Our top 10 sustainable footwear brands
We love shoes. Not quite as much as Rebecca Bloomwood in Confessions of a Shopaholic, but we love them nonetheless. Especially when they are as gorgeous as the Will's Chelsea Boots or the Nae Margot Summer Sandals. What pushes these shoes head and shoulders over other brands are they do not compromise on sustainability. These shoes are functional, durable, desirable AND sustainable all at once. Below is a list of our top 10 shoe brands. Here at the Beagle Button, we are looking to encourage you to follow in our footsteps, and buy products that don’t have massive carbon footprints. Particularly shoes.
Will’s Vegan Shoes:
Wills is an online store that specialises in vegan footwear and accessories. Established in 2012 this British company has made it easy to buy consciously. They are completely carbon neutral, cruelty free, and ethical. Their Ethical and Environmental Policy is thorough, as is their attention to detail. Take the Classic Luxe Chelsea Boots; these are made with Italian vegan leather and have discrete, smooth stitching. Will’s has taken classic shoe styles and given them a sustainable edge. They sell Hiking Boots, Sandals, Brogues and Sneakers. All this comes in recycled packaging, which is the icing on the cake.
Nae Vegan Shoes:
Most people have heard of materials like vegan leather, recycled plastics, and organic cotton. However, have you ever heard of Pinatex? Don’t worry if you haven’t, we hadn’t either. It is a hypoallergenic and carbon neutral material made of pineapple leaf fibres. The Margot Heeled Sandal is made of Pinatex leather and cork, two innovative and natural materials. That is why we adore Nae Vegan Shoes. The brand respects classic styles, whilst using sustainable materials. Another shoe to check out is their Vero open back shoe. It is also made of cork, giving it a natural tan colour. What makes it special is the cork shoe is embroidered with delicate white leaf details. Check out this brand, as all of their shoes are stunning. It was a challenge only choosing two styles to recommend.
TOMS has established itself as a reliable footwear company. It creates attractive, durable shoes. On top of that this B Certified Company gives back. It has pledged to give a third of all profits to charities around the world. Their charity work is noteworthy, having seen almost 100 million shoes donated to underprivileged people in need. We recommend their vibrant yellow Alpargata Rope espadrilles. They are bright yellow. The eye-catching materials are coloured with plant-derived dyes, recycled and ‘earth-friendly.’ As the dye is natural every pair is slightly different, making them unique.
Shoes are an investment. When you invest in shoes you want to make sure you like the style you are buying. We believe people buy signature styles from big brands as their shoes are recognisable, and in the consumers’ eyes, trustworthy. We respect that. However don’t be fooled that a certain style is exclusive to one brand. You can also find classic silhouettes from sustainable brands. The Ethletic Just White Low Tops have done that by recreating a recognisable silhouette. The only difference between these shoes and similar styles is they are made of Fair-trade-certified organic cotton, ethically sourced and cruelty free. They kick ass.
We’re proud we sniffed these shoes out. It was a challenge, because their Agion treatment makes them odourless. They are also sustainable, breathable, lightweight and quick drying. They are great sports shoes. These all-terrain shoes are slip resistant and made to help you trample your way through life, wherever it might take you. The Monsoon Choco trainers are a vibrant red, and are available in many colours.
Shoes are made for walking, but we could just stare at these. They’re that gorgeous. The EcoAlf [Sandford Sneakers](https://fave.co/2UD864R are perfect for any casual look. These lace-up shoes are simple, designed for everyday wear. The contrasting black text on the heel ‘Because there is no Planet B’ will turn heads, in a good way. Aside from what they look like, they are made with 100% recycled nylon. EcoAlf has recycled more that 200 million tons of plastic bottles. They are innovatively upcycling discarded plastic into stylish shoes and clothing. This brand is definitely worth checking out.
Sometimes you want to get dressed up, put on a pair of heels and feel powerful. Beyond Skin specialises in heels of every shade and style. Their Pammie Black Ankle boots are the height of fashion. They are made with luxurious black vegan suede and have a 100% recycled faux leather lining. They are handmade with care in Spain and PETA approved. In short, they tick every box. They are perfect for a girl’s night out, or they can pull off a chic work outfit. It is worth noting that Beyond Skin does not just do classic styles, but also does fun ones. If you love shimmering shoes then you’re in for a treat. This is another company that cares about more than how their shoes look, their Sustainability page says it all.
It’s pretty obvious Komrads cares about the planet. Just take a look at their APL Ocean Blue Shoes. They’ve got a planet logo on them! Though, that alone doesn’t prove anything. This does: Komrads’ APLs are made of purely reused and recycled materials. The upper material is vegan apple eco leather, the lining and laces are made of recycled carbon, and the soles are Upcycled rubber. The shoes are even wrapped in 100% recycled boxes and paper. Amazing all this recycled materials looks brand new. These Komrads are bright white with blue accents. Sustainability is clearly in the company’s DNA.
Matt & Nat:
Still mulling over getting a new pair of shoes? If none of the above has caught your attention, maybe these mules will. The Manya Sky mules are feminine and simple. They have an elegant mini heel and a simple streamlined design. These would pull together a formal wedding or a casual summer picnic outfit. Matt & Nat really does care about what materials they use, and their impact on the environment. They have to; it’s in their name. Matt & Nat stands for Materials and Nature! This brand only uses cruelty free, vegan materials and strives to use as sustainable alternatives as possible. These shoes, for example, are made of PU, which is a less harmful vegan leather than other alternatives such as PVCs. This brand also makes other accessories including bottles and belts if you’re not after footwear.
Over two-thirds of the Earth’s surface is covered by water. If you want to protect the planet then you could think about how the shoes you wear on the earth impact the water in our oceans. SEA LIFE Trust works incredibly hard to improve the health of our oceans. This charity has teamed up with the eco-brand Tretorn to design the Nylite Ocean Net sneakers. These shoes are made from regenerated nylon from fishing nets and plastic waste. Being made from materials designed for water it is no surprise they are waterproof. Tretorn will donate 10% of the retail price of these shoes to SEA LIFE Trust. This innovation is prize worthy… and if all goes to plan these sneakers will win Best Sustainable Initiative of the Year at the Drapers Footwear Awards 2020. No wonder we love them so much.
We could go on. There are so many wonderful shoe brands that weave together sustainability and style. Shoes are no longer just made for walking, but also for kicking this climate emergency in the butt. We hope we have inspired your next purchase, or at least shown you there are so many options available. When and if you need to buy a pair of shoes check out these brands. We keep coming back to them, and so should you. If you want more recommendations sign up for the Beagle Button. It will gently redirect you to sustainable alternatives to the products you are searching for online.
A quick note
Every product we feature has been thoroughly researched and is often used by the team. Some of the brands we work with will provide a commission when our readers or users buy their products. Some of the links in this blog may be such affiliate links - but this is paid by the brands, and you won't pay more as a result!