Ethically Chic Shoes for Spring & Summer
Let's face it ... "ethical fashion" is still somewhat taboo in the mainstream fashion world. We are still wrapping our head around the complexities of natural fibers, ethical production practices and principals of fair trade. We're learning about some of the amazing luxe fashion designers both big and small ... and slowly but surely they are making their way into the most stylish folks' closets.
But what's an outfit without the right shoes to go along with it? An ethical outfit needs to have ethical shoes to compliment it. Or if you're an accessory buff, let's start your conscious collection from the bottom up.
We've compiled a list of our favorite ethically chic footwear brands that you should be rockin' this Spring/Summer to step up your sustainable style game!
Aurora James and her label Brother Vellies is perhaps the best-known in this category. BV is a Brooklyn-based brand that specializes in handcrafted men's and women's shoes and sandals. They work closely with artisans in South Africa, Kenya and Morocco to preserve indigenous techniques and maintain a luxury integrity.
With an artfully and elegant aesthetic, Coclico creates beautiful hand-crafted shoes with materials sourced locally in Europe, near our small, family-run factory in Mallorca, Spain. Each collection strives to seek the highest standards of ethical and environmental responsibility for a very modern look and feel.
When you think of ethical tennis shoes, Veja is the first brand that comes to mind. It's ethics focus on ethical production, organic materials and zero waste. This brand buys their organic materials from fair trade family farms in Brazil and the Amazon and continue to emphasis the importance of transparency.
For a classic, comfortable and minimalist vibes, Deux Mains is crafted by artisans in Haiti. The soles are made from repurposed tires and local leathers. Employee-owned and operated, they were born out of 2010 Haiti earthquake and their staff is determined to rebuild their lives and prosper.
A minimalist shoe brand for men and women that's focused on building infrastructure in Peru. Focused on a transparent business model, Nisolo creates very classic and timeless styles that are well-made.
THE NATIVE SHOES
For the fun, colorful and quirky, the Native Shoes are the perfect for the whole family. Mindful of the environment, they have a low-emission manufacturing process and no animal by-products in their shoes, all packaged with recyclable materials.
THE ROOT COLLECTIVE
This brand in particular prides themselves on having tight knit working relationships with all artisans involved in production. As a certified B-Corp this brand works with shoemakers and local textile-weavers in Guatemala who were in poverty or at-risk of being in gangs. They have an assortment of adorable leather and patterned flats and boots.
Branded as "Sneakers for People Who Give a Damn", these unisex canvas classics is a completely fair trade establishment. Using local rubber, local canvas and local manufacturing this Ecuadorian brand plants a tree with eery purchase.
This LA-based shoes brand proves that "science is sexier than skins". Using recycled textiles and and eco-friend vegan materials makes small batch "vegan" shoes and boots. (Each NICORA pair saves: 33,750 gallons of water + 7.74 gallons of petroleum + 11,0558 kilowatt HOURS of energy - same a house uses for 1 year).