You may recall from my ‘New Year’s resolutions’ blog post, 2018 is the year where I am going to add at least one cool ethical & eco-friendly pairs of shoes to my collection!
It may sound like an easy task with lots of brands sharing the same values as myself and VILDNIS, yet finding one that fits your style can be challenging. (not to mention the added complication of foot shape!)
As with clothing, we use our footwear to express our identity and articulate which ‘tribe’ we belong to, which is why picking the right shoe brand that fits your individual style is important. Perhaps even more so as we tend to make even more of a statement when it comes to our shoes.
I have been down this sustainable shoe research road before, and as a result, the draft headline for this blog post was ‘3 cool ethical…’
For your inspiration, I am sharing my findings with you below. As you may have guessed from the headline, the list grew as I went along. Turns out that things in the shoe industry have moved on significantly since my last research!
- Love Sofie
A rare find in the sustainable shoe world, these 9.5inch heeled Nice ankle boots made from plant leather truly stand out from the crowd. Wear them whenever you want to make a seriously stylish lasting impression – safe in the know that they are completely animal-free and ethically made.
We are great fans of the sustainable Pinatex leather made from pineapples, and hence super excited about PO-ZU’s Sneak V Silver shoes. With a memory-foam like inner sole made from natural latex and cork, these beauties sound as comfortable, as they are eco-friendly and audacious!
- Bourgeois boheme
You can never go wrong with a classic Chelsea boot, and the Matilda boots from Bourgeouis Boheme are a fine example. Handmade in Portugal, they are admittedly on the expensive side, yet beautifully crafted with every little detail cared for. Comfortable latex insole and waterproof PVC-free eco vegan leather outer, they could easily become a long-time wardrobe favourite.
The Esplar sneakers from VEJA rank amongst the eco-friendliest shoes around. The lining is made from organic cotton, the sole from wild rubber from the Amazonian rainforest and the upper from recycled plastic bottles. 3 plastic bottles a pair to be specific! They come in a variety of colours – our favourites are dried petal (pictured) and emerald – and you can even get a matching pair for your soulmate…
- beyond skin
While it is not entirely clear what these shoes are made of, they are 100% vegan in faux leather and ethically handmade in Spain. On their website, Beyond Skin state that they care about the environment, minimising their carbon footprint by using local materials and continuously looking for new eco-friendlier faux leathers (we might tell them about the apple leather we found recently…) Combine this with the super feminine Amelie sandal in sparkly gold, and they have earned a space on this list. Because some days you want to shine extra bright!
Now, this one is interesting! Mix an on-trend camouflage print with 3D knitted upper made from recycled plastic bottles plus a cool pointy shape, and we have a winning combination. The concept is low-waste, low-impact materials and machine washable. But I picked it primarily because of its looks…
I fell head over heels for the contemporary, sleek and minimalistic Serena sandal from Nisolo. Carefully crafted from leathers sourced from ethical tanneries, and made by workers who are paid well above the Fairtrade wages, it is witness to great long-lasting quality and aesthetics. I will have to subscribe to the waitlist for the Paloma mule as well……
- ANCIENT GREEK SANDALS
Rock chic at heart? Then Ancient Greek Sandals may be right up your street. It’s certainly right up mine with its masculine nails combined with the relaxed feminine shape. Handmade in Greece from chemical-free leather, the maker guarantees it to age to perfection. It’s one of those sandals that goes with practically everything; ankle grazing jeans, floating maxi dresses, shorts – you name it…
Bonus. ARIANA BOHLING
Admittedly, at $188 these scuffs are probably not going to sit in my shoe cupboard any time soon, but I had to include them for their coolness factor. A big fluff of navy loveliness made from cruelty-free alpaca fur and handmade by artisans in Peru. I could live in these…mostly at home, but perhaps even outside on days when I feel particularly brave!
Turns out it was easy to find lots of interesting sustainable shoe brands, and that the difficulty is in choosing between them. I am incredibly tempted to buy all, but will choose only one pair – the pair I love the most. It is going to be a while before I reach a decision on which ones they are… ;-)
PS: Please do share in the comments section below if you come across any other seriously stylish sustainable footwear brands – I would love to know about them!