7 Fair Trade & Sustainable Shoes [2021]

A good pair of shoes will be worn potentially hundreds of times.

They’re a big investment. You want a pair that are stylish, but, don’t harm the earth.

There are a variety of sustainable shoe brands out there creating high-quality ethical and sustainable shoes using a variety of innovative materials and production methods.

We’ve collected some of our favorites to help you find your perfect pair.

We’ll add to this list whenever we find a new sustainable brand, so make sure to check back!

We also have guides to sustainable running shoes, vegan shoe brands, and sustainable sneakers.

Best Sustainable and Ethical Shoe Brands

1. Allbirds

Allbirds Tree Dasher 2.0

At a glance: Super-comfortable everyday shoe

Sustainability: Carbon neutral, Ethically made with ZQ Merino wool, B Corp, WRAP Certified production

Price range: $95-145

Allbirds creates a range of stylish shoes, from everyday sneakers like the Wool Runners (pictured), to the Tree Runner running shoes, to eco-friendly slippers.

All of their shoes are made with ethically sourced ZQ Merino wool, and you can be sure that Allbirds have a sustainable supply chain because they’re a Certified B Corporation.

They’re extremely comfortable thanks to the bouncy soles and sock-like fit.

2. Nisolo

Nisolo ethical leather shoes

At a glance: A selection of stylish leather heels, flats, and sneakers, perfect for any occasion

Sustainability: Certified B Corp, pay living wages and support their staff in Peru with financial education, leather created using traditional, non-wasteful methods

Price range: $100 – 230

Nisolo, based in Nashville, makes a variety of high-quality leather shoes, from heels, to sneakers.

While leather may not seem sustainable at first, Nisolo ensure their production methods are traditional and low-waste. They work with local artisans in Peru and Kenya, paying living wages and helping their staff become financially independent.

Their shoes are high-quality, durable, and very stylish. When you first wear them, they’ll need to be broken in. Once that’s done, they’ll fit like a glove.

3. Tropicfeel

Tropicfeel Sustainable Shoes

At a glance: Durable, multi-purpose shoes designed for living and travel.

Sustainability: Partner with Cosmo and Bloom Foam to use recycled and eco-friendly materials

Price range: From $77

Tropicfeel makes comortable but stylish shoes that you can wear no matter what you’re doing.

They’re waterproof and fast-drying, but equally perfect for a day walking around a big city.

The sock-like construction means they slip on and you barely notice them.

7 recycled plastic bottles go into every pair and they include 30% recycled EVA.

4. OluKai

OluKai ethical shoes

At a glance: Carefully crafted sandals, sneakers, shoes and boots, made by a company that truly cares

Sustainability: Certified B Corporation, Founded charitable organization to preserve Hawaiian culture and heritage, member of The Conservation Alliance

Price range: $90 – 120

OluKai make stylish, durable, and comfortable shoes for both men and women.

The materials they use are selected for their quality and sustainability.

OluKai are a Certified B Corporation, which means that they need to meet high standards of social impact, environmental performance, and accountability.

The brand also started the Ama OluKai Foundation — a foundation to support and honor the heritage and spirit of Hawai’i that supports multiple nonprofits.

5. Etiko

Etiko sustainable shoes

At a glance: Fully vegan casual shoes, perfect alternative to Converse or Vans

Sustainability: Vegan, cruelty-free, free of toxic chemicals, Certified Fair Trade, organic cotton

Price range: $80 – 130

Etiko is an Australian sustainable brand making a range of footwear (and apparel) using completely vegan and organic materials.

The shoes pictured are made from natural latex rubber, Organic Cotton canvas, and hand stitched laces.

There are no animal glues or harmful chemicals used, and the boxes you receive them in are made from post-consumer waste. Etiko are at the forefront of sustainable footwear and we love it.

6. Giesswein

Giesswein sustainable sneakers

At a glance: Family-run business making casual shoes using sustainable processes

Sustainability: Eco-friendly production process

Price range: £89 – £179

Giesswein’s merino wool shoes are made using sustainable production process. They use 90% recycled water to minimize waste, and their production is powered by 100% use of renewable resources.

They also have 0% scraps, which means no part of their process results in waste.

Giesswein started as a family business based in Austria, and it still is — today being run by the 3rd generation.

7. The Root Collective

The Root Collective Sustainable Shoes

At a glance: Boots, flats, and sandals made in independent workshops to support communities in Guatemala City and Pastores

Sustainability: Pay 50-400% above living wage, handwoven fabrics

Price range: $108 – 328

The Root Collective partners with small and independent workshops in Guatelama City and Pastores. The brand aims to support local workshops and small business owners. They pay anywhere from 50-400% above the local living, fair trade wage.

Their goal here is to help the business owners they work with hire more staff, and give back to their communities.

The brand uses handwoven fabrics and sustainably sourced leather.

You can choose from a range of boots, flats, or sandals.

We hope you’ve found the perfect pair of shoes!

If you want to keep browsing, we think you’ll love our guides on shoes like converse, vans, and sustainable sneakers!

The Ecothes Team
The Ecothes Team

Hi, we're the team behind Ecothes. We started this platform to help share the sustainable brands we discover, making products from clothing, to homeware, to sneakers.

Learn more about our team on our About page: https://ecothes.com/about

Articles: 58

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.