Shoe Brand Makes Vegan Materials from Fennel

Natalie Portman was spotted wearing designer Sydney Brown’s fennel-based vegan shoes earlier this year on Saturday Night Live.


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Vegan footwear designer Sydney Brown will launch a pair of biodegradable stilettos—made with surprising plant-based ingredient fennel—in select stores and online this summer. The brand first shaves fennel into thin slices and binds it to organic cotton before dying it. “It has been the most surprising because it’s so water resistant, and it’s very durable, and it’s been an amazing material,” Brown said about her use of fennel in creating the new shoes. The brand is focused on developing sustainable materials and is attempting to eliminate plastic use in its collections. “We’re really excited now that this is viable and we can go forward,” Brown told VICE about the biodegradable shoe—which actress Natalie Portman recently wore on Saturday Night Live. The designer—who creates accessories for all genders and is dedicated to bringing awareness to the harm caused by the fashion industry to both animals and the environment—will also add vegan handbags to her spring/summer 2019 collection. “Fashion is the second largest polluter in the world,” Brown said, “outside of big oil.”