Brave New Gear

August 12, 2009

Here are some cool tools to add to your aresnal for the approaching autumn. Whether you’re headed back to school or back to work, new flax kicks, acessories, and organic cotton shirts are a good place to start.

Loomstate teams up with Jil Planter for some cool accessories.


The UO Linen Oxford combines a flax upper, a faux-leather inner, and a wood and resin sole. Now that’s smart and on sale for $39.99 .The other styles have real cow skin in them, so stick to these beige kicks.

Paul Smith has a distinguished autumn organic check shirt.

$item.image.namePaul Smith Shirt - Tailored Fit, Organic Cotton Check Shirt

TOPMAN offers up some handsome plimsoles in poly faux-leather brown, and red tartan. These are great for back-to-school and autumn adventures.


Nordstrom has a good selection of organic cotton dress shirts for under $30.

Nordstrom Traditional Fit Organic Cotton Dress ShirtNordstrom Traditional Fit Organic Cotton Dress Shirt

Nordstrom Traditional Fit Organic Cotton Dress ShirtNordstrom Traditional Fit Organic Cotton Dress Shirt

JUNE CONTEST! Win a pair of Bourgeois Bohéme brogues! (US size 10)

June 1, 2009

Win a pair of Bourgeois Bohéme brogues! (US size 10)

Bourgeois Boheme makes amazing, vegan shoes and boots for men and women. These Simpatias have been featured on the blog before, and I am sure someone who is a size 10 will have some happy, handsome feet! These are some of my favorites!

You can win these Bourgeois Bohéme $125 shoes in a few simple steps:

  1. Write a “letter to the editor” of any major fashion magazine you choose: Vogue, GQ, Elle, Cosmo, etc… explaining why leather is disgusting, toxic, unethical and outdated! Here are some facts & tips to help you write! Remember: the goal is to enlighten, not incite! Be respectful, and do not make threats.
  2. Forward that letter to The Subject line must read: JUNE CONTEST: Bourgeois Boheme (otherwise it may get trashed)
  3. The best, most moving and creative letter wins!
  4. Deadline is June 31st.
  5. The winner will be announced July 1st.

* DISCLAIMER: The Discerning Brute takes no responsibility for the content of any letter written in association with this contest.

Brogue Basics

December 2, 2008

These Portuguese-made, eco-friendly, vegan microsuede “Simpatia” wingtip shoes from BoBo are my new obsession. Great with a tux or just a pair of skinny jeans – wingtips, otherwise know as the brogue, are a boys best friend. Wanna know why we steer clear of leather at The Discerning Brute, Click Here, and don’t have a cow!

Check out all the other vegan wingtips & brogue shoes:

Mens Brogues (Black) - click to enlarge Shoe (Brown) - click to enlarge

Brogue (Tan) - click to enlarge Jacob

ASOS Canvas Brogue Plimsoll


Tom Brownernest3ASOS Canvas Brogue Plimsolls

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Wax Weather

September 29, 2008

Waxed canvas could be my favorite new fabric. It’s waterproof, wind resistant, supple, and shares many characteristics with leather (minus the whole killing-of-animals part). Autumn is known for crisp air, rain, and chilly breezes. My advice for fall is waxed cotton all the way from boots to hats. Stay dry, warm, and light! The good thing about these jackets is that they’ll last you forever, and since they’re classics, they never go out of style.


Barbour makes several styles of really nice waxed jackets and hats. I recently got to view four different jackets, and I was told that all their labor is done in Europe (no sweatshops) and their waxes are totally animal-friendly. The Flyer, below, is my favorite for this fall. It’s lightweight, insulated, and has nice detailing. The jacket has a 100% cotton Barbour tartan lining with 30 gauge wadding for extra warmth. Two way front zip under a studded front, cord inner collar with buckle front tap, knitted rib hem and cuffs. Retail $375 Wax Flyer JacketWax Flyer Jacket

Goes Great with:

Backyard Jeans


If you are looking for a more edgy jacket, the International Trials Short Jacket, below,  is a slimmer, shorter length version of Barbour’s iconic motorcycle design. I suggest wearing this style over a slender suit, open with the belt buckled. This jacket is in Barbour’s medium-weight 6 oz. Sylkoil wax with a 100% cotton Barbour tartan lining. Two-way front zip under a studded storm fly front with set-in sleeves and ventilation eyelets. PU Coated polyamide inner drip strip for extra weather protection, corduroy collar and cuffs, and multiple pockets. Retail $379 International Trials ShortInternational Trials ShortGoes Great with:

Gossypium - Wine Vichy Checked ShirtLight Tan Black Red Cotton Ties in Light Tan/Black/Red


Finally, if you’re looking for a longer coat, the Cowen Commando is one of Barbour’s most famous styles. this modern wax jacket was designed from a historic British army pattern, with a Union Jack badge to prove it. Barbour’s heavyweight 8 oz. Weathered wax with tartan lining. The jacket also features reinforced shoulder panels,  a drawcord waist with adjustable toggles and multiple pockets. Retail $419.Cowan Commando JacketCowan Commando JacketGoes Great with:

Gossypium - Denim Striped Shirt Green Yellow Black White Cotton Ties in Green/Yellow/Black/WhiteslateBoBo Holborn Belt BlackTom



Belstaff’s waxed cotton is more expensive than Barbour (averaging around $530). They are gorgeous and leather-free, but they do incorporate Teflon in their canvass, which is toxic, and made by DuPont, a known vivisector and environmental polluter. Therefore I cannot recommend these jackets, and I suggest writing a kind letter to DuPont expressing your disdain for outdated and cruel animal testing, and CC Belstaff!

Belstaff Trialmaster Jacket - BEL007


David Morgan

For a more affordable autumn jacket, David Morgan offers a oil-finish, waxed cotton jacket called the Shelter Cloth Jacket (retail $160). It has a marbleized color, utility pocket, and moleskin collar (don’t worry, moleskin is actually cotton). David Morgan also offers a pretty bad-ass trench coat called The Duster (retail $285).Shelter Cloth JacketGoes Great with:

HickChair Man - Earth-Friendly0-child-full


Duster, Oil Finish Shelter Cloth, shown with Heavyweight Wool Liner

Goes Great with:

granite Recycled tyre belt - slick tread


Wax It Yourself

Do you own a pair of canvas boots or sneaks, a jean jacket, or even a cotton hat? If you want to waterproof it, and give it a chic, slick appearance, you can buy wax and DIY!

Barbour® Thornproof DressingDriza-Bone Oilskin Reproofer (Garment Dressing)

Vegan Gladiators & Their (Supposed) Sandals

April 5, 2008

Did you know that the real-deal Gladiators were vegans? These overweight warriors who ate nothing but barely and beans shatter the pervasive stereotype of frail, weak herbivores. Analysis of the bones of more than 70 gladiators found in 2004 near Ephesus, the Roman capital of Asia Minor, contradicts traditional Hollywood images of macho carnivores with the physique of superheroes as well. Forensic anthropologists revealed these fighters had thicker bone density than their omnivorous counterparts – shattering yet another stereotype of the vegan diet; the calcium myth. How did they treat animals? That’s another story – and apparently, they didn’t actually wear sandals either. They fought bare-foot! But in accordance with the popular fantasy that they did don stylish, strappy sandals – here are a few styles to choose from that will certainly not get you a thumbs down.

Commodus in ‘Gladiator’, played by the vegan Joaquin Phoenix

If you want to look like a barbarian without actually treating cows like one, check out these Splaff Gladiators at MooShoes, made from recycled tires and hemp:

Splaff Gladiator

When in Rome, do as the Romans didn’t – show up in a brown toe-post sandal from Vegetarian Shoes UK. Lightweight cork mid-sole, handmade in Portugal with a padded and contoured footbed, arch support and a deep heel cup. Lined with super-soft micro-fibre fake suede. Lightweight, patterned, Microcellular outsole. Adjustable strap lined with Soft-feel synthetic felt.

If you are more of an eco-warrior into the strappy buckles thing, these Birkenstock-inspired 3 Strap Sandals with faux-suede from Vegetarian Shoes UK should do the trick.

3 Strap Sandal

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Ladies, do not fear, your veg gladiator days are here as well from designers like Cri De Coeur, Steve Madden, and Burgois Boheme.

Benefit Brown Pleather Gladiator SandalMadden Girl Sicilly Black Pleather Gladiator Sandal


KEEP These In Mind

January 21, 2008

100% Cotton Canvas Hi-tops inspired by traditional, indigenous woven-art – technically these come in women’s sizes, so if you are a Men’s 10(US) and under, you’ll be fine with size conversion. Otherwise, for guy like me with size 12, these are not for you. I am showing a few of the styles that do not have wool products in them.


Dudes can be feminists. KEEP’s new hi-tops pay homage to age-old traditions and the handiwork of women everywhere. Stripes abound in woven Mayan fabric straight out of the highlands of Guatemala and hand quilted morning star pieces light the way on our latest Guerra offerings. Tip your hat to the labor of ladies around the world, sit back and get inspired. 100% cotton canvas. Molded rubber sole. 

DBs Etiquette Recommendation: Many people believe that harvesting wool does not involve any cruelty. A few of the styles do utilize wool. For info on why not to support products made from wool, click here.