Something I’m routinely asked is where I source my shoes from. In all honesty, ethical 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, 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!
Ethical womens shoes brands
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 outside of the UK. Please check with the supplier if you prefer to shop UK-produced only!
Beyond Skin: Vegan shoes that are cute, cool, glitzy and glamourous.
Bourgeois Boheme: Vegan footwear across flats, heels and boots.
Everlane: US brand making Italian leather shoes in ethical factories with real transparency.
Fashion Conscience: A mix of different shoe styles and brands, all with different ethics too.
Gather & See: Ethical footwear brands from around the world, stocked in the UK.
Green Shoes: Ready-to-wear and made-to-order ethically made, with a vegan range.
Hooves: Vegan leather and vegan suede desert boots.
Juta Shoes: Espadrilles made from reclaimed materials that help women get into work.
Matt and Nat: Shoes, sandals and heels made from vegan leather, cork, recycled and natural materials.
NAK Shoes: Cruelty-free vegan shoes with a signature black style spanning heels, boots and more.
Po-Zu: Scandi sneakers, heeled sandals, and even Star Wars themed shoes.
Rockfish: Natural rubber wellingtons made in the UK, stocked by Fat Face.
Veja: Spanish brand producing leather and vegan ethical sneakers – free UK shipping over €150.
Will’s Vegan Shoes: Beautiful brogues, Chelsea boots, trainers and more – all PETA-approved.