June 6, 2022
AERA is a luxury brand that manufactures sustainable and vegan Italian shoes. The company was co-founded by former Dolce & Gabbana executive Tina Bhojwani and Donna Karan.
Bhojwani had worked for major fashion brands for 20 years when she decided to start a business with a more positive impact on the planet. Initially, she partnered with a university friend Alvertos Revach, who had just set up an investment fund focused on sustainable businesses. Soon after, shoe designer Jean-Michel Cazabat – with whom Bhojwani had previously worked – came on board. The trio set out to develop luxury vegan shoes that were indistinguishable from those made with conventional materials.
“Real luxury is leaving the world better than you found it.”
For the exterior of its shoes, AERA uses cotton and synthetic materials such as polyester and polyurethane. The lining of the shoes is made with plant-derived biopolylols, while the soles are made with an Italian Thunit® leather alternative. Depending on the shoe, the heels are made from recycled plastic or a combination of wood and TPU. The company offsets the plastics used in its shoes by 110%.
AERA has received a long list of certifications – it is PETA approved, validated as carbon negative and the first luxury footwear brand to become a B Corp.
Immaculate Vegan Launch
AERA has just launched on Immaculate Vegan, an ethical and sustainable fashion marketplace. While the platform ships worldwide, AERA shoes are currently only available in the United States.
“We believe luxury isn’t a new pair of shoes – it’s clean water and fresh air,” AERA said on its website. “It’s not about how much you have, it’s about how much you give back. It’s about considering people and the planet when making products. It’s raising the bar, not just for yourself, but for others. It’s about honoring traditions while forging new paths. It’s about looking forward, not backward. It’s about making sure that every step you take has the least impact on the environment. Because true luxury leaves the world better than you found it.