Introducing Brother Vellies

Brother Vellies sustainable shoes at Hudson's Bay

The CFDA Award-winning shoe line is now available at Hudson’s Bay.

Founded in 2013 by Torontonian Aurora James, Brother Vellies is a collection of footwear handmade in South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya and Morocco by local artisans. James was inspired to create Brother Vellies during a trip to Africa following her stint as director of Gen Art, an organization that provides support to emerging labels. With sustainability, community and quality being at the forefront of the Brother Vellies vision, we break down the ways this luxury brand is continually striving to put its best foot forward.

Shown above:
Brother Vellies Pompom Bianca Boots

Sustainable Leather and Vegetable Dyes
All of Brother Vellies leather is sourced from local farmers and the skins are either by-products of the food industry or gathered as part of government-mandated animal population culling. Most of the leather is coloured using vegetable dyes like indigo, saffron and madder.

Material Ingenuity
Not a piece of leather is wasted, even those with imperfections. Natural marks are positioned on the inside of shoes to prevent waste and recycled denim from Morocco is used on select shoes styles. Sandals receive special treatment with recycled tire rubber on the soles as well as hand-cast buckles made of recycled brass padlocks and keys.

Diverse and Close-Knit
People are at the centre of the Brother Vellies operation. Teams are diverse by design, with a mix of women and men of different ages, religions, tribes and sexual orientations. Artisanal beading and knitting is assigned to stay-at-home wives and moms, some of whom have not previously had the opportunity to work.

Produced with care and conscience, every pair of Brother Vellies are designed to be “forever shoes.” The soles are easily replaced when they wear down and the high-quality leathers age beautifully, making every style a worthy investment. Explore the Spring 2019 collection and find your new go-to feel-good shoe.

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Photography by David Pike.