A Guide to Sustainable Women’s Shoes

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 nine pairs of shoes, I own: black low boots, black knee-high boots, black flats, low-top white casual trainers, black sports trainers, sling-back stilettos, black Mary-Janes, red heels, and a pair of flip-flops.

For my basics, I’ve had these for years – my Grenson Nanette boots* have to be the hardest working pair of shoes in my wardrobe. These took over from my Wills Chelsea boots (gifted years ago) and my Dr. Martens 1460 boots, which I had worn for thousands upon thousands of steps.

When I’m feeling more dressy, I’ll reach for my Wandler knee-high boots, which I scored on Thrift+ for just under £30. Considering these boots retail for £400+, I am very happy every time I wear them!

My current trainers are from Black Tulip (gifted) and took over from a previous pair of Veja sneakers. Read my guide to sustainable sneakers for a comparison of these, alongside other sustainable sneakers on the market.

And for my heels, I’ll switch between my second-hand Vetements sling-backs, which have been repaired and re-heeled countless times now, my black Jonak Mary-Janes, and my red ALOHAS which were a regretted gift – full review here.

16 of the Best Sustainable Women’s Shoes Brands in UK

So, here’s my list of sustainable 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 brand 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.

Black Tulip: Sneakers and boots made with LWG leather and sustainable principles.

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.

Dr Martens*: I’m referring to their vegan leather range, which I owned and loved. Read my review →

Good News: Streetwear sneakers that care about people and planet. Their motto: ‘giving back, one step at a time’

Grenson*: British shoemaker making high quality boots and shoes since 1866.

Prota Fiori: Luxury heels made with cutting-edge vegan leathers.

Rockfish*: Natural rubber wellingtons made in the UK, stocked by Fat Face.

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.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links (denoted with '*').


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