My friend Barb has been vegan since before it was cute to be. We’re talking pre-Oprah vs. Cows. Pre-environmentally friendly Yugos (aka Toyota Prius), pre-rappers versus rockers showing their eco-prowest on cable tv.  She doesn’t eat meat and trys to avoid wearing animal skin shoes (although I do distinctly remember her owning a pair of knee high black leather boots back in college). She’s also one of the most frugal people I know, even more so than I (see my previous writings about her legendary frugalness) and, bless her heart, she’s blessed with a model’s shape.

Melissa Shoes

So I’m always on the lookout for cheap, yet fashionable options for my dear friend and the other day we received a press release from the folks behind Melissa Shoes.

Melissa Shoes is a 30-year-old Brazilian brand that produces design-forward shoes made from plastic that is continuously recycled. Now when most of us think of plastic shoes, we think of the old shoe “Jellys” that our mom used to buy for us from Walgreens. Erase that thought. This brand has executed some truly amazing collaborations with artists, designers, creative masterminds (such as Alexander Herskovich, Vivienne Westwood) and most the shoes are under $50, with several under $30 (which is quite comparable to the pleather shoes sold at my personal favorite spot Payless). Recently the brand commissioned world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid to create a limited edition shoe to be released this September (line shown above), which look cucooky and therefore appeals to me.

View the Entire Fall/Winter 2008 Collection, online at MelissaPlasticDreams.com