Spanish shoe company El Naturalista has a long tradition in shoe making. Since its inception 14 years back, their shoes are now sold in over 40 countries, exporting 90% of their product line.
El Naturalistas are produced right at home in La Rioja (as well as neighbouring Tangier, Morocco, another area well known for leather craftsmanship).
Having the shoes built locally allows for production line quality control from start to finish. A team of close to 100 people are passionate about creating unique, stylish — and comfortable — shoes for men and women.
Using sustainable materials, mineral tanning leathers, water-based glues, recycled cork and bamboo, El Naturalista maintains a lighter environmental footprint compared to other larger shoe companies.
Eco-sustainable production translates to a reduced consumption of electricity, water, gas and chemicals, as well as less CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.
The designs are inspired by nature, lines and colours. We’ve been longtime fans of this company, ever since discovering them in a small eco-friendly clothing shop in Madrid.
A socially-aware company, El Naturalista donates 2.14% of each pair of shoes sold via their community page, www.webelieveinpeople.org.
Customers have the option to donate the 2.14% profit via a single-use donation code to one of three communities: school meals in Haiti, a fishermen warehouse in Japan, or suitable housing for single mothers in Peru.
I chose a pair of El Viajero Mary Janes in black, in an updated style from last year’s line bearing the same name. El Viajero translates to The Traveller in English. These shoes are perfect for urban strolls and are lightweight enough for carry-on packing.
The vegan shoes contain no trace of animal products either in lining, cut, treatment or finish. The high quality fabric (made from microfibers and cotton) mimic poly leather. The footbed offers arch support while the stylish adjustable, elasticized strap widens at the closure for a unique accent.
Perfect for jeans, knee-highs and skirts, or casual dresses, this shoe looks and feels durable with a good range of wardrobe-pairing colour options: Brown, Carrot (orange), Wood (dark tan), Corn (yellow), Tibet (red), Green, Khaki and Black.
The El Viajero mary jane comes in European sizes 36 to 42 and retails for €113/CDN $166/US $127. Prices reflect Canadian and US currency exchange rate as of this writing.
El Naturalista sent me a pair of El Viajero shoes to test drive for this feature. Opinions, as always, are my own. Unwatermarked photos courtesy of El Naturalista.