B.B. Shoemaker: Stepping in the right direction

Finding ethical and sustainable shoes isn’t easy. Like many clothing chains, shoes are often mass produced, and finding out who actually made your pair for you? Near impossible.

That’s why I was rather excited to find B.B. Shoemaker, aka Beccy Bromilow, who’s taking the ancient craft of shoemaking and leather-working into today – with a definitive Aussie (and sustainable) spin.

BB x VT sandal: B.B. Shoemaker collaboration with sustainable fashion brand
Vege Threads - handmade using vegetable tanned kangaroo leather.

Starting with custom footwear for friends (and friends of friends!), B.B. Shoemaker has just turned one, with owner and maker Beccy already carving a niche with her use of vegetable-tanned kangaroo leather.

"I had done a lot of research into where leather comes from and how it is made, and I started to feel very torn with the art of shoemaking and the unsustainable issues behind leather tanneries,” B.B. Shoemaker owner, designer and maker Beccy Bromilow says.

"Most leather used in footwear is made using toxic chemicals that emit a heavy amount of pollution and water waste."

B.B. Shoemaker lace-up sandals.
“I chose to use vegetable-tanned leathers because compared with chrome tanned and many vegan fake leather products it has much less impact on the environment.

"This is the traditional way of tanning leather with tannins from plant roots and bark.

“I had already played around with kangaroo leather and I chose to use it because of its sustainable factors - it is the by-product of kangaroo culling in Australia so it would go to waste if not used for leather. It is also the strongest leather while still being lightweight.”

All the kangaroo vegetable-tanned leather Beccy uses is local, being tanned in her home state of South Australia.

And it’s with fellow SA sustainable fashion brand Vege Threads that things really kicked off for Beccy and B.B. Shoemaker. (Read more about Vege Threads and owner Amy Roberts in my blog post here).

“Soon after starting I met up with Amy from Vege Threads. She had asked for a sandal for her upcoming summer shoot," Beccy says.

B.B. Shoemaker sharing a market stall with fellow SA label Vege Threads.

“The sample went really well so we decided to collab the veg-tanned kangaroo sandal. It was a great starting for B.B. and set me on a good track.

“Once I finished the first round of pre-ordered sandals I started on my first range of boots and shoes that are all made-to-order, while also continuing to create more custom-made shoes for individuals wanting something different.”

Vegetable-tanned leather accessories
by B.B. Shoemaker.

Winter this year saw Beccy take up the opportunity to work in the factory of an Australian-based footwear brand – an experience that made her want to throw even more into her own brand.

“It was a great experience but a very tough job and has given me a different perspective on the whole fashion/footwear manufacturing industry,” Beccy says.

“I decided it was time to give more time to B.B. and so I’m back on track creating more styles and a new range.”

B.B. Shoemaker owner Beccy Bromilow in her workspace.
Beccy’s also planning some exciting collaborations, including with one of her Adelaide-based favourites (and mine!) Naomi Murrell.

And with plans to make more limited stock and sell her wares with stockists around Australia, that's great news for us shoe enthusiasts and sustainable fashion advocates!

- Ash

B.B. Shoemaker Derby.


  1. Hey there - we're featuring Shift Style in our IG round up for the Good On You blog. The post will go live Monday. Would love you to share with your community! :)

    Beth - bethany@goodonyou.org.au


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