Made sustainably by women, for women. Loyal Footwear is a cruelty-free, vegan shoe collection handmade by craftswomen at our factory workshop in Hoboken, New Jersey, USA. Every staff member works on each small batch, making shoes together from step one to the finish. This approach to the production cycle is human-friendly and environmentally and economically sustainable.
Shoes that you can live in and feel good about. Our brand focuses on soft, comfortable, contemporary styles that you’ll want to live in, created in the most conscious and sustainable way we can. We use advanced microfiber vegan leathers, coated plant-based textiles, and recycled soling materials wherever possible. Our primary approach to sustainability is our close communication with our customers. We listen to our customers’ wishes, responding quickly to create only the type and quantities desired.
Partners for your feet and the planet. We strive to constantly evolve as newer more sustainable vegan materials enter the market. We will implement customer feedback to make our shoes softer, more durable, and supportive with each and every production. We’ll get to know your feet, and you’ll get to know your shoemakers!
WOMEN BEHIND THE BRAND
Co-Founder: Keiko Hirosue
Keiko learned how to make shoes from multiple shoemakers, mastering the full range of shoemaking techniques from simpler cemented construction to hand-sewn bespoke methods. She founded Brooklyn Shoe Space, a co-working space for shoemakers and leather workers that has become a hub and resource for shoemakers all around - a resource not available when she started shoemaking. BKSS offers classes from introductory to unique multiple day intensives, and Keiko still teaches all the introductory classes and the six -day intensive. Through Brooklyn Shoe Space, she met so many talented shoemakers, one of them being Rebecca Heykes.
Co-Founder: Rebecca Heykes
Rebecca has been a maker and shoe-lover since childhood. Her professional path began in Milwaukee with a degree in Industrial Design, then two years at Cordwainers in London specializing in shoemaking and footwear design. She moved to NYC to work in the footwear industry. She soon missed making shoes with her hands, and to hone her skillset, became a member of Brooklyn Shoe Space where she met Co-Founder Keiko Hirosue. Soon after, Rebecca also began teaching shoemaking intensive classes and still teaches on occasion. Her range of experience from footwear design to technical production made her the ideal BKSS consultant for clients seeking prototype development.
During their corporate footwear industry days, both Rebecca and Keiko saw the sad reality of the existing overseas production and wholesale system: wasted time, effort and materials, many uncomfortable shoes, and a retail world filled with too many finished goods that end up languishing in stores.
The two began to dream a shared vision: create a local factory that can take on small scale production for shoemakers like themselves - shoemakers that care about fit, and don’t need/want to conform to the fast-fashion calendar. Such a factory didn’t exist, so creating one would ultimately create jobs and contribute to the local economy.
In 2016, two years into discussion/development of the vision, Brooklyn Shoe Space took on its first 60 pair production order. Later that year they had the opportunity to branch out, and with two other partners acquired shoemaking machinery in Williamsburg for prototyping and production outside of the co-working space, and Brooklyn Shoe Factory was formed. During 2017 Brooklyn Shoe Factory grew from 2 employees, to 3, then to 5 fabulous staff.
Needing more space, in October 2017 the factory moved from Williamsburg to Hoboken, NJ and shortened the name to BK Shoe Factory. The new location brought more windows, fewer stairs, and higher ceilings, while still maintaining a pleasant commute for everyone. The factory continued to serve clients’ production and prototyping needs while the idea for the factory's own footwear line began to emerge.
Fast forward to 2019, Loyal is up and running selling cute, comfy, Made in USA shoes direct to customers.
We stayed true to our dream of having a footwear line made by us with our own hands. Loyal to quality shoemaking, Loyal to Rebecca's beliefs as a vegan, Loyal to our staff, Loyal to ourselves, Loyal to our feet... and Loyal to you, our customers. That's Loyal footwear's story.