Lady Spent: NewbarK

Ethically-made products for ethically-minded women.

Brand: NewbarK

Product(s): shoes, bags

Price: $240 – $790

Eco / Ethical: made to last in Los Angeles

I’m too old for uncomfortable shoes. Way back when, I bought many (many) shoes with no regard for wearability. Subsequently, I’d often find my myself changing pairs throughout the day in an attempt to alleviate discomfort! But who has time for that? I certainly don’t (not anymore, at least). 

Now, like with everything else in my wardrobe, I find myself buying higher quality, more expensive shoes, and then wearing them until they fall apart (and then getting them repaired, and starting the whole process over again). I’ve found great American-made boots and sandals, but until recently, the only cool AND ethical flats or loafers I could find were made in Europe or Central America. Which is obviously fine, but I always like to support domestically produced brands when I can.

Fortunately, NewbarK, the brand behind some of my favorite US-made sandals, has expanded their collection to include boots, loafers, and mules, all of which are handcrafted in downtown Los Angeles.

NewbarK (the brand name comes from the saying, “My dogs are barking!”) was founded in 2009 by stylist sisters Maryam and Marjan Malakpour. It’s a stylist’s job to know what’s on-trend at any given time, plus, they’re on their feet all day, so they’re basically exactly the people you want to buy shoes from.

Newbark’s styles are simple but impeccably made using best-in-class materials – luxe leather, fur, canvas, and suede with minimal hardware. I’ve been stumbling around in a pair of their sandals for over two years, and they still look perfect. And I just picked up a pair of their boots, which are already super comfortable, without any breaking-in. And that’s a very good thing, because I’ve got better things to do – and I’m sure you do too!

(FYI: there are currently a ton of NewbarK shoes on sale at The Outnet. Always nice to get some high quality, American-made shoes at a great price.)

Rita Mehta shops for a living and talks a lot. She launched her website, The American Edit, and podcast, Why Do We Have Things? so she’d have a place to talk about some of the things she’s most passionate about: American made design, responsible manufacturing, and conscious consumption. You can follow her on Instagram or Twitter.