Clothes are not the only thing to blame for sweatshop labor and environmentally hazardous processes, shoe production also plays a role in these worldwide issues. As consumers, we must raise our voice through our choices to make a positive difference for the people behind the industry, ensuring we buy from those who are providing fair wages, humanly working conditions and producing with low impact materials.
On the search for fairly-made footwear, I came across these five brands that are walking on the ethical side. From zero waste alternatives to socially driven initiatives, these shoes are certainly game changers when it comes to sustainable fashion.
Based in | USA, worldwide shipping
What | Slides
Price Range | $125 – $164
Why | All Starch Slides are made from unwanted, thrown button up shirts. A pretty smart and creative way to eliminate textile waste. The shirt is lined with vegan leather to protect it and the sole is made from Eco-friendly materials that make your pair last long. From every shirt they only produce 4 pairs of slides which means that if you see a design you love, run and get it because when it’s gone, it’s gone for good. The slides are packed in a jute bag instead of shoe box as another initiative to eliminate waste.
Based in | France
What | Athletic footwear
Price Range | $50 – $150
Why | In Veja everything is ethically made, they get Eco-friendly and organic materials from farm families in Brazil and the amazons. They design comfortable vegan shoes under a zero stock mentality, meaning they only produce based on orders placed 6 months in advance. Based in France, Veja employs people facing social exclusion and provides them opportunities for professional and personal development.
Based in | Portugal
What | Vegan footwear & accessories
Price Range | $50 – 105
Why | This brand rolls under a vegan philosophy and designs fashion with compassion! Nae, concerned with environmental sustainability, uses alternative materials such as cork, pineapple leaves and PET recycled plastic bottles. If you’re planning to walk the ethical line, this is a footwear brand you should be wearing.
THE ROOT COLLECTIVE
Based in | Guatemala
What | Shoes & accessories
Price Range | $40 – $120
Why | TRC is about changing lives and doing good with every dollar spent on their shoes. Bethany Tran – Founder of this soulful project – invites us to walk her mission along with her, where she’s bucking the trends of mass production by focusing on handcrafted quality. Working closely with shoemakers and textile weavers from Guatemala, this brand is tackling underpayment, abuse and dangerous working conditions suffered in Central American countries.
Based in | San Francisco, USA
What | Eco-friendly flats
Price Range | $125 – $145
Why | A shoe with the ease of a sneaker and the look of a feminine flat, Rothy’s is a must-buy. Every pair is hand-assembled by using low impact alternatives and low waste practices. Seamless knitted from recycled water bottle materials placed over an earth-friendly and carbon free rubber sole, these shoes are not only machine washable but also a comfy pair that can be a game changer for your conscious wardrobe.
(some images on this post have been taken from the brand’s website)