While some well-established global shoe brands have started to clean up their act (which is a highly important step, scale-wise), we thought it would be appropriate to reference the new wave of brands that seem to have built sustainable practices from the ground up. For those who may be interested in shopping more locally, the map below pinpoints their scattered production locations.
Sustainable Shoe Brands:
Allbirds: US company that uses premium natural materials in new ways to deliver incredible comfort.
Aurora Shoes: Minimal, artisan-made, high quality shoes made in upstate New York. Aurora uses locally sourced materials and offers repair services.
Coclico: A union of modern minimalism and traditional quality, made in a family-run factory in Mallorca, Spain using locally sourced materials.
Conker Shoes: Repairable and resole-able shoes, handmade in Devon, UK.
D'Arçé: Australian sandals made from vegetable-tanned leather locally and sustainably harvested. D’Arçé work with Aboriginal women from marginalized communities in order to economically empower them and their communities.
Deux Mains: An employee-owned and operated footwear company in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Part of a social business ecosystem committed to building financial security for the most vulnerable in Haiti. Uses upcycled tires and locally sourced leathers.
El Naturalista: Eco-friendly footwear brand that uses sustainable materials e.g. vegetable tanned leather, recycled and natural rubber.
Ekn: Sneakers made in Portugal from sustainable materials.
Etiko with the aim of being a responsible producer, this brand makes high-top and low-cut sneakers with natural rubber, organic cotton, zero animal glues and non-toxic dyes.
Green Shoes: Customised, repairable and resole-able shoes, handmade in Devon, UK.
Juta Shoes: Shoes made from upcycled leather rescued from landfill and environmentally-friendly jute soles, handmade in the UK, supporting socially marginalised women.
Kavat EU Ecolabel certified shoes for children, women and men. Made in Sweden and Bosnia.
Loints of Holland: Unnecessary and artificial materials are left out - for example, most designs are unlined. Repair and resoling services offered.
LYF Shoes: Custom-fit shoes made by using local assembly, avoiding toxic glues and using 100% recyclable materials. Made in North Carolina, US.
Mohinders traditional handwoven water-buffalo leather shoes made by 3rd generation master shoemakers in Athani Village, India.
Nisolo: American footwear company in Peru. Operates a hand-up model that empowers shoemakers in emerging economies by connecting them to the global marketplace in a responsible manner.
Oliberte: Shoes are made in Oliberté’s Fairtrade certified footwear factory in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Favours local and African materials.
OLLI: Fair Trade, natural rubber flip flops made in Sri Lanka.
ONE432 employs Pakistani artisans to reimagine the 400-year-old Jutti style of shoe. They also share 50% of the profits with their cause and craftspeople.
Osborn: Fairtrade production and eco-friendly materials, based in Brooklyn.
Paaduks: Mumbai-based brand that pays cobblers a fair price for shoes made from discarded tyres.
Peterson + Stoop rework preloved sneakers into new shoes by patchworking leather scraps from their 90m2 studio in Amsterdam.
Phillippe & Patrice: Organic leather shoes for men made in Italy - with a women’s range is on the way!
Piola: High quality leather shoes made in Portugal. Soles made from wild Peruvian rubber. Supports cotton and rubber producers of the Amazon rainforest in Peru.
Poppy Barley: Luxury shoes made in Mexico. Poppy Barley pays attention to the factory workers’ working conditions e.g. paying on average five times the region’s minimum wage.
Po-Zu: Designed in London and manufactured in Portugal. The goal is to provide maximum comfort and minimum waste.
SEAL: Japanese footwear and accessories made from recycled tire tubes. Hand made in Japan.
soleRebels: Ethiopian Fairtrade footwear brand.
Sseko: Sandals made by young Ugandan women to earn money for college educations.
Terhi Pölkki: Minimalist Scandinavian shoes made from vegetable-tanned leather, birch and cork. Made in Finland and Portugal.
Teysha: Traditionally crafted Teysha shoes made in small artisan communities throughout the Americas.
The People's Movement: Eco-hip footwear and accessories that stand for reduction of single-use plastic.
The Root Collective: Handcrafted women’s shoes. The Root Collective provides jobs to people in slums and other poor communities of Guatemala.
The Shoe That Grows: Footwear designed for children living in extreme poverty where access to shoes is limited. Each pair can grow five sizes and last for years.
THINK: Comfortable shoes made from vegetable-tanned leather, recycled PU, natural latex and cork. Made in Europe.
Trippen: Modern eco-friendly and sustainable shoes made in Germany.
Third Oak USA made, closed-loop flip flops - which means well-travelled shoes (plus any factory scraps) can be recycled back into new ones unlike standard foam flip flops
UN/DO offer a unique upcycling service, turning your preloved clothing into lace up sneakers
Veja: Sneakers made from organic and Fairtrade cotton, Amazonian wild rubber and leather.
Verdura Shoes: Handcrafted in Tuscany, Italy, Verdura shoes are crafted from recycled fishing net and other eco-friendly materials.
Z Shoes: US-based, Amazonian manufactured shoe company who put human dignity and environmental impact before profit.
Vegan Shoe Brands:
We applaud brands that take the vegan route as a sustainable path, since there are numerous ethical and environmental issues associated with leather. However, in many cases this isn’t the ultimate solution due to unsustainable assembly methods and poor material options / choices. There is still a lack of environmentally friendly vegan material options, especially for winter footwear, and currently available leather alternatives are by and large petroleum-based.
Ahimsa: Vegan shoes made in ethical working conditions in Brazil.
Beyond Skin: Vegan shoes made in Spain using 100% recycled faux leather with a plant polymer coating and faux suede made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.
Bhava: Artisan shoes made from organic, recycled and vegan components.
Bourgeois Boheme: Artisan-made shoes from eco-friendly vegan leather. Made in Portugal.
Brave GentleMan: Vegan mens shoes that embrace slow-fashion production methods and sustainable innovations.
CamminaLeggero: Ecological high quality vegan shoes made in Italy.
Cemele a French shoe brand that labels themselves as "vegan but without plastic"
Charmone Shoes: Sustainable vegan shoes made from microfibre in Italy.
Cri de Coeur: Vegan accessories and shoes made from materials such as eco-PU and ultrasuede made from recycled plastics. Made in sweatshop free factories in China.
Eco Vegan Shoes Hip, modern and stylish shoes created to make leading a vegan lifestyle easier.
Etheletic: Fairtrade vegan sneakers made in Pakistan. Company donates 15% of the purchase price to the workers’ welfare association.
Good Guys: French shoes made in Portugal using vegan materials such as microfiber, canvas and natural rubber.
Indosole: Handmade shoes with 100% vegan and organic cotton canvas uppers with recycled tire soles.
Insecta Shoes: Brazilian ecological vegan shoes. Uppers made from vintage clothing and recycled plastic bottles, soles from recycled rubber.
Matt & Nat: Ecological vegan footwear brand. Focuses on recycled materials such as bicycle tires, cardboard and plastic bottles.
Mink: Custom luxe vegan shoes handmade in Italy.
Mohop: Uses digital scanning and 3D manufacturing processes to create custom-fit shoes from sustainably-sourced vegan, recycled and fair-trade materials. Made in Chicago.
Native Shoes: Vegan shoes under their "Beast Free" range
NAE: Portuguese vegan shoes made from materials such as cork, microfibre and Pinatex™.
Noharm: Vegan footwear, clothing and accessories made in Italy.
NOAH: Eco-friendly vegan shoes made in Italy.
Opificiov: Vegan shoes for both men and woman in traditional style, made in Italy
Rothys: 100% vegan shoes made with recycled fibres that have been 3D knitted, resulting in little waste.
Veerah: Luxuriously crafted and responsibly sourced with cruelty-free materials.
Wills London: Vegan shoes with high-street styles and prices.
Have we missed something? Let us know what brands should be included on the list.