Luxury vegan shoe line Taylor + Thomas recently launched in Los Angeles. Co-founders Jessica Taylor Mead and Elizabeth Thomas James began with a common goal of addressing the wasteful state of the modern fashion industry. “We met in a footwear design class, and the connection was kismet,” James told VegNews. “Not only do we share common ground on personal styling, but we both recognized the need for the fashion industry to adopt more sustainable and cruelty-free practices. We agreed that luxury vegan shoes was the starting point, since there is a definite hole in the market.” Their first Autumn/Winter 2018 collection includes nine women’s shoes named after 1960s celebrities, such as the Jane loafer, a nod to English actress and model Jane Birkin; the Talitha slipper, in honor of Dutch actress and model Talitha Getty; and the Patti boot, a tribute to American singer-songwriter Patti Smith. Made locally in LA, the line is created from cruelty-free and sustainable materials: the uppers from water-based, solvent-free polyurethane that has the look and feel of soft luxe leather, memory-foam insoles from caster beans and recycled rubber, and wood heels that are FSC-certified sustainably harvested beechwood. Mead and James will be distributing to stores in LA and New York starting next month, and plan to eventually expand the product line to include women’s accessories and ready-to-wear clothing.