[Interview] Devika Srimal Bapna Talks About Kanabis Shoes, Her PETA-Approved Vegan Brand

Not leather? Check.

Good or wait brilliant quality? Check.

Animal friendly? Check

Fad? Yes. Check.

The style, quality and vivacity with a tinge of pocket friendliness and the identification of Kanabis shoes as a ‘PETA approved vegan’ – all are bound to comfort your sole (pun intended). Don’t believe us, do you? Check out our interview with Devika Srimal Bapna from one of the most rad brands ever.

…I am not going to fit into shoes too tight or too loose,
For, I am comfortable in my own two shoes.

Kan-a-please have  your attention while the sparrow takes you through the most intriguing tête-à-tête with the founder as she opens up to us about her task force, goals and inspiration behind her brainchild, Kanabis.


1. ‘KANABIS’ is one of the most unique names we’ve come across. Could you tell us how you came about with this idea?

Ideas are everywhere. Kanabis was one of the many business ideas I had, but the first idea I was most convinced about, so I took the plunge to execute it.

As an animal lover and PETA volunteer, I gave up leather few years ago and had a tough time finding good non-leather shoes that were stylish, good quality and affordable. I noticed the unstructured footwear industry in India-we either have the non-Indian players that are expensive and mostly do leather shoes or the unorganized/unbranded segment where quality, price, make etc. is questionable. It was almost a light-bulb moment when I thought- ‘what the heck, I should start my own brand!

We are a PETA approved vegan and we use a lot of canvas (which is also the inspiration behind the name), and play with a mix of high quality jute, crochet, lace, PU and fabric.

2. What is the “sole” inspiration behind this vegan idea?

Canvas was historically made from hemp, which came from Cannabis (aka marijuana). Since we are using a lot of canvas in our shoes it seemed appropriate to use the root word (with a tweak).


3. Why do you invest so much in canvas material?

Canvas is not the only material we use but its one of our favorites. One can do a lot with canvas – it’s durable and looks great with prints and different colors.

4. Tell us about your team of Oompa Loompas.

It’s a bootstrapped operation. We are a small team, consisting of our designer -Anshul Tyagi, an intern – Niharika Singla, our warehouse manager – Pradeep and our business advisor – Akshay Srimal and me. Anshul and I work closely on the designs for the season. Niharika helps us with the day-to day operations, order processing and helping us out with our exhibitions. Akshay is based out of the US, but remotely monitors our business strategy.


5. What are the secret ingredients and steps that your team follows?

We are a small team right now but everyone is extremely enthusiastic about working at Kanabis and that is the biggest motivation. No one shies away from coming to work even on a Sunday if needed. We work hard, sell hard and also ensure we have some fun along the way.

6. Where do you see this golden ticket, KANABIS in a few years from now?

Our strategy is to bring that something new every season and expand our offering. We are learning from customer feedbacks and responding to the needs. This year we plan to continue the quirkiness with sneakers!



Her story is truly a galvanizing one,

Her love for the team inspires all and one.

She makes them with jute and lace,

All she adds is poise and grace.

Shoes she makes with a twist and spin,

Wanna know more? Stay tuned with Kanabis.in.

Images courtesy of Kanabis

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