January 21, 2016

I caught up with Francisca Pineda of Bhava Studio about her growing vegan , eco-conscious footwear brand.



Frustrated with the lack of high-quality vegan shoes that could compete in the market alongside high fashion brands, Costa Rica native and Parsons graduate Francisca Pineda took her years of fashion designing experience in NYC and launched her footwear brand, Bhava Studio, to create ethical shoes that would fill that void.

Pineda didn’t initially set out to design vegan-friendly footwear; she was fully entrenched in the fashion industry and was living her life as she describes as a typical, UN-conscious fashion designer working day and night in an industry she did not question.

She says, “Sometimes you get to meet these beautiful wise old souls that seem to be born understanding and practicing compassion in every aspect of their life, that was not me. I definitely got sucked into the superficiality of a well paying job in NY and traveling all around the world for large brands. I thought I had it all figured out and was quite pleased with myself until everything changed overnight. I had just been promoted to oversee all accessories when I started noticing that the off-gassing from the China made product was giving me headaches, so I started doing some research on the toxicity and manufacturing practices of the factories we worked with. These factories worked with the major brands that constitute the American fashion industry today.  I started delving into what exactly goes into the goods that we buy from mass manufacturers and that started my understanding of the reality of the industry I was once so proud to work for.”…

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