peta2 Kicks Off Cruelty-Free Footwear Campaign with New Macbeth Shoe

Group Encourages Teens to Take the ‘First Step’ Toward an Animal-Free Wardrobe by Switching to Nonleather Shoes

For Immediate Release:
June 11, 2013

Shakira Croce 202-483-7382

Los Angeles — They’re putting their best vegan foot forward: Macbeth Footwear and peta2, PETA’s youth division, are kicking off peta2’s The First Step campaign—the group’s new effort to encourage young people to choose nonleather shoes, clothing, and accessories—with the very first peta2-branded shoe: the peta2 x Macbeth “Gatsby,” a gray canvas, red-laced sneaker accessorized with a picture of peta2’s “Not a Nugget” character on the inner sole (photos available here). The shoe will be sold on Macbeth’s website and at Journeys stores across the U.S.

Visitors to peta2’s “First Step” campaign page are asked to help the cows, sheep, pigs, and other animals who are abused and killed by the leather industry by taking a leather-free pledge to purchase only vegan footwear, clothing, and accessories (and to donate any gently used leather shoes still lying around in their closets to a homeless shelter or other nonprofit organization). Kids who take the leather-free pledge will receive 10 percent off the online purchase of the peta2 “Gatsby”—and until June 18, they’ll also receive 10 percent off of every vegan shoe purchase from Macbeth’s website.

“The more that kids learn about how animals suffer for leather—and the environment is damaged by it—the less that they want anything to do with it,” says peta2 Director Marta Holmberg. “Macbeth’s new peta2 shoe shows how stylish and fun cruelty-free fashion can be, and it’s a great addition to the wide variety of leather-free shoes available in stores and online today.”

“Working with peta2 on these products has given us tremendous pride at Macbeth Footwear,” says the company’s cofounder Tom DeLonge. “It’s great to contribute to something positive and a cause that we believe in.”

Why are kids giving leather the boot? Cows killed for their skin are subjected to castration, branding, tail-docking, and dehorning—all without painkillers—before they have their throats slit or are even skinned alive. What’s more, the toxic chemicals—such as lead, cyanide, chromium, and formaldehyde—that tanneries use to keep dead animals’ skins from rotting pollute the environment. Several studies have established links between exposure to these chemicals and cancer.

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