In today’s climate (no pun intended) more and more people are searching for more sustainable options when it comes to fashion and shoes are no exception. Below we detail 32+ sustainable shoe brands that are working hard to reduce the footwear industry’s huge impact on the environment.
If time is precious we recommend checking out Allbirds. After researching this article, I personally purchased a pair and I love them. Not to mention their shoes are carbon neutral (with offsets)
If you are looking for more specific shoes, why not check out our other guides:
• Sustainable Running Shoes
• Sustainable Men’s Shoes
• Sustainable Boots
• Sustainable Sandals
• Sustainable Kids Shoes
• Sustainable Flats
• Sustainable Slippers
• Shoes Made from Recycled Plastic
• Sustainable Slip-ons
• Sustainable Hemp Shoes
Best Sustainable Brands & Shoes
A piece of freedom in a pair of shoes… Sustainable minimalist shoes designed in Germany, produced in Portugal.
Wildling takes you to places where in your head, you’ve already arrived – whether as a new walker with a new, two-legged perspective, as a little adventurer, a teenage conqueror, or an apparent grown-up who’s living the feeling of being able to do everything under your own steam.
Wilding Shoes are definitely one of the best sustainable shoe brands out there.
Using Mother Nature as a muse, Allbirds has set out to make their footwear out of materials that exist all around us instead of synthetics. Merino wool, which they ensure is sustainably sourced, is one such material. Other all natural materials include castor bean oil and a tree fiber (TENCEL™ Lyocell) that is responsibly sourced from trees in South Africa. The way these trees are grown requires no irrigation or fertilizing, and also uses 95% less water than cotton. Allbirds also use recycled plastic bottles in the creation of their shoe laces and recycled cardboard in all their packaging.
Allbirds has a large variety of shoes for both men and women: boat shoes, running shoes, flats, high-tops, and slip-ons. No matter your color or style preference, Allbirds is certain to have a pair of shoes that you’ll love.
Also, as far as sustainable shoes brands go, they are most of the eco friendly out there.
Find out more at Allbirds.com
Baabuk’s wool shoes are both stylish and sustainable. All wool used in the fabrication of their shoes is handmade into a net-like fabric that holds its shape, and there are no chemicals used during the process, only hot water and soap. The wool used by Baabuk is sustainably sourced and the wool itself is incredibly durable. That durability means the wool will last longer and needs to be washed less, saving water and energy. The renewable nature of the wool allows for repeated, eco-friendly shearings for years to come.
With a large selection of sneakers, slippers, and slip-ons, Baabuk has plenty of shoes for casual, everyday wear. There are plenty of shoe and lace colors to choose from, so be sure to tap into your creative side to get that perfect pair!
Find out more at Baabuk.com
Designed with durability, simplicity, and comfort in mind – Loom shoes are everything sustainable shoes should be. They keep feet dry and fresh regardless of the weather.
With a merino wool interior, the breathable surface of these waterproof shoes regulates temperature, is antibacterial, and anti-odor. The H2-Go layer is 100% waterproof, while the wool-lined cushion helps minimize foot pressure while walking.
Sustainable men’s shoes come in sizes from 6 to 13 (US) and are available in black and white. As for the sustainable women’s shoes, they’re available in sizes 5 to 11 (US) and also come in black and white.
Loom sustainable shoes are lightweight, reduce foot fatigue, and make long-hour walks more enjoyable. The flexible form-fitting design allows for a full range of motion, protecting the ankles, knees, and shins from the shocks.
These sustainable shoes are vegan-friendly and are made with cruelty-free material from the world’s most eco-friendly farms.
Find out more at LoomFootwear.com
Biankina is committed to sustainability while also working to change the impact that the footwear industry has on the planet.
They make sneakers, espadrilles, and sandals from plant-based materials or recycled materials. Their collection is designed in Barcelona and handcrafted by European artisans.
Their shoe-making process involves vulcanizing their all-natural materials including rubber, jute, recycled fabrics, and organic cotton, ensuring a durable, flexible shoe that is just as comfortable as it is stylish.
Biankina’s shoes are minimalistic, sporty and chic, and come in many solid colors that go with any outfit. There are several styles to choose from as well as wedges, slip-ons, slides, lace-ups or flats, all of which are breathable and built to last. With This shoe bard eco-friendly sneakers, espadrilles, and sandals, you can look good and do good — every purchase plants two trees.
Kavat make the bold claim that they are the most sustainable footwear company worldwide.
Kavat represents Swedish design, a high-quality standard, sustainability, timelessness, 75 years of history, courage, curiosity, pioneer spirit, transparency, craftsmanship, and passion.
We have always been shoemakers and will always be shoemakers. We have genuine knowledge about shoes, about leather – we have years – decades
– of experience when it comes to the production of shoes. We know how to make great shoes: it takes passion, time, and craftsmanship.
We are never 100 percent satisfied and always keep working on even better solutions and new materials to improve our products and reduce our carbon footprint.
Kavat are also a popular choice as an alternative to the popular Allbirds.
BENDY is simple, comfortable, stylish and planet friendly. The BENDY has less than 8 components vs 25-30 in an average leather sneaker. This means comparatively BENDY uses less labor and fewer emissions are needed to make the shoes. And because they are made in California, there is less transportation, BENDY has a lower carbon footprint than other leather Asian-made shoes.
Additionally, unlike most shoes, BENDY is stitched together instead of glued. This reduces toxic glue during assembly and reduces worker exposure to toxic vapors.
Bendy has a double thick, cushioned insole that feels like you are stepping down on a pillow. The footbed is made of slow recovery, breathable, eco foam. It’s similar to the kind you would find in a high-performance running shoe and will form to your particular foot shape.
Baabushka supports the growth of independent women workers worldwide. Baabushka ensures they are paid fair wages, with benefits, to help ensure these amazing women not only independently provide for their families, but to improve their lives. Every slipper these talented artisans create feature their personal signature — a unique stitch that gives you the opportunity to know the person behind your slipper. Baabushka also donates a percentage of sales to Global Citizen, an international non-profit working to end extreme poverty.
Find out more at Baabushka
Verdura’s shoes are sustainable from toe to heel as they’re made from pretty surprising recycled materials: fish nets, and that’s in addition to the recycled cork for the insoles and the recycled rubber or recycled vegetable tanned leather for the soles. The founder of this shoe brand, Andrea Verdura, got his start on his eco-friendly footwear path when one of his sandals broke while he was walking in Australia. He made a new pair from a used tire taken from a Fiat 500, and from there the rest is history.
Any eco-concerned individual on the hunt for the perfect pair of shoes would do themselves a favor to see what this company has to offer. The overall aesthetic of them all is similar but somehow strikingly unique, and it’s guaranteed you will draw attention while wearing these remarkable shoes. Whether you’re looking for a boot, a slip-on, or a sandal, Verdura has it all.
The term sustainable sneaker isn’t taken lightly by this brand. Z Shoes are made with 100% sustainably sourced, high-quality natural materials and developed in partnership with Not For Sale to fight human trafficking with every purchase. Z Shoes are committed to developing the infrastructure of the Amazonian communities from which their materials are sourced, and supporting their empowerment.
Z Shoes features:
- Constructed with organic, sustainably harvested cotton from the Solo y San Miguel regions of Peru, supporting indigenous people at their roots.
- Organic plant dyes are utilized, so your toes never touch toxic chemicals.
- Soles made with sustainably-harvested Amazonian Sharinga rubber,
- Z Shoes take people and planet with the highest concern, constantly striving for a more sustainable shoe.
United by Blue is a company whose entire purpose is to produce quality outdoor gear with a focus on reducing environmental impact. Every single item produced by United by Blue is made with responsible and/or recycled materials. In addition, the company schedules routine garbage clean-ups for streams, creeks, and rivers and is always looking for like-minded individuals to volunteer for their efforts at preserving nature.
United by Blue is currently running a Kickstarter campaign centered around “The World’s Most Eco-Friendly Shoe.” The shoe itself is stylish and comfortable and is made from sustainable materials such as bison fiber, merino wool, recycled cork, bamboo, algae foam, and rice rubber. They benefit from the ReCORK program, which is the largest cork recycling organization currently operating in North America. There’s a full sustainability report on the Kickstarter page, letting you see just what makes these shoes so amazing.
Bhava is a company that is devoted entirely to eliminating any and all fashion victims through their production processes. These victims, as outlined on Bhava’s website, are:
• The animals – Millions are slaughtered on a per-year basis by the leather industry.
• The planet – The leather industry’s impact on the environment is a critical one.
• The workers – Cheap labor and horrendous working conditions affect workers in many parts of the world.
• The consumers – Poor quality footwear can lead to injuries, both temporary and long-lasting.
Bhava’s footwear is perhaps the very definition of sustainable, ethical fashion as they use no animal products whatsoever and have ensured that their approach to design and manufacturing is done with the environment, worker conditions, and of course consumer health in mind.
Regardless of whether you’re shopping for winter or summer, Bhava has eco-friendly footwear perfect for the occasion. Materials used as alternatives to animal products include cork-lined insoles, vegan leather, and organic cotton shearling. Included with each product is an informative write-up detailing where the footwear is made and who it’s crafted by.
The mission of Thesus (formerly Alice & Whittles) is to help create a world where society is better connected to the planet, to themselves, and communities. The co-founders of this brand once had jobs at the UN, which proves how serious they are at making an effort to improve the world we live in. The rubber they use for their rain boots comes from forests that are sustainably managed in Sri Lanka and they also used recycled plastics removed from the ocean.
Thesus’ selections of rain boots and sneakers are unpretentious and functional while still being stylish. We love the simplicity and comfort of their unisex Anyday Rain Boots, which as the name suggests is perfect for the everyday! Just because they’re made from sustainable and recycled materials doesn’t make them any less effective, comfortable, or durable. These shoes are designed from the beginning with sustainability in mind, which means they are meant to endure long past other footwear of the same type ever will.
It has never been more apparent than now that we as a united front need to take better care of the world we live in. This shoe brand is entirely dedicated to not only improving lives, but ensuring that they do their part to protect our planet. To reach that end, they are devoted to making sure that every choice they make, from design to manufacturing, is made with sustainability in mind. This includes using organic cotton, with the goal of 100 percent of the cotton they use being sustainable by 2025. They also use green packaging with some materials that are from sustainably managed forests, and at least 80 percent of the rest is also recycled materials.
TOMs has an extensive selection of men’s, women’s, and kids footwear for every occasion. You’ll be able to find: Flats, Dress shoes, Sneakers, Boots, Slip-ons, Boat shoes, Sandals, Heels and more.
There’s also a vast array of colors, patterns, and designs to choose from, ensuring that even the pickiest shopper will be able to find something they like. Most the outdoor shoes have great sole cushioning, soles made for high-traction, and hand-washable insoles for easy maintenance.
Also, check out our article on Toms Alternatives
Rothy’s mission statement says it all:
“Shaping a sustainable future is at the core of everything we do at Rothy’s. We’re all about transforming eco-friendly materials into stylish, wear-everywhere products to love.”
Every process they undertake in creating their footwear is done with a zero-waste goal in mind. They use a mixture of handcrafting and 3D knitting tech in order to achieve a seamless mixture of both quality and comfort. Some of the materials they utilize include plastic from recycled water bottles and bio-based algae strobel boards, and Rothy’s ensures that there is no box-in-box waste with every order.
Rothy’s has boots, flats, loafers, and sneakers and they are all available in a plethora of styles and colors, letting you supplement your wardrobe for every possible occasion. In addition to eye-catching fashion statements, these shoes are also incredibly comfortable and durable, meaning that you’ll get your money’s worth and then some.
If you’re in the market for some sustainable sneakers, look no further than VEJA. This shoe brand utilize upcycling, reusing plastic bottles, polyester, and organic cotton. The rubber used in their shoe production is bought from Seringueiro communities in the Amazon, and the soles of VEJA’s shoes are from between 18 to 22 percent natural rubber. They also make use of organic cotton, all of which is purchased by the company directly from producer associations in northeastern Brazil.
VEJA’s sneakers are comfortable without sacrificing any of their minimalistic style and are available in a number of different varieties. While browsing VEJA’s catalogue online, you’ll see that every pair of shoes has a detailed breakdown of all materials used, where the materials are sourced from, and the product designers so that you can make your choice based on your own ethical compass.
Recycling is the name of the game with Indosole, a company that grabs tires before they can be taken to a landfill in order to prevent them from being burned, subsequently preventing needless pollution. This shoe brand have a special sourcing team that pays visits to tire brokers and garages all over Indonesia to secure the materials. The sidewall of the tires is removed, cut by hand into the desired shape, and is thus transformed into a shoe sole. The supply of used tires is never-ending and sustainable, meaning that Indosole will always have more than enough for their products
Indosole’s shoes are fun and trendy, made for men, women, and children. They’re perfect for your summer ensembles, offering both comfort, breathability, and durability. Most of their shoes come in myriad colors, so if you want to buy more than one pair to supplement your wardrobe, they’ve got you covered.
Not only does Bourgeois Boheme offer vegan shoes, they also offer sustainable vegan leather shoes with their innovative Piñatex™ line. Piñatex™ is a leather that is entirely vegan as it is a textile made from the fiber of pineapple leaves and it perfectly fills specific textile roles in the fashion industry that make it perfect for shoe design. The pineapple fiber that’s used in the fabrication of Piñatex™ is the material that’s thrown out by restaurants or grocery stores, allowing Bourgeois Boheme to do their part in cutting down on needless waste.
London-based Bourgeois Boheme has a lot of footwear to offer, including women’s heels, boots, sandals, and flats along with men’s dress shoes, sneakers, and boots. Regardless of whether you’re looking for something to wear to work or during your casual hours, you’ll be able to find what you need.
American-based Susi Studio makes both vegan and eco-friendly shoes fit for everyday, casual, and formal use. The company’s goal is to promote a state of conscious living, perfectly summed up in a simple statement on their website:
“Think vegan footwear for the modern woman.”
It is Susi Studio’s mission to create women’s footwear that is sustainable, stylish, and capable of inspiring compassion for the world around us. They don’t use products derived from animals and instead make use of recycled materials such as plastic bottles, and also utilize sustainably sourced materials like hemp, canvas, recycled microsuede, and denim. This brand also ensures that they deal only with ethically-minded manufacturers in order to create a supply chain that is truly environmentally conscious and transparent.
This sustainable shoe brand has collection of women’s wedges, boots, and heels is impressive, particularly considering the materials they are made out of. They look like they could have come right off the runway, making them a must-have addition for any savvy fashionista.
This Portuguese brand wears their mission in their name: No Animal Exploitation. To that end, this company is focused entirely on producing footwear that’s as functional and aesthetically pleasing as other name brands. In addition, Nae Vegan is devoted to minimizing their environmental impact, as well as making certain that every step in their production processes are ethical and fair. In terms of sustainability, their shoes are made of the aforementioned Piñatex™ in addition to recycled materials such as airbags and plastic bottles.
Nae Vegan has vegan shoes for men and women alike, in a variety of styles and function. If you’re looking for a more utilitarian vibe, you’ll find it on their website – and the same goes for cute shoes, fierce shoes, and colorful shoes. Nae Vegan is almost your one-stop eco-friendly shop for footwear!
This shoe brand is fierce about their commitment to style and to being eco-friendly. In their own words, they have “an unwavering commitment to drive a brand that compromises neither luxury or sustainability.” They have also been certified as a Benefit Corporation, which means that their positive influence on the environment and society is quantifiable. One percent of all Veerah’s proceeds are donated to organizations centered around social impact.
Veerah’s shoes are gorgeous, colorful, and chic, but are also made of some pretty surprising materials, most all of them sustainable. Perhaps the most astonishing is the leather that is made out of apple skin peels! Other sustainably sourced materials that Veerah uses include cork, recycled plastic bottles, and organic cotton lining. These shoes are designed for quality but leave minimal impact on the environment and thus are a must-have for the eco-minded individual with an eye for fashion.
Ethletic is a company that is devoted to ensuring sustainability, as evidenced by their numerous awards, including 2015’s “Most Sustainable Shoe Brand” as given by Rank a Brand. You can get a better idea of just how focused they are on an ethical, eco-friendly approach to their manufacturing by taking a look at the materials they use:
• FSC-certified rubber – The natural rubber that Ethletic uses is sourced from FSC-certified plantations. The rubber is used to make shoe soles, through a vulcanization process that uses natural latex milk.
• Fairtrade cotton – All cotton used by Ethletic comes from Fairtrade-certified organizations, which ensure fair wages and safe working conditions for all workers.
The shoes you’ll find on Ethletic’s website are men’s and women’s sneakers, all of them trendy, comfortable, and designed to last for years. They come in both hi-cut and lo-cut styles in a variety of colors and are perfect for casual backpacking and for everyday use. Of all the vegan shoes and sneakers out there, Ethletic’s are definitely among the most sustainable and the most stylish!
This brand’s motto is simple but poignant: “Live beautifully.” Their values focus on protecting nature by always searching for ways to perfect and improve their sourcing and manufacturing methods. They are entirely committed to using no animal-based materials whatsoever in their products and instead only use sustainable and recycled materials such as recycled cork, nylons, rubber, cardboard, and plastic bottles.
MATT & NAT’s shoes cover a broad spectrum: for women, you’ll find heels, boots, flats, and sneakers, along with sandals, boots, and sneakers for men. They are all made with longevity in mind, but the stylish factor doesn’t suffer because of it, making these shoes the perfect fit for working professionals as well as people who just love to wear shoes that look incredible.
This is a grassroots brand that creates truly novel handmade sandals only out of sustainable and recycled materials. Those materials include:
- Organic cotton – the cotton used by NSM is domestically grown and organically, sustainably farmed.
- Rope – the rope these shoes are constructed of is created in North Carolina and consists partially of recycled polypropylene cord. Due to how very strong it is, this rope is also incredibly durable, which is a large part of what makes it eco-friendly.
- Packaging materials – a great many brands make use of excessive packaging practices, which is extremely wasteful. The shoes you order from NMS will arrive in a mailbag and will only be fastened together with a simple string.
NMS’ sandals are one-of-a-kind in terms of appearance, with a simple, striking island aesthetic. They come in solid colors or with multiples and are guaranteed to capture people’s attention no matter where you go. The rope may look uncomfortable but is surprisingly comfy, in addition to being nearly unbreakable. These sandals are a worthwhile investment for anyone who likes to spend a lot of time outdoors in warm weather.
Saola is a brand with a commitment to creating a sustainable future by reducing the negative footprint that the textile industry leaves on the environment. To that end, Saola is very particular about what is used in their shoe manufacturing, selecting eco-friendly and recycled materials such as algae foam in the outsoles, recycled plastic bottles in the uppers, recycled EVA in the outsoles, cork in the insoles, and organic cotton for the laces.
Saola’s slip-ons and sneakers are for both men and women and while they provide practical and comfortable support, they are also the epitome of casual confidence. With several different varieties and just as many colors, these shoes are a necessary edition for those with an eye for fashion and a mind for the environment.
MOVMT stands for The People’s Movement, a brand that is driven to create clean designs while at the same time contributing to a cleaner world. They use eco-conscious and upcycled materials in order to make their shoes, and also partner with environmentally-focused groups to further research and action. MOVMT’s shoes are made from organic, sustainably farmed cotton, nickel-free metals, and water-based glues. The upcycled plastics they use come from plastic bags that are collected in Bali and are then blended with eco-friendly materials in order to make textiles.
MOVMT’s sneaker selection may be small, but they are lightweight and chic and have a memory foam insole that will give you unrivaled comfort no matter if you are wearing the shoes for short hikes, for days out with your friends, or even during your daily journey to the gym. The wax-treated laces won’t fray and they, like the rest of the shoe, are built sturdy and up to the task.
This LA brand makes shoes with bold designs meant to support the lifestyle of the modern woman. Matisse’s shoes are manufactured in five different countries by family-owned factories that have been in partnership with Matisse for decades. In addition, all factories employ fair wages and treatment for all employees. Matisse is also for eco-minded, utilizing recycled textiles and leathers in any part of shoe fabrication that they can, meaning that anything from the uppers to the heels are made from recycled materials. Matisse also makes a focused effort to source sustainably, and the technologies they utilize in the manufacturing process lessen waste water.
Matisse’s footwear is incredibly fashionable and you can select solid colors or animal patterns to really personalize your style. The wedge heels have a hip tribal vibe while the boots have a seamless blend of urban sophistication. Whether you’re into the beach aesthetic or are more interested in a street edge, Matisse’s shoes fit the bill.
Coclico is a company that prides themselves on maintaining the utmost in environmental integrity. To get there, they have partnered with Native Energy in order to monitor their in-house carbon usage on an annual basis. They work hard at offsetting this usage by investing in international projects centered around renewable energy. The materials used in Coclico’s footwear are recyclable and renewable and in the case of the leather, sourced from tanneries that meet with specific sustainability standards. In recognition of their efforts at sustainability, Coclico received the 2013 Source Award in the category of footwear.
The shoes you’ll find at Coclico boast a modern and minimalist aspect. There is still beauty to be found in the lines of each shoe’s silhouette, and there is a certain timeless quality to the designs. Muted colors emphasized by straps, bold lines, and mesh make these shoes a refreshing addition to any environmentally-minded individual’s ensembles.
Conker, a British company, has been in the practice of delivering high-quality, bespoke shoes since 1972. As they say on their website, “sustainability is at the heart of what we do,” and they achieve this by ensuring that each pair of shoes they craft are meant to last a lifetime. Once they have your shoe size and your preferred pattern, they are able to easily re-sole your shoes whenever it’s needed. In addition, they craft shoes that are designed and fitted entirely for you, meaning you will get the utmost in comfort. Creating quality shoes meant to last for years upon years lessens the impact on the environment and saves you money in the long run.
The shoes Conker creates come in 30 unique styles, with up to 50 different colors to choose from. If you’re on the fence, Conker will send you leather samples so that you can view them in person in order to make your decision. To completely personalize your shoes, you can also choose the color of the inner sole and the stitching, ensuring that you’ll never meet anyone with precisely the same kind of shoe.
The bottom line, as this company states on their website, is social responsibility and sustainability, and everything they do is completely transparent – which is why their supply chain is one they created from the bottom up so that they know precisely what their shoes are made from and who made them. All their sandals are handcrafted in Cherbourg and Brisbane, Australia, from materials that are chosen because they have a very low impact upon the environment. The bags the shoes come in are created from upcycled linen and leather and in the spirit of keeping packaging as green as possible, they are shipped in satchels that are completely biodegradable. All leather used in D’Arce’s shoe production is upcycled wherever possible in order to eliminate waste.
The sandals D’Arce makes are remarkably posh, available with straps or in a slip-on style, and in a bevy of colors and animal prints. There are even some fur options if you’re really looking for that fun edge! They’re not all standout designs, though – there are some sandals that are a little plainer but still very elegant.
This award-winning brand is located in East London that creates bespoke footwear from sustainable materials. This includes jute soles, reclaimed vegan materials, and leather that is upcycled from local factories.
In addition to their commitment to sustainability, Juta Shoes is also focused on empowering women and they do so by offering training and work for making handmade espadrilles, in addition to teaching workshops centering around crafts. Perhaps all that needs to be said about Juta Shoes can be summed up in their mission statement:
We believe in fair fashion: you should know who made your shoes, and that they were paid fairly.
We believe in making beautiful and useful things from reclaimed and sustainable materials.
We believe in the power of craft and creative work to empower local communities.
Juta Shoes offers up several collections which include slippers, slip-on shoes, and sandals, with bespoke options for all of them. Their vegan slippers come with comfy, fluffy faux fur, and their leather slides are colorful, sturdy, and chic. For a playful summer feel, you can’t go wrong with Juta’s back-tie sandals and tassel slides.
Thousand Fell’s choice of materials for their shoes are quite innovative, as you can see:
- Coconut husk (locally sourced in Brazil) as a replacement for numerous plastic components
- Aloe vera for the soft mesh sock liner
- Recycled plastics for the mesh liners and laces
- Sugar cane, also for plastic component replacement
- Castor bean oil for the foam
- Quartz for water-resistant uppers
By taking care to ensure its materials are as eco-friendly as possible, Thousand Fell is doing its part to lessen its carbon footprint and turn the world of fashion in a more beneficial direction.
This is another sustainable shoe brand that makes use of responsibly sourced Merino wool in order to create chic and durable shoes. Giesswein procures its wool from cruelty-free farms. In the process of using the wool to make their shoes, the company adds no chemicals or substances – the wool on its own has all the properties needed to make great footwear. Because of the lack of chemicals, the wool is 100 percent biodegradable.
Giesswein is the place to go if you’re looking for shoes for the whole family – they have footwear for children as well as adults. There are running shoes, sneakers, slip-ons, and their trademark wool shoes. Bright colors and solid construction mean these shoes will last a good long while.
Find out more at Giesswein.com
Are we missing someone? We would love to add them to our list. let us know in the comments!