Online store KOI has opened a vegan unisex footwear store in the Trafford Centre in Manchester, UK, where only 100% vegan leathers and materials are used. Established in 2016, the online store already has an impressive catalogue that includes brands such as Dolls Kill, Urban Outfitters, Zalando, Zumiez, Hot Topic and retail giants ASOS. Now it will be able to sell its products in the 990 square foot store located on the first floor of the Trafford Centre.

Uzair Ahmad, the owner and founder of KOI, said, “pristine marble floors, ceilings that go up to the heavens and iconic brand names were all the things I noticed when I used to walk through The Trafford Centre as a kid. To have the opportunity to have KOI alongside them is a dream come true. We’re excited to be offering a store ahead of Christmas where customers can visually see the quality and originality of our products.”

The Trafford Centre said about the brand, “they’ve been pushing the boundaries of footwear design since 2016 and cater for the contemporary, curious and those who aren’t afraid to stand out from the crowd. With a core range of essentials, unique and out-there designs, their products are ethically designed in-house in Manchester and produced using 100% vegan leathers and materials.”

The fact the store is gender-neutral shows how much it is in sync with the younger generations, less restrained with conventional gender attitudes and more in tune with the reality of modern society. It is not surprising that such progressive views also lead to an ethical stand on the way humans treat animals, so an ethical vegan unisex shop sounds like a coherent retail proposition emblematic of the 21st century. Hopefully more shops around the country — and the world — will take notice.

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.