Something I’m routinely asked is where I source my ethical women’s shoes from. In all honesty, sustainable shoes are hard to find, even when you live, breathe, and dream about ethical fashion.
I believe it has something to do with the intricacy of shoemaking – it strikes me as far easier to create an organic cotton t-shirt than the soles, insoles, outers, and buckles of a pair of shoes. Correct me if I’m wrong though!
So, in order to redress the balance, I’ve decided to put together a quick guide to the best brands providing ethical shoes in the UK.
My Own Shoe Collection
I have a surprisingly small collection of shoes. Comprising of eight pairs of women’s shoes, I have: black Chelsea boots, black stilettos, black vegan Dr Martens, low-top white casual trainers, black sports trainers, leopard-print flats, silver sandals, and white flip-flops.
For my basics, I’ve had these for years – my stilettos barely leave the box. My Chelsea boots are a H&M rip-off of Acne’s signature boots that I wear almost every day, so while they might not be ethically made, by looking after them I’ve treated them as ethically as possible.
My truly ethical shoes are my silver Matt & Nat sandals that I treated myself to two years ago, and my second-hand leopard-print flats are my newest addition – I wore them in just last week!
And coming from the old-world cobbling capital of the UK, Northamptonshire, I also have to give a shoutout to Dr Martens, who produce a vegan version of their trademark boots, and still have a warehouse in the area. Mine are three years-old and still going strong!
UPDATE: Here’s my sustainable shoe collection if you’re interested! I’d love to know what you think!
Ethical Women’s Shoes Brands in UK
So, here’s my list of ethical shoe brands available in the UK. Please do note that the brands I’ve listed all serve the UK, but may source their shoes, materials or production elsewhere. Please check with the supplier if you want to know more about their supply chain!
AllBirds*: Eco sneakers made with natural materials and low carbon footprint.
Be Flamboyant*: Vegan leather sneakers made in Portugal.
Beyond Skin: Vegan shoes that are cute, cool, glitzy and glamourous.
Bourgeois Boheme: Vegan footwear across flats, heels and boots.
Bulibasha: First-ever footwear brand using woven natural coconut fibre.
Cariuma: Brazilian shoe brand manufacturing classic looking sneakers with better production practices and materials.
Castaner*: Classic espadrilles and heeled espadrilles made with cotton in the EU.
Converse Renew*: Typical hi-top and low-top styles made from waste materials
Flamingo’s Life*: Bold vegan leather hi-top sneakers, made in Spain.
Gather & See: Ethical footwear brands from around the world, stocked in the UK.
Good Guys*: As the name says, all their boots and sneakers are vegan leather, designed in France and made in Portugal.
Good News*: Streetwear sneakers that care about people and planet. Their motto: ‘giving back, one step at a time’
Green Shoes: Ready-to-wear and made-to-order ethically made, with a vegan range.
OFKT*: Classic leather brogues reinterpreted in contemporary styles, made in the UK.
Rockfish*: Natural rubber wellingtons made in the UK, stocked by Fat Face.
Rose Rankin*: Glitzy sneakers and boots, designed and made in the UK.
Staiy: Sustainable fashion and footwear platform with carbon neutral shipping to UK. Get 20% off: BESMA20
Veja*: French brand producing leather and vegan ethical sneakers in Spain.
Waves*: Natural rubber flip-flops made in Sri Lanka, with plastic-free packaging.
Will’s Vegan Shoes: Beautiful brogues, Chelsea boots, trainers and more – all PETA-approved.
Zou Xou: Classic, covetable styles of shoes, consciously made in Argentina with worldwide shipping.
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