inspiring companies

My Non Leather Life’s 2014 Vegan Holiday Gift Guide


Hi Guys,

I thought I would make a vegan holiday gift guide for you all. Here are my ideas! As they say on Youtube, “let’s get started!”

1. T-shirt that says VEGAN

Well, if you are vegan then you get the right to proclaim it loudly and proudly to everyone you meet in the form of a vegan t-shirt. I almost feel wearing a t-shirt with VEGAN emblazoned on it is a cool right of passage for every vegan. Not only do you advertise the message, but it is a good way to meet other vegans out and about. This T-shirt does all that, but with a sense of humor. I need one.

LOL. You can buy it here. They have a really hilarious t-shirt as well for you fullyraw fruitarians out there. Heat is Murder. GENIOSITY.

And it says Raw Vegan on the back. I love it.

2. Fruit of the Month Club

What about a subscription to a fruit of the month club. Even before I was so into fruit, I loved when my parents got gifted a fruit of the month club during the holidays. The whole year you could expect a big box of really interesting fruit. It is a pretty cool gift. This site compares and contrasts all the fruit of the month options out there so you can select one according to your budget.

3. Minimale Animale Bikini

Ok my 3rd idea is not necessarily vegan, but it is kind of fruitarian. If you have been having hawaii envy and staring at pics of Loni Jane on instagram on the beach daydreaming about being on a tropical paradise, then perhaps you will like this one: I have been lusting after these awesome bikinis from minimale animale. They are the perfect “lie on the beach and absorb the vitamin d in as little fabric as possible” bikinis. I bought one and instantly was addicted and now I want another one.

bikinis from minimal animale


Ok, I say this one every year but who wouldn’t love a gift basket from Lush? Lush is very against animal testing, refusing to work with any companies who work with other companies who do animal testing, they often host vegan demonstrations, and I’d say most of their products are vegan and all of the ones that are are clearly marked vegan. (Why not all, I know….)

My favorite Lush products are their beer shampoo Cynthia Sylvia Stout, and this new christmas-y soap I got called YOG NOG. But you really can’t go wrong with a Lush thing in my mind. Also get some bath bombs because they’re so cool.

5. Vintage Inspired Parisian Vegan Shoes

What about a super cool new pair of vegan shoes from vegan company Good Guys Don’t Wear Leather. I would pick these babies below

Impractical for winter I know, but it would give me hope for spring. Good Guys has the coolest vegan shoes for men in my opinion.

If nothing at Good Guys strikes your fancy, check out my cool vegan shoes board on pinterest where I have hundreds of cool new vegan shoes that you can buy online by clicking on the pictures. Also there are bags, coats and pleather jacket type things. Some great gifts on there for sure.

6. A Vegan Down Comforter

A new synthetic fake “down comforter” for any body you know who doesn’t have a totally awesome comforter. I feel this makes all the difference in the world, and this comforter was painstakingly compared and contrasted with other synthetic comforters and declared the ultimate winner by the wirecutter’s sister site The Sweethome (a really cool site by the way)

Best vegan comforter

7. A Vitamix

This one is an ultimate gift for anyone who you feel could improve their health. A Vitamix. This costco price is for a certified reconditioned one and the cheapest price I’ve ever seen (thanks raw vegan John Fallucca for the tip).

A vitamix is the best investment in your health you will ever make. I have used mine literally every single day since I got it, and would be very lost without it. It is worth the price.

Also you might want to include one of Victoria Boutenko’s awesome books like Raw Family or Green for Life.

8. Save a Pig and send them to the The Pig Preserve sanctuary

Last year for Christmas my mom donated in my name to the beautiful hundred acre Pig Preserve and Richard Hoyle the founder wrote a note saying the $ helped him take in two more pigs they might have had to turn away. Saving a pig–what is more the true meaning of Christmas than that.

Here is my interview I did  about The Pig Preserve.

You can write to Richard in the paypal instructions to the seller.

Here is the link to donate. 

9. Nike Pro Shorts and a copy of DurianRider’s Carb The Fuck Up

Some cool work out gear from nike pro to motivate you to workout.

Nike pro shorts just look really cool I think.

Also to take your fitness level to the next level I would really recommend buying for someone DurianRider’s e-book Carb the Fuck Up. Lol, I know, but it was actually a quite fascinating book with many truly concrete tips that can change your life. It won’t bore you that is for sure. I really recommend this book. It is worth it.

Carb the Fuck Up Ebook

10. a quality camera that the best youtubers recommend for starting out making youtube videos

I watch a lot of youtube and this is a camera that very popular youtubers recommend to start out with. You definitely don’t need an expensive camera to make youtube videos, but if you want to start a vegan youtube channel or any sort of youtube channel and have the quality of your vid look nice, supposedly this is awesome quality for the price.

Happy Holidays to all!

Do you guys have any other good gift ideas? Comment below please : )


An Interview with the People Behind Cri de Coeur

Gina and Julie, the designers of Cri de Coeur, wearing their shoes

Teddy Girls (the girls Cri de Coeur is inspired by this season)

I interviewed Cri de Coeur, the vegan shoe company.

I have some info for you….

Well, Cri de Coeur is two women, Gina Ferraraccio and Julie Dicterow. I remember them as one of the first cool vegan shoe companies out there, way back when I was so frustrated trying to find vegan shoes online.

I recently bought a pair of their shoes and was very impressed. I got their tall black fake suede boots with crazy fringe on them. They’re great.

I hope you enjoy these questions, and I’m really looking forward to seeing their new stuff.

1. How did you get the idea to start Cri de Coeur? Was it a lifelong dream or did it hit you suddenly.

As a life-long animal lover who is also super into fashion, it was so frustrating to never be able to find leather-free shoes that were actually cute. We always knew we wanted to do something to help animals, and also dreamed of having our own fashion lines, so what better way to combine the two passions than in vegan shoes? So Cri de Coeur was born in 2007.

cri de coeur logo

2. Was it really difficult to get it off the ground? Since you guys were one of the first vegan shoe companies, I imagine you ran into a lot of naysayers and had to do a lot of explaining?

The biggest two challenges when starting out were A) finding materials that were not only vegan, but also sustainable. A lot of non-leather materials can be toxic to the environment and to you, such as Vinyl and PVC, which both contain volatile compounds. We use a lot of polyurethane – or PU. It’s made from environmentally friendly raw materials and doesn’t emit any toxic gasses. In the past 5 years, there have been a lot of advances in the textile world in the field of faux leathers, so that’s been great. And B) there was, and still is, a mindset that vegan products are somehow inferior to their leather counterparts…due to years of poorly made and unfashionable vinyl products. That being said, more and more fashion brands are incorporating vegan materials into their lines…whether it’s their intention to be vegan or not…as the materials become more and more available and people see how their benefits outweigh those of leather, wool and fur.

3. Are you guys very driven and fearless people, or did you have to overcome a lot of fears in order to start this company? It takes a lot of guts–hats off to you!!

Thanks! It’s been a hard journey at times, but not filled with fear. Knowing in our hearts that we’re on the right path and blazing the way for future generations who will hopefully embrace veganism as the norm, inspires us to keep going in the face of difficulties. It’s awesome to know we’re making a difference in the lives of so many animals by doing something we love.

4. I would love to own my own company someday. I am wondering, how have you liked running a company. Was it everything you thought it would be? What has been the best part, or a part that you never imagined when you were starting out?

The best part is getting an email out of the blue from a customer telling us how much she loves our products and our mission. These messages always brighten our day and outlook! Running a business takes incredible dedication – it basically becomes your whole life. As an employee, you can clock out at 6pm and on the weekend, but when it’s your own company – there’s always something else to tackle on your perpetual to-do list.

5. What is your ultimate vision of the brand. Do you want to expand?

Cri de Coeur’s mission is to become a name synonymous with high fashion and uncompromising ethical values. We will also attempt to make a real impact on people’s mindsets as they shop by helping them to be more aware of how their purchases affect the planet.

We think that what we wear says so much about who we are, and it is so important to wear your heart on your sleeve, so to speak, by making choices in fashion that compliment our ideals on the inside. Eventually we would love to expand into other product categories and a retail storefront.

6. How do you come up with the shoe styles for the next season? Is it what you want to wear at the time, or do you think about what is missing in the world of vegan shoes, or are you inspired by a certain thing?

Each collection is newly inspired – by personal experiences, photoshoots, girls with great personal style, films, art, nostalgia – it all depends what we’re feeling at the time. We are our ultimate target customers, so we definitely design with what we’d like to be wearing at the time in mind.

7. Speaking of that, what are your inspirations. I always love to hear what kinds of things inspire people and their brands.

Our new Spring’13 collection is inspired by the British fashion trend known as the Teddy Girl. We’re channeling the Teds and the Mods and balancing feminine and masculine, with the updated edgy street look in metallic oxfords, laser-cut sandals and basket weave booties.

teddy girls (look them up, very cool)

8. I feel like veganism is growing by the day. Do you see more and more people becoming interested in vegan shoes?

There’s never been so much buzz surrounding issues that lead to awareness of the vegan lifestyle – from helping to reverse global warming, to living a long & healthy life, to eliminating animal suffering, etc. People are curious and seeking info on easy ways they can be a part of this movement. Buying a non-leather shoe or handbag that’s just as fashionable as its leather counterparts is one of those ways. We’ve definitely seen this trend emerge, and truly believe it’s a trend that’s here to stay!

9. Do you have any tips for vegan entrepreneurs?

Our number one tip would be – don’t get discouraged! There’s so much in your face everyday that is disheartening, from naysayers who can’t see beyond the status quo, to horrendous stories of how animals and the planet are treated, to the poor economic situation. Stick to your guns and work hard, and hopefully it will all pay off!

another teddy girl