As part of our founder interview series, we speak with Dora Haller from Independent Fox about Veganism, Sustainable Fashion, and the power of choice.
We absolutely love the name Independent Fox. How did you come up with it, and what does it mean to you?
The fox is not only a beautiful animal, but one that has been mistreated by humans for centuries. Naming the brand Independent Fox was a tribute to this wild animal, a wish for her to be able to live freely, as she should. Also, our furry team member, Baggio, an adopted dog, has a slight resemblance to a fox so that played a role as well.
How did you first get involved in the vegan movement and why?
I have been a vegetarian for over a decade but it wasn’t until three years ago that I became aware of how harmful and cruel the dairy industry actually was. I didn’t want to be a part of that anymore and I wanted to do more and more to change the status quo. Food, fashion, lifestyle choices… the more I understood about the real cost of things the more sensible I became to these issues.
Why did you decide to focus on vegan shoes in particular?
The vegan shoe market was missing a comfortable, but still feminine, pair of city sneakers. The pair of shoes that is indispensable in every Parisian woman’s wardrobe, as we hardly ever go to work wearing high heels. I thought that others might have the same problem.
Describe the style of Independent Fox in three words.
Classic, Sleek, Parisian.
Who do you envision wearing Independent Fox?
Everybody, I hope. We all need comfortable yet classy city sneakers, right? The innovative materials we use are way superior to leather and would be the perfect choice for vegans and non-vegans alike. It is surprising but we have more and more buyers who aren’t vegan but choose to wear Independent Fox shoes because they fell in love with the design or because they realised that leather is so last century.
The Independent Fox motto is ‘Treasure Your Choices’. How does this fit the Independent Fox philosophy?
We believe that choices matter and that every choice we make has consequences. Fashion, especially, is a really tricky and often shady area. People should be aware of the real cost of their wardrobe. Once they are, every purchase becomes a choice, one they should be proud of.
‘Ethical Fashion’ is hard to define. What does ‘ethical fashion’ mean to you?
Ethical fashion to me is a conscious choice to see beyond the physical aspects of a product and realise that behind every detail there is a story of human lives, materials and ideas.
What do you look for in other fashion brands that you support?
The first thing I look for is that the brand’s philosophy has to be reflected in all the details: the materials they use, the production process, their vision for the future. If I share the brand’s values I know it will make me happy putting their products on day after day, and for that, I don’t mind paying a higher price. I’m also a huge fan of recycling and upcycling. For instance, I love that the bag I use now used to be plastic bottles, normally doomed to become garbage.
Which style of Independent Fox do you wear most often? What is your favourite look to pair them with?
My favourite is the Laika in black. It’s so versatile; I love that I can wear it with virtually anything. I sometimes match it with something formal but honestly, I am more a “jeans girl’ and mostly like keeping things simple, casual and classic. I especially love clean lines and knitted things…kind of Paris meets Stockholm.
How would you like to see Independent Fox grow in the future?
We are a new brand on the market, but people are already walking in Independent Fox shoes in cities all over the world: amongst others Paris, Vilnius, Budapest, Melbourne and Toronto. That is such a thrill! We’d like to continue creating beautiful minimalistic shoes, come out with new models and colours, and see people leave with them beautiful footprints in every city!