pairs of leather shoes, I'll probably check eBay first for gently-used or overstock of shoes. When I buy new shoes or belts, I look for manmade materials. Anyhow! That's me. Do what works for you. :)

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I've pondered that too.

I have belts, shoes, boots, motorcycle jacket, etc. from before I was really cognizant about wearing leather. Both becoming vegan and getting serious about my Buddhist ethics over the last year has made me more aware and I consciously avoid animal products now. Buddhism actually led me to veganizm. It would cost thousands of dollars to replace all my non-vegan material items. So I'll wear them until I replace them with a clear conscious.

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I mean, you can only wear one pair at a time, surely.

Haha, like Russian nesting dolls, under the rain boots there's a pair of sneakers, then sandals in the sneakers, and then the feet, :)

Exactly!!  ;)b ;D What gets me are the shoe hoarders who have dozens of pairs they've never even taken out of the box. I mean, what's the point of spending the money? Not using something is like not having it.

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I've actually gotten into a couple arguments about this issue. My personal view is, as long as you're not giving money to the company that manufactured the product, you're not doing any harm. On the other side, I can see people refusing to use even secondhand products as a matter of personal preference - it really depends on your philosophy. Are you still a "pure" vegan if you wear secondhand leather? Maybe not, but it seems like that's letting a debate about labels take precedence over the real ethical issue at stake.

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I kept pregan shoes/belts for a while after going vegan, and wore some occasionally, but I never really felt comfortable 1. wearing them on my body 2. promoting the idea of wearing animal skin. I actually had quite a few pairs of pregan leather shoes, but did finally donate them all. I would most definitely never buy non vegan products (used or not). Have you tried searching the second hand stores for man made material shoes/boots? You might feel more comfortable that way.

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I kept pregan shoes/belts for a while after going vegan, and wore some occasionally, but I never really felt comfortable 1. wearing them on my body 2. promoting the idea of wearing animal skin. I actually had quite a few pairs of pregan leather shoes, but did finally donate them all. I would most definitely never buy non vegan products (used or not). Have you tried searching the second hand stores for man made material shoes/boots? You might feel more comfortable that way.

This. I still have pregan leather shoes and belts, but I don't really feel good wearing them and I'm honestly pretty eager for them to wear down. However, I don't think secondhand leather makes you less of a vegan. It's ridiculously difficult to find secondhand items which are 100% vegan.

We all have to make concessions. I've never SEEN a car before, for example, which does not have leather on some part of it. Animal products are in computers, band-aids, film and thousands of other things, many of which we probably don't even know about yet. Veganism isn't (in my opinion -- obviously others differ and that's okay) about 100% purity, it's about avoiding and standing against cruelty to a level which is reasonable and doable. If you're avoiding supporting animal-related industries as much as you can, you shouldn't put yourself in vegan purgatory just because you couldn't afford shoes without leather on them.

Do what feels right and be proud of yourself. :)

Also, on another note, jeez, how can you guys only have one or two pairs of shoes?! Maybe it's just because I'm in Florida, the land of a thousand flip-flops, but I have ten or fifteen pairs of shoes. Y'all are making me feel shallow!

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A lot of it has to do with not having any extra money at all, and having to weigh every purchase. When a pair of shoes costs a minimum of 30 Euros (and often closer to 90) and you only have about 80 for the week...you don't buy shoes. Or much of anything that isn't urgent.

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Actually I was having this same discussion with my son the other day. I have bought second hand leather things before (just about all my clothing is second hand!), but not new since going vegan. I explained to him that the way I see it, I'm: 1) Not giving any profit to the company who originally made the item, and 2) I feel that in a way, you're paying a form of respect to the animal that gave its life to make the item because some of the thrift stores just get rid of what they don't sell after a while. In the end you have to do what you feel is right.

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Actually I was having this same discussion with my son the other day. I have bought second hand leather things before (just about all my clothing is second hand!), but not new since going vegan. I explained to him that the way I see it, I'm: 1) Not giving any profit to the company who originally made the item, and 2) I feel that in a way, you're paying a form of respect to the animal that gave its life to make the item because some of the thrift stores just get rid of what they don't sell after a while. In the end you have to do what you feel is right.

Yes, it would be really bad to just throw something on the dump that cost an animal its life. Wear it out or find a home for it.

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A lot of it has to do with not having any extra money at all, and having to weigh every purchase. When a pair of shoes costs a minimum of 30 Euros (and often closer to 90) and you only have about 80 for the week...you don't buy shoes. Or much of anything that isn't urgent.

Ahhh, that'll definitely do it.

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I don't have that many pairs of shoes.  I used to have more in my prevegan days, but it is just hard to find decent vegan shoes that I lke and can afford.  My daughter has a lot of shoes, but they are cheaper and easier to find. 

My mother, however, has a bedroom in her house that is dedicated to shoes and purses.  Two walls are literally covered in cubby holes for the shoes.  She probably only has 100 or so pairs now, but she used to have a lot more.  She doesn't like brown, black, or white, so her shoes are all colored.  That explains why she "needs" so many.  The house she lived in with my dad when he died had two shoes closets in the bathroom.  If you have ever seen the movie Overboard, they were like those closets.  They were custom made for her. 

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Haha, all this talk of shoes had me looking all over the internet.  I found a killer pair of vegan stilettos, I'm pretty sure I can't walk in them, and I can't afford them, but it's fun to look at them, haha. 

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How much does a second hand pair of leather (or not) shoes cost? What do you usually pay?

This site: http://www.urbanog.com/index.html has mostly all synthetic/vegan shoes, and they are pretty cheap. Some are more expensive than others, but there are some in the $10.00 range, and most are good quality.

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How much does a second hand pair of leather (or not) shoes cost? What do you usually pay?

This site: http://www.urbanog.com/index.html has mostly all synthetic/vegan shoes, and they are pretty cheap. Some are more expensive than others, but there are some in the $10.00 range, and most are good quality.

They had some cute shoes but damn would I break my leg walking in some of those heels.

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How much does a second hand pair of leather (or not) shoes cost? What do you usually pay?

This site: http://www.urbanog.com/index.html has mostly all synthetic/vegan shoes, and they are pretty cheap. Some are more expensive than others, but there are some in the $10.00 range, and most are good quality.

They had some cute shoes but damn would I break my leg walking in some of those heels.

Yes! I forgot to mention that they have some CRAZY shoes...lots of crazy, weird shoes, but they have some normal/good ones, too. I think! ;)

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I could never buy second hand shoes. In the first place, they mould to the wearer's foot and walking in someone else's foot-shape would not be comfortable. I have difficult feet. In the second place---ew. I invest in good shoes when I can buy a new pair....like a bed, you spend half your life in them.

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I buy second hand leather and it doesn't bother me.  I prefer it rather than buying new man made materials that trash the environment.  Of course I will take second hand vegan items when I can.  Our family buys over %90 of our clothing and non food items second hand.

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I buy second hand leather and it doesn't bother me.  I prefer it rather than buying new man made materials that trash the environment.

Excellent point.

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