Arial Green in her BENDY shoes

It takes a lot of guts to spearhead the conversation, but that’s exactly what Ariel Green does through her podcast and community, Sustainable Brown Girl.

Sustainable Brown Girl is a place where women and color can showcase the positive changes they’re making for the planet.

Through this outlet, Ariel has been able to highlight environmental activists, climate justice lawyers, and small business owners galore — but we can’t forget just how much Ariel herself is doing for the greater good.

“I created the Sustainable Brown Girl community to highlight, connect, and inspire black, brown, and indigenous women within the sustainability…


Biscuit and me

Phew. This year has brought us fear. It has brought us heartache. And no one’s been spared from the pain that has gripped our world and our country the last few months.

These tough times sure do challenge our resilience and strength.

We all have something or someone that prompts us to completely lose ourselves and forget about our problems, if only for a bit.

For me, it was my pug Biscuit.

Biscuit could lift me from my darkest moods. Whether it was my evil inner voice feeding my worries about my small business riding out this economic tsunami, or…


I’ve been in the shoe business my whole career (more than 30 years!). Over this time, I have learned a lot about shoes. One of the thing I know for sure is what to look for when trying on stylish, comfortable shoes. I have put together this guide.

Buying a new pair of shoes is always exciting. If you want to make the most of your investment, don’t lean too heavily on price. Since stylish walking shoes are engineered differently, it only makes sense they’ll cost a little more.

One thing that is crucial is fit. If the shoe doesn’t…


I’m Mary Sue Papale, co-founder of BENDY by Ashbury Skies. The BENDY is a stylish comfortable shoes with a lower carbon footprint.

What really makes a shoe stylish is the look of the upper and the material that makes it. There are a ton of comfortable shoes that are just plain ugly. But in my quest to find stylish shoes for long days, I’ve found some specific styles to look out for.

Mary janes

Mary janes are a great choice for a stylish walking shoe. The strap across the top of the foot gives a secure fit while the adjustable…


Avoid these when looking fore comfortable shoes

If you have read my guides on what to look for when looking for stylish, comfortable shoes, you already know what makes up cute and comfortable shoes. But here are some things to steer clear of on your quest for the perfect pair.

I’m Mary Sue Papale, co-founder of BENDY by Ashbury Skies. The BENDY is a stylish comfortable shoes with a lower carbon footprint. I have been in shoe my entire career so I have some street cred.

Synthetic materials

Synthetic shoes tend to be cheaper, but they come at a cost. Faux leather shoes come from sheets of…


I’m Mary Sue Papale, co-founder of BENDY by Ashbury Skies. The BENDY is a stylish comfortable shoes with a lower carbon footprint.

Mary Sue Papale, on stylish, comfortable shoes

I‘ve been in the shoe business my whole career (more than 30 years!). If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that tired, throbbing feet are often the result of improper shoes, affecting people even more than being on their feet all day long. Over time, I’ve figured out what it takes for a shoe to be just as comfortable as it is cute.

It’s the age-old dilemma. Comfortable shoes that complement your style? Yeah, that’s a tricky one…


Let’s get to the sole of it.

image of a bendy shoe

The eco-friendly answer is often right in front of our eyes. Why eat imported food when you can opt for produce from the local farmer’s market? Why use plastic bags when you have that reusable tote sitting in your car? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t always so obvious.

On the surface, a pair of vegan shoes might seem like the most eco-friendly option, but what happens when you really delve into it? I compared sustainable leather shoes to vegan footwear, and here are the surprising results.

What Is Vegan Leather?

Manufacturers often make vegan leather shoes using an…


By Mary Sue Papale and Caroline de Baere

We know and love shoes. We have spent our entire careers in the footwear industry and witnessed radical change over the past 20 years in how shoes are distributed and sold. Little evolution, however, has occurred in how shoes are sourced and made.

The fashion industry has sacrificed the planet, and in many cases, the well-being of workers for the bottom line. …


a tale about fast fashion

This story is about a lesson learned in the shoe business from an unlikely source: a boba tea drink. At the time, it seemed like an innocuous event in my travels, just sharing refreshments with a vendor, but I later came to realize it was a profound moment in my career.

I am an admitted reformed fast-fashion executive. I was a cog in the wheel that perpetuated unsustainable business practices that are still going strong today. I am not proud of this at all.

TAKE IT FROM AN INSIDER

At one point in my career, I was in the low-end…


The most comfortable shoes for standing all day

Foolproof tips on picking comfortable women shoes.

The Bendy; a modern, comfortable shoes by Ashbury Skies

If you are like most women, you have many pairs of shoes in your closet. Of course, we all have statement shoes or stiletto heels that look amazing but are not so comfortable. Women have been known to tolerate a fairly high pain threshold to look good. There are times and places for these kinds of shoes, I get it. But then there are times when you need a shoe for standing all day; a time when a sneaker is not an option. Any modern…

Mary Sue Papale

I am co-founder of Bendy by Ashbury Skies. The BENDY is a stylish, comfortable shoe with a lower carbon footprint, ethically made California.

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