Reviewed by Godfrey Ogbo
Allbirds, Ables, Reformation, and Toms are some of the best Sustainable Footwear Brands.
Shoes are undoubtedly an essential part of our lives; statistics show that our shoes are subconsciously the first things that people look at when they see us for the first time.
A good shoe can boost your confidence, complement your fantastic outfit, or make you stand out.
Sadly, though, the footwear industry has its fair share of ethical and environmental impact concerns, especially with the rising complaints of sweatshops utilized by big brands to produce their shoes at the tiniest costs to the detriment of the low-paid workers.
So, in this article, we compiled a list of the 19 best sustainable footwear brands for those fashionistas who want to look good with guilt-free purchases.
These brands offer a sustainable and eco-friendly approach to the footwear industry, using either vegan or recycled materials to produce their pieces.
The brands are also proven to treat those workers ethically, with evidence of fair pay, ethical working hours, and working conditions.
19 Best Sustainable Footwear Brands In The World
Allbirds is definitely one of the best sustainable footwear brands and has been around for quite some time; it started with the mission of making amazing shoes from environmentally friendly and organic materials.
They make all their pieces with materials like FSC Certified Merino wool, which has been proven to be made without animal cruelty. They are trendy for their machine washable sneakers and their affordability, too.
Price Range: $40–$155
This is one of the lesser-known brands, but their impact is still being felt all around the globe; this brand focuses primarily on women’s footwear but has diversified into becoming a women-centric clothing brand, too.
They offer excellent eco-friendly footwear that comes in various minimalist designs and palates. The brand has a mission towards empowering women worldwide, and to stand true to this, almost all its staff are women.
All their shoes are handcrafted and have no carbon footprint in the world. They produce shoes that are perfect for both casual walks to work and beyond, using only organic cotton and ethically sourced leather.
Price Range: $70 – $155
3. Thousand Fell
Thousand Fell is one of those brands that really deserves the award for being one of the best sustainable footwear brands in the world.
They are most famous for their lovely white sneakers, which I should mention are all made from either recyclable or biodegradable materials.
They go as far as using materials like castor beans, coconut husks and recycled water bottles in their shoe production and guess what? You can return your old shoes to them if you want a revamp for just a tiny cost. Now, that’s a deal you won’t get anywhere else.
Price Range: $50 – $500
This brand takes matters concerning its practices very seriously; in their factories, they only use leather from audited tanneries and organic cotton from non-pesticide and herbicide farms, while they also maintain a strict code for a fair wage and salary for all their workers.
Their shoes are trendy, and almost every influencer you know has at least one of Reformation’s products in their collection. They have consistently delivered quality sustainable shoes and hope to do better by becoming completely climate-neutral by 2025.
Price Range: $98–$548
Toms is one of those brands out there that does about a healthy dose of everything; it has an assorted selection of men’s shoes, kids’ shoes and even women’s.
They use organic cotton and recycled materials like rubber and plastic waste to make their iconic pieces.
They also use entirely organic cotton to produce their shoes and are very strict in maintaining ethical working conditions in their factories. Like Reformation above, Toms also plans to be ultimately climate neutral or possibly climate adverse by 2025.
Price Range: $32 -$169
Undeniably, Rothy’s is one of the best sustainable footwear brands out there, and there is plenty of evidence to prove it. They are one of the only brands worldwide that makes all their shoes from recycled plastic bottles.
This technique that involves a long and detailed process was designed by the team here at Rothy’s and has let them convert all the waste that could have ended up in the ocean into amazing shoes over the years.
If you are obsessed with shoes made from completely non-toxic or potentially environmentally damaging materials, Rothy’s might be your best option.
Price Range: $50 – $500
Veja is the most popular brand on this list, probably because they are one of the old blood in this sustainability industry and a healthy, livable planet.
They make all their pieces from materials sourced from fairly paid and reasonably happy farmers and artisans. Most of their raw materials come from remote locations like Brazil and the Amazon.
Their shoes are beautiful and chic and will look good on your body no matter what occasion you are rocking them into. This is definitely the brand for you; if you are interested in something a bit more traditional, this is the brand.
Price Range: $105–$210
This brand crafts all its pieces and maintains a rigorous regulatory system when it comes to the processes of its factory. The brand is already carbon neutral, and they only use leather made from the byproducts of animal waste.
The brand actively concerns itself with raising awareness and demand for recycling essential products like toothpicks or plastics. They are committed to ensuring that fewer materials end up in landfills.
Price Range: $90 -$255
9. Unless Collective
This list would not be complete without Unless Collective; it’s definitely one of the best sustainable footwear brands in the world and probably the only brand on this list that makes all its pieces from 100% plant materials.
Everything from the soles to the shoe laces was made from plant-based materials. The shoes are lovely to wear and can withstand wear and tear for quite some time, too.
Price Range: $40 – $500
This brand is famous for its boots, which are tailored towards women more, although they have some male collections. The brand is European and is very strict with how its shoes are produced and what materials are used to produce these shoes and boots.
They use materials sourced from only ethically fair suppliers and are one of the few very transparent brands in how they treat their staff. They have one of the fairest worker pay systems and believe that skilled workers deserve excellent pay, too.
Price Range: $180–$445
11. The Root Collective
Although its pieces are made in Guatemala, The Root Collective is an American company that produces women’s shoes and bags. They are one of the more affordable brands on this list, so I can recommend them if you are on a budget.
To avoid waste and overstocking, they produce in small batches, which are all sold before another batch is produced.
They are a brand that takes pleasure in showing the working conditions of its artisans, which are fair and entirely ethical. They are proud they do not produce their shoes using sweatshop labor.
Price Range: $128 -$348
12. Salt + Umber
This list of the top sustainable footwear brands would only be complete if this brand were a part of it. Its rather unique name has made a name for itself in the footwear industry.
Their shoes are made by almost only female artisans who are laid quite handsomely for their services. They use recycled products for their production as well as ethically manufactured leather and merino wool.
They are very dedicated to environmental sustainability and actually have a whole page on their website dedicated to just explaining the eco-friendly techniques they use. This is a brand I have personally shopped from before.
Price Range: $200 – $600
Cariuma produces some of the most stylish sneakers in the world, and that’s a fact confirmed by a lot of their fans, which ranges from common citizens to influencers with millions of followers.
They make their pieces from materials like 100% certified organic cotton, bamboo, ethically sourced leather and low environmental impact inks.
Their products are comfortable and have none of that funky smell that accompanies most shoes that we buy. They are fiercely committed to maintaining a low impact environmentally, and they are loved all around the world for that.
Price Range: $79–$149
Veerah offers 1% of its revenue to various charity organizations around the world and is especially dedicated to the empowerment of the girl child.
They are popular for sponsoring a lot of their female employees to take self-improvement courses. They are very popular for making bridal shoes, sandals and boots.
It prides itself as a cruelty-free brand with a lofty goal of producing vegan designer shoes for women all around the world. All their pieces are thoughtfully made and look really stylish. If you are having a wedding, perhaps you should consider this brand.
Price Range: $228 -$398
This is one of my personal favorites and is definitely one of the best sustainable footwear brands in the world. It has a wide range of shoes and sandals in its collection that will fit any event or situation.
They make their shoes with leather from an ethically certified tannery. They make the soles with a mix of recycled rubber and virgin plastic.
They are very popular for also being a very transparent brand and being extremely honest about the production process of each and every one of their products.
Price Range: $200 – $400
16. Zou Xou
This brand got its popularity for one reason only: they only make made-to-order shoes, and they make your shoes to custom specifications, which eliminates waste completely.
Their shoes are made by artisans in Argentina who use traditional techniques and make all the shoes by hand. They tend to focus their production on pumps and slips, and they also have a side collection of already-produced multipurpose shoes that would look great for any occasion.
I have shopped from them a few times for my partner, and they haven’t disappointed at all.
Price Range: $149–$325
This brand is definitely the GOAT when It comes to using recycled products to make its pieces; they are committed to reducing the environmental impact of their brand by a lot.
Although their factory Is located in China, which is notorious for deadly working conditions, this brand has a fair-pay warehouse where its staff work healthy hours and are paid fairly.
They are proud to be a zero-waste enterprise and also a carbon-neutral company. The shoes are also washable, which is something I have been begging the top brands around here to get for me.
Price Range: $75 – $199
18. Adidas x Parley
Yes, Adidas made the list, which sounds counterintuitive, but with their Parley, they make eco-conscious shoes, which earns them a spot on the list of the best sustainable footwear brands in the world.
They use the plastic removed from the ocean by Parley to make these shoes, which are pretty stylish, by the way.
Price Range: $40 – $700
Last but not least is Alohas, a company that produces a lot of clothing as well as very stylish eco-conscious shoes. They have some signature styles of shoes that are amazing and will rock any outfit you have selected. I personally shop from them, and I haven’t been disappointed.
Price Range: $90–$420
That concludes our list of the best sustainable footwear brands in the world; some of the notable mentions on this list are Allbirds, Adidas, Allbirds and Reformation.
These brands make all their shoes from eco-conscious materials and ethically sourced leather.
Thanks for reading through; check our website for more related articles.
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