I received a nice comment today wondering about how to tell whether the glues used in shoes are animal based.
I am sure we have all heard how in the old days old horses used to be sent to the glue factory. Horrors.
I had a hunch that most glues used in shoes were synthetic from inquiring at a few vegan companies and even factories, but I decided to do some further googling.
After reading up on animal glue on wikipedia, which supplied more evidence that animal glues are not all that common these days except in woodworking it seems, I came across this very helpful blog post written by someone who inquired at the vegan store Pangea.
We have actually done quite a bit of our own independent research into adhesives, and have found that, while animal-based glues were indeed the standard in past decades, these days, the shoe industry as a whole uses synthetic adhesives almost exclusively. This is not due to ethical concerns, of course, but is the case simply because modern synthetic adhesives have become much more technically advanced than animal-based glues. In particular, animal glues are less stable than synthetics, and don’t stand up well to all weather conditions and lots of stretching, so they don’t work well for footwear. (We’ve been happy to learn that, these days, animal glues have actually been phased out of many industries, and are only commonly used for wood products and sometimes bookbinding). Hope this helps, and please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns.
So this is quite good news.
The blog where I found this is called Vegan Volleyballer, about Vegan athletic wear and equipment. Maybe some one out there will find it helpful. Looks good!