The best eco-friendly shoe brands

Written by Hannah Keegan

Hannah Keegan is the features writer at Stylist magazine.

From eco-friendly fabrics to vegan styles, here’s our edit of the most fashionable and sustainable footwear brands to shop now

Being more thoughtful with the way we shop is something we can all make a conscious effort to do. Of course we all get the urges when there are so many new trends popping up (we’re only human) but it’s about making more considered purchases rather than those impulse throwaway buys. Whether it’s shopping vintage, investing in wardrobe staples that you’ll love forever and never throw away, or making a conscious effort to shop sustainable brands, every little helps. 

The sustainable trainer offering is getting bigger, we all know and love our Veja trainers, and we’ve never walked in anything more comfortable than our All Birds. Trainer brands are definitely upping the anti with their sustainability credentials and fashion kudos. Whereas shoe brands are lagging behind a bit, with the offering of fashionable yet sustainable footwear pretty limited. However we have done the leg work and found six brands that are making steps (get it!) to change the way we shop. Whether they are cruelty free, ethically sourced and manufactured or using recycled fabrics these brands are making small steps without compromising on style.

These are the 8 shoe brands that will make for a slightly more guilt-free shop. 

  • Castañer

    Best sustainable shoes: Castañer wedge espadrilles

    J’aime la terre is the new ethical collection to come from Castañer the go-to brand if you are in the market for the summer staple that is the espadrille. This collection is made from eco-friendly materials such as jute and canvas. 

    Shop wedges, £111, Castañer


  • Dr. Martens

    After popular demand Dr. Martens expanded it’s offering with a vegan collection, using absolutely no animal products within said collection. Dr. Martens are also an investment investment brand, buy now wear forever, therefore slowing down the cycle of throw-away fashion, these chunky black sandals will last you a lifetime.

    Shop sandals, £119, Dr.Martens


  • Everlane

    Best sustainable shoes: Pink Everlane Mules

    Pioneers in ethical processes fashion brand Everlane is a name to know. From production to fabrication this brand has sustainability at the forefront of it’s business. And these super cool pastel coloured mules are made from exactly 5 recycled plastic bottles.

    Shop shoes, £78, Everlane


  • Toms

    Sustainable footwear: Toms flat sandals

    These simple summer sandals are part of Toms’ vegan collection. The brand also has charity at the heart of the brand with every pair of shoes purchased new shoes are given to a child in need.

    Shop sandals, £48, Toms


  • Stella McCartney

    Best sustainable footwear: Stella McCartney mules

    Stella McCartney has long been a pioneer in sustainability, with her business being one of the most forward thinking in the luxury market. These chic mules are made from 65% recycled polyester, renewable vegetable oil are are totally cruelty free. These are an investment buy that will never date. 

    Shop shoes, £465, Stella McCartney 


  • Rothy’s

    Best sustainable footwear: Black Rothy’s sandals

    Each pair of shoes from Rothy’s is made from marine plastic and plastic bottles, impressive hey?! Even more impressive the footbeds are made from algae-based foam. These black sandals are super chic a guilt free. 

    Shop sandals, £111.60, Rothy’s


  • Brother Vellies

    Best sustainable footwear: Brother Vellies mules

    Luxury accessories brand Brother Vellies is focused on nurturing sustainable practices. The brand uses kudu leather (a byproduct of the meat industry), vegetable dyes, and soling from recycled tires, to name but a few. The brand is also committed to fair labour practices and forging close ties with its farmers.

    Shop mules, £413, Brother Vellies


  • Matt & Nat

    Best sustainable footwear: Matt & Nat white sandals

    PETA approved vegan friendly accessories brand  Matt & Nat do not use any animal based materials in their bags or shoes. They’re also continually exploring innovative ways of making a more sustainable product including using recycled materials such as nylons, cardboard, rubber and cork. Since 2007 the brand has used 100% recycled plastic bottles for their linings and have recently introduced recycled bicycle tires to our collections, and the brands price point is great too!

    Shop sandals, £90, Matt & Nat


Images: Courtesy of brands

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