Saturday, 15 April 2017

10 Ethical And/Or Sustainable Shoe Brands You Should Know


Summer's on its way, which mean it's time to pack away your winter boots and get ready for the warmer weather. But whereas nowadays it's relatively easy to find clothing brands and boutiques doing the right thing for people and the planet, finding conscious shoe brands can be difficult because of the more complicated manufacturing processes involved. To shorten the search, here's a handy round up of ten of the best ethical and/or sustainable shoe brands you should know.

1. Veja | veja.com@veja
This French sneaker brand (above) has gone from startup to superstar in the last few years, and is now just as likely to be seen on the feet of Parisian street style stars as well as slow fashion influencers such as Emma Watson. The low-chrome sneakers are produced ethically in Brazil using sustainable materials such as natural rubber and organic cotton, and the brand has also recently expanded its vegan range.

2. Everlane | everlane.com | @everlane
Build on the concept of "radical transparency", US startup Everlane has become the go-to place for quality basics made in specially selected factories without the usual retail mark up. The millennial favourite also stocks a wide range of shoes, and although there's little information about the source of the leather onsite, there's a detailed profile on each factory with a special focus on heritage and craftsmanship.


3. Ethletic | ethletic.com@ethletic
Another ethical alternative to most sneaker brands, Ethletic's collection is made of natural and sustainable materials such as organic cotton natural rubber and is 100% vegan. Reminiscent of the classic shapes of Converse and Vans, Ethletic takes inspiration from skater style in a range of different colours. 


4. Sseko Designs | ssekodesigns.com | @ssekodesigns
Sseko is an ethical shoe brand which enables African women to progress to higher education through stable employment and structured financial support. Although the brand has now expanded into other products such as jewellery and handbags, the core of the collection is made up of various leather sandal designs which you can personalise depending on your individual style, from multifunctional and swappable ribbon sandals to a range of of on-trend leather slides.


5. Jute Laune | jutelaune.com@jutelaune
Jute Laune sells handcrafted shoes from Spain from artisans based in Minorca and La Rioja. The traditional designs (espadrilles and menorcas), worn by the local population for centuries, have been given a modern twist with new colours and designs at very reasonable prices (€55-85), and ship for free worldwide. 


6. Nisolo | nisolo.com@nisoloshoes
Based in New York, Nisolo offers "intentionally designed, ethically made, fairly priced" shoes  and other leather accessories hand made in small, artisan factories around the world, in a range of styles from fashionable mules and slides to more classic ballerinas and loafers. 


7. By Far | byfarshoes.com@byfarshoes
A small Bulgarian shoe brand founded in 2015 and now high on the radar of some of Instagram's top influencers, By Far has captured the zeitgeist perfectly with its range of boots, block-heeled pumps, mules and sandals made from dead-stock leather derived from luxury Italian factories, as well as premium Italian materials.


8. Nine to Five | ninetofive.biz @ninetofive
Hamburg-based brand Nine to Five specialises in leather shoes and accessories made from more environmentally friendly materials such as vegetable-tanned European calfskin leather, as well as fish skin, ethically produced in Portuguese factories. The starred boot is a fashion blogger favourite, but the summer collection includes some more hero pieces including strappy sandals and low-heeled ballerinas.


9. Coclico | coclico.com@coclico 
The winner of the 2013 SOURCE award for sustainable fashion in the footwear category, Coclico stands for "modern minimalism and traditional quality". Hailing from New York, Coclico uses locally sourced materials from near the small, factory-run factory in Mallorca, Spain, and offsets its carbon footprint by investing in international renewable energy projects. 

10. TOMS | toms.com | @toms 
Round off the list is perhaps one of the most well-known ethical shoe brands in the world, TOMS works from the principle of "One to One", meaning that for every product sold, TOMS helps someone in need, from giving shoes to underprivileged children or working with NGOs to help restore sight through glasses, surgery or other treatment.




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