Devika Srimal Bapna Gets Us Tripping To Her Cannabis Vegan Shoes
- IWB Post
- February 10, 2017
We’re all suckers for good shoes. You know what Marilyn Monroe said, “Give a girl the right pair of shoes and she’ll conquer the world.”
Devika Srimal Bapna turned the phrase around when she began with Kanabis. “Give a girl the right idea, and she’ll conquer the shoe world.”
Devika’s idea was simple and more importantly, compassionate. Even though from a CA background, she wanted to make shoes that were leather-less. Well yeah, she’d sworn off leather for quite some time, but realized that it was more than just difficult to find comfortable shoes that were free from animal cruelty.
While she told me about how it all began, I couldn’t stop wondering why the brand was called Kanabis. Anyone? Well, let’s get Devika to answer this one.
“Historically canvas was made from hemp, which came from the cannabis plant. Since the raw material I use the most is canvas, I decided to call it Kanabis with a K. It’s catchy, though, right?”
Me: It’s catchy as hell. Do you ever think of drawing green leaves on shoes, too? I’d buy them. No, but really, who designs the shoes?
Devika: The first thing I did when I started the brand was to get a footwear designer. But yeah, I get to learn a lot, too. Each fabric is handpicked, and selection is given all the time in the world. In fact, I personally make sure that I’m always available while shopping for the fabric.
Me: Did you always know you wanted to do this?
Devika: I’ve had the entrepreneurial itch since I was a little girl. I had a lot of ideas, and in my job, if there was one thing missing, it was satisfaction. I started by noticing the kind of shoe people wear, and it happened. I knew what I wanted.
To make aesthetically breathing shoes, and the key to good shoes is the comfort. The samples began to take shape, which led us to understand that no two feet in the world are the same.
Me: Do you also try to follow a vegan diet?
Devika: I’m a vegetarian. Though, I used to be a PETA volunteer, and completely support it. Our brand is also, in fact, PETA approved.
Me: What raw materials replace leather in your shoes?
Me: What is one difficulty that vegan shoes come with?
Devika: Only awareness. People don’t understand vegan fashion. Very few of them are aware but take a walk around the street, and you’ll be surprised to see how price sensitivity is also a hindrance when it comes to encouraging vegan fashion.
We’re also slowly moving towards being plastic-free. Hopefully, it will happen soon.
Me: One shoe trend you’re trying to set?
Devika: We’re trying to adapt the running trend and then add tweaks to it. But, if you talk about the trend, I think we’re doing jazzy and comfort fashion. Because, as I said, comfort is the key.
Me: A celeb you’d want to see in your shoes.
Devika: Stella McCartney.
Me: White/Printed shoes?
Devika: I’ve always wanted to be taller so heels!
Devika: Wedges, definitely.
Devika: I don’t want to be boastful, but I love Kanabis, and I wear them everywhere. So, yeah, it would have to be Kanabis, but hopefully, no shoe bites there!
Me: If you had to impart a bit of shoe-wisdom, what would it be?
Devika: Take care of your shoes. Keep the shoe-stuffing in, and they’ll stay in shape. Always maintaining them in their boxes also prolongs their life. Heck, some people even dry clean their shoes, so do that if you feel so!
Me: Do you have pets?
Devika: No, I don’t have pets, sadly. But, if I’m not at work, you’ll probably see me playing with the pooches on the street. They need love, too.
Me: A shoehorn tip for us?
Devika: Putting your shoes in the freezer by filling them up with water can stretch out your shoes and expand them. Try it out. *wink*
You can visit Devika’s online Vegan shoe store here.