Have you ever wondered about sustainable shoe brands? Owning good-quality shoes that follow your personal style is key for having a more sustainable wardrobe. Imagine buying these on sustainable brands! Even better. So in this post, we are going to talk about sustainability in shoes, why buy them, and our favorites sustainable shoe brands.
What makes a shoe sustainable?
There are some things that we should take into account that makes a shoe sustainable. First, footwear should be made of natural fibers or upcycled and recycled materials. For example, there is a plant-based vegan leather industry that sources fibers from apples, mushrooms, etc. Natural fibers are the ones that come from a plant or animal. They include organic cotton, hemp, wool, etc. And leather is in this category as well.
There is a thing with leather shoes. On one hand, leather is one of the most long-lasting materials. But on the other hand, the leather production process is very polluting, and there is animal suffering too. So if you prefer to buy leather shoes but want to do it in a more sustainable way, then I recommend you to buy them vintage or second-hand. I know that it might be more difficult because they are more exclusive and difficult to find a style or design in your own size… But I encourage you to try them! You will be surprised with the little treasures you can find in vintage stores.
Another thing that makes a shoe sustainable is that the brand has transparent working conditions. This kind of information is usually available on their website regarding the factories they work with, providers, materials, everything. The working conditions in garment factories tend to be inhuman, in high heat with no ventilation and earning little money. A report from 2018 published that forced labor and child labor exist in the fashion industry in different countries like Argentina, India, Brazil, China, and more. You can see the report here. That is why it’s very important to pay attention at this point. Because as consumers purchase affordable clothing, shoes, accessories, workers are paying the cost.
Why buy in sustainable shoe brands?
As I told you before, buying sustainable shoes it’s not only good for the environment and workers but also for you! If you buy shoes from a sustainable brand, you will buy a product made of good quality materials that will last longer and you can wear them as much as you want. Also if you get tired of them and want to sell them, they will be in optimal conditions and you can buy others! This is the best thing.
And let me tell you something, once you start getting used to wearing high quality clothing and footwear, you will never want to wear fast-fashion pieces again. It’s a before and after. And even more when you know that you are supporting small brands or companies that are doing things right.
Sustainable shoe brands
So here are some of my favorite sustainable shoe brands, if you want part 2 of this post you can tell me in the comments!
The Root Collective
The Root Collective is a company whose main mission is to humanize fashion. They are dedicated to responsible production paying their workers’ fair wages. They offer women’s and men’s footwear, bags, and accessories. And keep a low inventory or offer products only on preorder. On their website, there’s more information regarding their working model, their partners regarding fabrics, products, and soles.
Able is an ethical fashion brand that employs and empowers women as a solution to end poverty. They use all-natural fibers in their materials and in their website has a sustainability page that explains everything about shipping, packaging, jewelry, leather, shoes, and apparel. Then they have transparent communication and this is very important to give credibility to a brand.
Since 2005, VEJA offers environmentally friendly sneakers made with raw materials sourced from organic farming and ecological agriculture, without chemicals or polluting processes. On their website, there’s a Project page where you can hear VEJA founders tell you about their vision and the brand’s history. And this is very interesting because they not only care about their sustainability mission but also communicate it in the best way possible to the audience. They do care about their storytelling.
“Each year, 25 billion pairs of shoes are manufactured worldwide” is the first thing you read when going to the eco-conception page on Saola Shoes website. They offer information regarding the environmental footprint of footwear production in order to explain why they use recycled plastic bottles to produce shoes. They also use organic cotton for the laces and natural cork in the insoles.
Have you ever heard about shoes for rain? Well, Allbirds made that possible and they offer wool shoes that are ideal for rainy days and for running as well! They are made of natural materials like merino wool and eucalyptus tree fibers. Besides, this brand shares on their website their ambitious list of commitments for 2025 regarding their environmental impact. You can read everything on their website.
Ecoalf is a brand that offers clothing, shoes, and accessories that were made using the least amount of natural resources as possible such as materials, energy and transport. Since 2010 they use recycled materials like synthetic nylon and polyester. Ecoalf is a GRS (Global Recycling Standard) certified brand.
Some of these brands are not very known and it’s important to start sharing this type of information. There’s nothing better than buying sustainable products and supporting small businesses. And even more, because they are the ones that are doing things right: paying workers what they deserve and in good conditions and using sustainable materials and processes to produce their products.
Having a more sustainable fashion consumption is a process. It’s not something that you can change 100% from day to night. So if you are wondering where to start at… I’m here to help you!
If you liked this post then I recommend you to read Affordable ethical fashion brands. If you have any questions or more recommendations you can write them in the comments! And for more content, you can follow me on Instagram and TikTok.