Doing good for the planet is top of mind these days. (Just watch Billie Eilish’s new music video dedicated to the climate crisis.) The fashion industry has been doing some course-correcting lately, working to reduce the waste it adds to the environment and renewing its focus on being more eco-conscious. In particular, there has been a rise in sustainable shoe brands that are committed to following ethical practices. These include methods that use less water, vegan materials, and factories that are fair trade.
Of course, it’s not only these sustainable footwear companies trying to make a difference. For instance, fashion brands like Nike, Prada, H&M, J.Crew, and Madewell have all made steps to become more ethical. Big-name department stores have also been getting in on act: Nordstrom now has a vertical dedicated to sustainable pieces.
In terms of shoe lines, gone are days of associating eco-conscious to crunchy granola and burlap sacks. In other words, these shoes are ones you actually want to wear.
You can find sexy heels, chunky sneakers, and cute flats from cool brands like Veja, Everlane, Reformation, and Rothy’s.
These styles tend to be evergreen, making them a worthwhile investment for your wallet. More importantly, when we buy from these brands we are doing something good for our planet. Check out these 10 sustainable shoe brands below, and feel good about splurging on your next shoe.
Parley is Adidas collection created from yarn made from recycled plastic collected from the ocean. It creates a lightweight sneaker with a cushion that offers stability for a run or a class.
Known for making flats out of plastic bottles destined for landfills, Rothy’s just released a new style called the Chelsea. Wear these sneaker boots with skirts, jeans, or leggings, and when they get dirty throw them right into the washing machine to get rid of any dirt.
With a celebrity following, including our favorite American duchess, Meghan Markle, Veja always wants you to go green (hence the color of the V). Made from 100% organic leather, these vegan sneakers will elevate anything you wear them with.
Reformation has a cult following for its peasant tops and slip dresses, and now we can add sustainable shoes, which launched last spring, to the list. By using a vegetable tanned process and chromium-free leather, these ruby red slides don’t produce hazardous waste. Slip these on when you need a “no place like home” Dorothy moment.
Flats with a french flair, these d’Orsay oxfords are made in an ethical factory where workers are receiving fair wages and health care. Each pair is purposely designed, handcrafted, and environmentally friendly. The result is are a collection of shoes that are effortlessly (and eco-consciously) chic.
Vegan silver combat boots make quite the fashion statement for your feet and our planet. Try wearing with a black or floral maxi dress this fall, and bring them out for some holiday metallic moments come December.
Able is a lifestyle brand that works to ending poverty by providing economic opportunity for women across the world. Another reason to buy these? Snakeskin prints and mules are two things you’ll be seeing a lot of during these transitional months.
8 Native Shoes
A boot that is light, water-resistant, and fitted with a warm lining—perfect for those tundra-like conditions. Even better, Native commits to ensuring that all of its shoes can be recycled.
Check out the newest shoe style from Everlane, a brand that is celebrated for its transparency. Made from recycled poly and nine water bottles, the glove boot forms to your foot, which prevents gapping at the ankle. The stacked 2-inch heel also makes it wearable for a full day of walking.
Ah, wool and all its wonderful qualities. It is breathable, lightweight, moisture-wicking, temperature regulating, odor minimizing, and won’t cause your skin to be scratchy. You’ll buy this because it’s eco-friendly (even the laces are made from recycled plastic bottles) and wear it daily because it’s comfortable.