14 Ethical & Sustainable Heels For Every Occasion

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We know how hard it is to find the perfect pair of high-quality, comfortable heels that you can wear all day and night. You want a pair that will last for years and can be paired effortlessly with any outfit, whatever the season.

However, many shoe brands produce their heels with unsustainable, environmentally damaging materials like virgin plastics and leather tanned with chrome and other metals – this process is damaging for the environment and the workers involved in the process.

That’s why we’ve researched a list of brands using alternative methods, ethical production, and sustainable materials, including recycled plastic, leather that is Leather Working Group Certified, and natural materials such as cork.

Let’s jump in.

1. Reformation

Reformation sustainable heels with block heel and ankle tie wrap

Sustainability: Carbon neutral company, creating sustainable and ethical clothing using low-impact eco-friendly materials

Heel Styles: Heeled sandals, kitten heels, and mules

Ships to: Worldwide

Cult sustainable clothing brand Reformation is synonymous with eco-friendly and ethical fashion. They make chic, always on-trend styles, and this also extends to their sustainable heels range, which features gorgeous kitten heels and statement block heel sandals.

Reformation designs and makes all of its products ethically in Los Angeles. The leather used in its leather heels is responsibly sourced from Leather Working Group gold and silver audited tanneries.

Reformation is a climate-neutral company, offsetting all the CO2 released in its supply chain. Reformation hopes to become climate positive by 2025, and you can read more about it here.

Reformation sandals open toe with straps

2. Alohas

Green strap, block heel sandals from sustainable shoe company Alohas

Sustainability: Leather Working Group Certified Leather, with low impact dyes, ethical production, on-demand production, reduces waste.

Heel Styles: Open toe sandals, block heel sandals, kitten heels, court shoes, heeled boots

Ships to: Worldwide

For affordable luxury leather heels that are ethical and sustainable, check out Alohas. This footwear brand specializes in creating on-trend heels and boots using ethical production and leather working group certified leather.

To combat overproduction, often a significant problem in the fashion industry, Alohas offer a pre-order system, which allows the brand to predict demand levels accurately; this ensures they only produce the number of shoes they will sell, thus reducing waste.

Black court shoe from Alohas

3. Nisolo

Nisolo sustainable block heel clogs

Sustainability: Certified B Corporation, 100% Living Wages, 0% Net Carbon, Responsibly sourced leather

Heel Styles: Heeled boots, sustainable heeled sandal styles, heeled mules

Ships to: the US only

For heels that you can wear all day and all night, check out Nisolo, who is on a mission to bring you comfortable and stylish, responsibly made shoes. Their heeled leather mule is the perfect day-to-night heel and can be dressed up or down.

Produced from responsibly sourced leather from Leather Working Group Certified Tanneries, Nisolo’s sustainable heels are made ethically and are carbon-neutral.

Nisolo leather mules

4. Matisse

Matisse heeled boots

Sustainability: Sustainable materials, including regenerated leather from responsible tanneries and 100% recycled packaging

Heel Styles: Heeled mules, sustainable stilettos, block heel sandals, and sustainable wedges

Ships to: Worldwide

Los Angeles sustainable shoe brand Matisse has been designing quality, trendsetting collections for over two decades. Matisse ethically produces all of its shoes in family-owned factories, ensuring workers are treated fairly and paid a fair wage.

Matisse’s heel collection is perfect for work and play, with block heels perfect for daytime looks and open-toe heels for dancing all night.

Matisse heeled mules in leopard print

5. Bhava

Bhava sustainable vegan heels in silver with pointed toe and straps

Sustainability: Vegan shoe brand, using responsible and eco-friendly material to create ethical heels and sandals.

Heel Styles: Sustainable sling-backs, stilettos, court shoes, and heeled loafers

Ships to: US & International

Bhava is a vegan shoe brand, creating luxury animal-free heels and sandals from eco-friendly materials, including cork and vegan leather.

Designed in New York and ethically crafted by artisans in Spain, Bhava’s heels are unique, inspiring vintage designs, which are perfect for being on your feet all day, and dancing all night.

Bhava block heel sandals

6. Nomasei

Nomasei open toe slingbacks

Sustainability: Ethical heels, produced from metal-free, upcycled leather. Recycled packaging and organic cotton dust-bag.

Heel Styles: Slingback heels, block heels, court shoes

Ships to: Europe & UK

For sustainable heels that ooze coolness, check out French brand Nomasei, an ethical shoe company founded by two friends passionate about sustainability in the luxury fashion sector. Their eco-friendly and ethical heels are unique and offer a sustainable, luxury alternative to designer heels.

Nomasei’s sustainable shoes are designed in Paris and handmade by local artisans using the finest Italian sourced materials and metal-free leather in Montopoli, Italy. In addition, Nomasei is transparent about its materials and suppliers and ensure they produce its boots and heels with as little environmental impact as possible; you can read more about Nomasei’s sustainable initiatives here.

Nomasei heeled slingbacks

7. Vivaia

Vivaia kitten heel mules

Sustainability: Fabric from recycled plastic bottles, carbon-neutral soles

Heel Styles: Court heels, heeled mules, heeled boots

Ships to: Worldwide

For heels made from recycled materials, check out Vivaia, a sustainable shoe company creating knitted heels from recycled plastic bottles; it takes recycled plastic bottles to develop their unique eco-yarn for every shoe produced.

Each shoe is naturally antimicrobial and breathable and features an eco-friendly deodorizing insole that minimizes foot odor, even in hot, humid conditions.

Ecothes Reviewed: “I’ve tested a pair of Vivaia’s heeled boots and I absolutely love style and breathability of the knitted uppers. The heels are well made, super sleek, and can be dressed up or down – Overall, I’m impressed!” – Bethany

Bethany wearing her sustainable heels
Editor Bethany wearing her Vivaia heels


Miista designer strap heels

Sustainability: Ethical heels by Artisans in Spain and Portugal using high-quality materials and low-impact production methods

Heel Styles: Open toe sandals, court shoes, block heel styles, mules

Ships to: UK & International

Miista is a luxury footwear company designing bespoke heel styles using low-impact, eco-friendly production methods. In addition, Miista sources all materials and fabrics from the EU, which significantly cuts down flight time in shipment emissions to their production facilities.

Designed in London, Miista creates its unique designs that are then handmade over several months by highly skilled craftspeople in Spain.

Miista court heels

9. Wills Vegan Store

Black velvet ethical heels from Wills vegan store

Sustainability: Vegan shoe brand creating its footwear ethically from responsible materials

Heel Styles: Sustainable pumps, ethical courts, stilettos

Ships to: Worldwide

If you’re looking for vegan ethical heels that aren’t just made from plastic, then I recommend you check out Wills Vegan Store.

The London-based brand has been a staple in the vegan footwear industry for a decade. Although the brand only has a limited collection of heels, it’s a great brand if you’re looking for a pair of sustainable pumps or court shoes for work.

Black vegan leather heels

10. Nae

Nae vegan and ethical heels

Sustainability: Vegan shoe brand creating heels ethically in Portugal

Heel Styles: Heeled sandals, mules

Ships to: Worldwide

After discovering Nae and checking out their flagship store on a recent trip to Portugal, I’m obsessed with the brand because of its selection of shoes, quality, and sustainable materials.

Nae is an entirely vegan brand that uses sustainable, biodegradable materials such as cork and Pinatex to create its on-trend heels.

Nae’s versatile heels should be on your radar, as they’re perfect to wear on holiday or through the summer.

Nae ethical mules

11. Hilos

Model wears hilos sustainable heels

Sustainability: Sustainable shoe brand, creating limited batch runs, using only sustainable materials

Heel Styles: Sustainable clogs, block heels

Ships to: the US

Hilos is a Portland-based footwear brand creating bespoke shoes from sustainable materials. The innovative brand uses 3D printing to model and create its shoes, a method that helps avoid waste.

Hilo’s shoes feature recyclable parts, so they should never end up in a landfill – now that’s something we love to hear!

Hilos brown heels

12. Able

Model wears Able ethical heels with a block heel

Sustainability: Ethical brand creating sustainable heels, apparel, and accessories responsibly

Heel Styles: Sustainable mules

Ships to: Worldwide

If you’re looking for heels built to last, check out Able. The brand creates ethical heels that come with a lifetime guarantee – yep, you read that correctly.

Able is an ethical brand that partners with suppliers worldwide to invest in and empower women across the globe.

The brand is transparent about the wages it pays and publishes a full list on its website – an initiative we hope more brands will follow!

Model wears jeans and Able sustainable mules

13. Good Guys Don’t Wear Leather

Good Guys vegan clogs

Sustainability: Vegan brand using sustainable materials and vegan leathers

Heel Styles: Vegan clogs

Ships to: Worldwide

While not technically heels, Good Guys Don’t Wear Leather has a fantastic range of heeled clogs – a must-have this season!

The Parisian brand is entirely vegan and uses bio-based vegan leathers such as Appleskin™ to create its clogs.

We know clogs will be a big trend again in 2024, so make sure you check out the brand.

Good guys vegan clogs

14. Beyond Skin

Beyond skin vegan leather heels

Sustainability: Vegan leather from recycled materials, ethically handcrafted in Spain

Heel Styles: Sustainable high heels, open toe sandals, mules, vegan sandals, court and wedding heels

Ships to: UK

Founded in 2001, Beyond Skin began with a vision to create a luxury vegan footwear brand; fast-forward twenty years, and they are still going strong, creating gorgeous vegan footwear from sustainable materials.

Beyond Skin design their vegan heels in England and then bring the designs to life in Spain, using the finest sourced materials, including recycled vegan leather.

Beyond skin sustainable heels in red and white gingham
What are sustainable heels?

Sustainable heels are shoes made using environmentally-friendly materials and ethical production practices. A genuine pair of sustainable heels should be designed to reduce their environmental impact. It’s also essential that they should be high-quality, durable, and long-lasting to ensure that they’re not thrown away in a landfill after the first few wears.

What materials are sustainable heels made from?

There are several materials you can look for when shopping for sustainable heels, depending on the brand. I’ve included a few of the most popular sustainable materials to look out for:
Recycled materials: Look for heels made from recycled materials, such as recycled leather or rubber. These materials help to reduce waste and minimize the environmental impact of production.
Natural materials: Natural materials, such as cork or wood, are more environmentally friendly than synthetic materials like polyester or plastic. They are also typically more durable, longer-lasting, and biodegradable.
Vegan materials: Vegan materials like recycled plastic or bio-based vegan leather like Pinatex or Appleskin are excellent choices for environmentally-conscious consumers. These materials are made without animal products, which helps to reduce the impact on animals and the environment. I personally prefer bio-based vegan leathers over plastic-based, as bio-based leathers are biodegradable, whereas recycled plastic is not.
Responsible materials: Materials that are produced using lower-impact and ethical methods, such as leather from Leather Working Group tanneries, ensure that leather is produced responsibly, such as reducing the number of toxic chemicals used.

Sustainable Heels Image
Featured: Nisolo

We hope you enjoyed our top picks for sustainable and ethical heels. As always please leave any feedback in the comments below.

If you’re on the hunt for other sustainable shoe brands, check out our guides on sustainable sneakers, boots and sandals.

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Bethany Worthington BSc (Hons) (she/her) is the Sustainable Fashion Editor and Co-founder of Ecothes. She has a passion for the environment, and a long love of all things clothing, and combines those two interests with Ecothes. In her free time she loves dancing, hiking in the countryside, and laughing with friends.

Articles: 207

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