The fashion industry’s favorite buzz word is “
sustainability” but the term should not to be used lightly—especially as we are becoming more intelligent consumers of all things, be it fashion, media, or food. Luckily, responsible creation is now a prerequisite for up-and-coming designers. Creating fashion consciously can take many forms, from upcycling vintage fabrics, creating new biodegradable materials, investing in the revival of artisan communities and quite frankly, shopping less. Online retailers are finally dedicating entire sections of their sites to earth-friendly brands. One of our favorites is Net-A-Porter’s new initiative, Net Sustain, which categorizes brands based on their qualifications. The big perk here? These pieces, whether accessories or clothes, not only look chic, but they are made in a responsible manner, as well. As for shoes, it is important to understand what they are made of and where they were made. Vegan leather can be made of a variety of materials such as recycled plastic, pineapple leaves, cork, or even apple peels. Now, it’s easier than ever to shop sustainable; here, we’ve compiled some of our favorite sustainable shoe brands for your scrolling pleasure.
Seen on the likes of Emma Roberts and Cara Buono, Aera has committed to offset their environmental impact by 110% to not only sustain the environment but actually benefit it. They do this through a partnership with a leading environmental certification agency and by investing in reforestation projects and water restoration certificates. Aera produce 95% of their materials in Italy while also manufacturing in Veneto with those who support their values.
Buy Now: Aera, vegan patent-effect sandal, $375, aeranewyork.com.
In 2001 the house of Stella McCartney was the first vegetarian luxury brand and continues to push boundaries and set trends in the luxury arena today. We included this in our round up because we know that the lug sole boot trend will be taking this fall by storm. Opt to buy this particular style, which is made in Italy of recycled polyester, polyurethane and polyamide.
Buy Now: Stella McCarntey, white non-leather utility boot, $680, stellamccartney.com.
This fully vegan accessory brand creates limited edition sneakers that aim to tell a story while creating new materials with stone, tree bark, natural rubber, cotton cellulose and coconut fiber. This shoe is hand made in Portugal (known for their high manufacturing standards) and made of vegan leather, technical mesh fabric, vegan suede with a vegan leather lining.
Buy Now: Rombaut, sneaker hybrid shoe with lightweight sole, $390, shop.rombaut.com.
Founded by Aurora James, Brother Vellies utilizes animal byproducts to create what they call “forever shoes”, meant to last the test of time. They even reserve the scraps from their adult sized shoes to make their line of kid’s shoes. This style was handmade in Mexico.
Buy Now: Brother Vellies, black and white mule with silver buckle, $665, brothervellies.com.
Each Sydney Brown shoe is handmade near Porto, Portugal in a factory committed to sustainability, performance, and new technology. The brand is completely vegan, PETA approved, and strives to minimize water usage and waste. This chic platform is made from sustainably harvested German beech wood, a faux-nappa upper, cork covered recycled-fiber insole, and natural rubber sole.
Buy Now: Sydney Brown, vegan black platform clog, $215, sydney-brown.com.
Founded by Bianca Moran Parkes, this vegan line works with a factory in Hong Kong owned by three sisters where everyone in management is a woman. These flats are made almost entirely from recycled plastic bottles and use a water-based adhesive. This school-girl look can take you from summer to fall.
Buy Now: Susi Studio, black T-strap flat, $125, susistudio.com.
It is clear at first glance that Hereu celebrates fine craftmanship. José Luis Bartolomé and Albert Escribano founded this Mediterranean brand which fuses modern craft with traditional artisanal practices. Made in Alicante, Spain and rooted in history, Hereu styles translate to international appeal.
Buy Now: Hereu, T-strap shoe made of calf leather, $329, hereustudio.com.
Not only is Sabah training craftsmen at their workshop in Turkey in a dying art, the hand-stitched shoe, they also employ several refugees from Aleppo. This fall, Sabah will release fully vegetable tanned leather.
Buy Now: Sabah, calf leather and rubber sole shoe, $195, shop.sabah.am.
All 12 components of a Yatay sneaker are sustainably made, down to each hemp shoelace. The brand was created in 2018 with the goal of combining Italian-made quality with the most advanced green technology for a shoe style that only gets better with age. What’s more? A tree is planted for every style sold.
Buy Now: Yatay, sneaker made of natural and recycled materials, $268, yatayatay.com.
Mohinders works with third and fourth generation shoemakers in Athani, India to create this iconic style of Northern Karnataka, India. The brand works to reduce their environmental impact by using traditionally tanned leather and biodegradable materials and natural dyes.
Buy Now: Mohinders, woven flat with stripes, $145, mohinders.com.