This week on the Vegan Insiders we meet Ivana Basilotta, the founder of noonesskin.com. No One's Skin is a limited edition, handmade and bespoke footwear retailer based in the UK.
Ivana believes leather and fur are primitive products of the past and her shoe brand offers excellent ethical alternatives.
She told us about how her brand creates luxury cruelty-free shoes by ditching animal skins instead using the finest sustainable materials to creating an innovative shopping experience.
It happened gradually when I was a child I realized what the specific foods that were served to me were made off, and I refused to eat it. Then as a teenager I started eliminating meat from my diet entirely and became vegetarian, I also avoided milk and eggs. I introduced small portions of meat in my diet again in my early twenties for a short period, following the advice of a nutritionist, I remember it felt somehow wrong, though I wanted to experiment to see if the nutritionist's opinion was correct. However, it didn't suit me at all, I became a vegetarian again with a predominately vegan diet and turn exclusively vegan following that. I have been vegan most of my life, and the thought of eating the flesh of an animal is extremely unappealing to me today, In fact, I feel it is a bizarre thing to do. As a designer, the desire to create a vegan shoe and accessories collection felt natural, considering that there were so little choices available, though it took me several years for my vision to become a reality.
Eating plant-based is the basis of wellbeing, for body and mind, there is the health and vitality aspect, glowing skin, a stronger and stabler sense of connection to my environment, wildlife and in general sentience being. I believe that meat carries a lot of traumatic vibration that animals go through when mistreated and slaughtered, they also release stress hormones that get impregnated in the flesh, those who eat that meat also eat those. Hence meat eating is often related to depression. I can't see any logic in mass farming of livestock and slaughtering that has and is still happening in our world, it is damaging to our environment and humanity itself, how this still exist is baffling to me.
I have been to so many delicious vegan restaurants throughout the world, most of them have been amasing. I have fond memories of Teresa Carles in Barcelona the choices on the menu were abundance and beyond delicious. I have many favored dishes, predomnetly vegan Pan Asian cuisine, vegan dim sum is defiantly one of my favoured dishes.
I keep changing my beauty product regularly and love trying out new products, I take good care that they are not only vegan but also free of harmful chemicals, I have collaborated with Laver and love their products, though there are so many smaller artisan beauty products emerging, which are fabulous too. As for fashion brands, I mix my No One's Skin shoes with Stella McCartney accessories she has been a great ambassador of cruelty-free living and done very well, I also like "Love Moschino" they have some pretty things that are leather-free.
When we adopt a vegan lifestyle it is ok to, to make the changes gradually, it is not always sensible and can be extremely costly to throw out everything immediately that we have purchased in the past. I stopped buying products that contain animal ingredients and replace things over time. I find using leather in today advanced world is a very primitive way of manufacturing. I believe Vegan leather products should be available in every retail store, just like vegan options are available in every food store or menu and vegan cosmetic products in every beauty store. Of course, I also own other brands in addition to my own designs, I have some Stella Mccartney items and Inyati a German vegan brand.
Getting the finances together, and sustaining the business, I somehow always find a way of doing it.
I hope many great things.
The world needs cruelty free options, stay true to yourself and your passion, making mistakes on the way is just part of the growth, be consistent and know that you are not alone.