Seven Most Sustainable Shoe Brands 7个你不得不知的可持续鞋子品牌
Updated: Aug 14
Author : Marina
Together with the urge of a revolution in sustainability for fashion brands, the footwear sector has to reconsider as well his role in this scenario. Designers and footwear companies are struggling to research and develop shoes with less harmful impact on the environment and of course, cruelty-free.
What does it mean “sustainable shoes”?
The term sustainable shoes is very broad. Mostly it involves the design of shoes that would use new natural and easy-to-decompose materials, would pay attention to the gas emissions, would be transparent in its supply chain guaranteeing that natural resources, animal welfare, good labor conditions are respected.
What is the environmental problem associated with shoes?
The main environmental problem related to footwear is its difficulty to decompose since it is mainly made by plastic and glues, materials that are hard to recycle, then gas emissions and animal leather that is cruel and very heavy on the environment especially in the tanning process.
Seven Most Sustainable Shoes Brands
Let’s explore together seven brands that are trying their best to be as sustainable as possible.
Made in Italy, Vegan luxury brand, this company is making its way into the fashion market. The brand Nemanti Milano participated to the Milan Fashion Week 2014 making their brand international. This company pays attention to different aspects: animals, all materials are cruelty-free; environment, they use plant based materials; workmanship, absence of outsourcing to other countries. The shoes are made from the more traditional linen, waxed cotton and wood, to more innovative materials such as Alcantara with zero CO2 emissions and faux leather derived from the refuse of the production of grains. The Spring-Summer 2018 collection sees the use of pellemela, a faux leather obtained from apple cores discarded by agribusiness industries, and 100% cellulose pure. They are approved by PETA and LAV as vegan brand with the highest ethical rating level. If you are interested in this brand, you can find all the products on their website, they ship worldwide.
2. Stella McCartney
Stella is the pioneer of Vegetarian Shoes. The company uses a lot of new materials for their shoes collection like recycled polyester, sustainable wood, regenerated nylon. Their leather alternatives look good and are also better for the environment. Using recycled polyester instead of Brazilian calf leather, for example, creates 24 times less of an environmental impact. All of the wood used in their shoes comes from sustainably certified sources that can be traced in all the supply chain. With the partnership with Adidas, Stella makes the iconic Adidas Stan Smith sneakers completely leather-free.
Stella McCartney truly believes that the world is full of raw material that is already in use, or on its way to landfill, where it will take centuries to decompose. The most logical next step is to reuse what we already have. With this idea, they created the LOOP LACE-UP SNEAKERS made by recycled polyester with up to 50% less energy than virgin polyester.
If you are interested in this brand, search on Taobao Stella McCartney Online Shop.
他们在淘宝有官方旗舰店哦，搜索“Stella McCartney Online Shop”。
The New Zealand-American footwear company wants to have a positive impact on the environment. The company's goal is to eliminate their products' carbon footprint. So until they reach the goal of zero, they are taxing themselves for the carbon they emit and investing in offsets to fund projects that neutralize their footprint.
Their shoes are mainly made of wool, which process uses 60% less energy than materials used in typical synthetic shoes. Important for all the animal lovers is that they work with leading organizations like ZQ Merino to ensure that wool is held to high standards of farming, land management, and animal welfare. Tree fiber is sourced from South African farms that minimize fertilizer and rely on rainfall, not irrigation. Compared to traditional materials like cotton, it uses 95% less water and cuts our carbon footprint in half. Sugar - the sugarcane used to make SweetFoam™ is sourced from southern Brazil, where it relies on rainwater, not irrigation. It is a fully renewable resource that grows quickly, removing carbon from the atmosphere in the process. Trino™, is nature’s super-yarn that combines the properties of before mentioned renewable materials Tree and Merino. Moreover, the company uses plastic bottles for laces, recycled cardboard for shoe packaging, castor bean oil for increasing the natural content in the insoles, and Bio-TPU for eyelets.
Allbirds new women’s TREE DASHERS use above-mentioned sustainable materials. The midsole is made of carbon negative foam derived from sugarcane and the uppers are made from a combination of eucalyptus fibers and wool. If you are interested in this brand, search on Taobao All Birds Online Shop.
Allbirds女士的新款TREE DASHERS就用了上面说到的材料。鞋底中部用碳负值的甘蔗泡沫做成，鞋面用桉树纤维和羊毛混织而成。想买的话，在淘宝上搜索“All Birds Online Shop”。
The Italian brand Womsh vegan line made with apple fibers is entirely eco-friendly, non-toxic and biocompatible. The company is very into sustainability showing results like 23.000 square meters of forest preserved in 5 years, 2500 pairs of shoes recycled since 2016, offset more than 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission since 2014. Moreover, almost all the energy used by the company comes from renewable sources. They are committed to planting trees on the land that has been deforested or on land that has never been used as forest land. They plant trees to offset the CO2 produced during the life cycle of their shoes. In 5 years, they have protected more than 11,000 square meters of forest per year.
Their VEGAN CONCEPT WHITE shoe for example is cruelty-free and water-repellent 100% apple skin upper, with natural fabric and apple skin lining, recycled PET laces, extractable insole lined with natural fabric, recyclable rubber sole, recycled eco-friendly packaging.
解剖他们的VEGAN CONCEPT WHITE鞋子，100%用苹果皮纤维做的防水上部，天然纤维打边，回收PET做的鞋带，天然纤维打边鞋垫，可回收橡胶鞋底，回收材料做的包装。
However, the company is not completely 100% vegan. Hopefully, they will turn completely vegan in the future and it will be also thanks to consumers’ requests. For this reason, pay attention to purchase only their vegan line. They ship worldwide.
This German company is absolutely 100% Vegan. They truly believe in a sustainable lifestyle and therefore decided to increase the efforts to drive the change towards a better tomorrow. Besides using vegan leather and natural materials, they collaborate with ONE TREE PLANTED to plant a tree for every pair of shoes purchased for fighting deforestation.
这家德国企业100%vegan。他们真心的相信可持续生活方式的价值，所以作出努力来让明天更好。除了使用vegan皮革和天然材料，他们还和ONE TREE PLANTED合作保护森林，每卖出一双鞋就种一棵树。
Their shoes ROCHA GLAM, for example, are completely vegan with padded insole (removable), natural cork footbed, and water-based adhesive. You can have a look of all the products on their website.
6. Beyond Skin
Designed in England but ethically handcrafted in Spain using luxury Italian fabrics, the company is PETA approved vegan brand. Besides their effort to reduce carbon footprint, each season, they strive to be the most eco-friendly they can be. Their synthetic leathers are made from cotton-backed polyurethane (PU) sourced from Italy. PU looks a lot like PVC leatherette, but unlike PVC it is much kinder to the environment. Although they know that PU is made from petrochemicals, turning animal hides into leather is a much more energy-intensive and polluting practice. Although not an ideal alternative environmentally, Beyond Skin feels that PU is the less of two evils and continuously researches new sustainable materials.
For having an idea of their products, their MEDUSA SNAKE-EFFECT HIGH VEGAN BOOTS are hand-crafted from luxurious snake effect faux leather and made with 100% recycled faux leather lining.
给大家展示一下这款MEDUSA SNAKE-EFFECT HIGH VEGAN BOOTS，手工制作，蛇皮效果的假皮革，回收的假皮打边。
Nae (No Animal Exploitation) is a Portuguese vegan footwear brand. It proposes a fair and animal-friendly alternative against human exploitation and respect for the environment. The company uses mainly pineapple leaf fibers (Piñatex), organic cotton, cork, recycled PET, vegan leather that is made from a mix of microfibers including a mix of cotton, polyester, and nylon (which is recycled whenever possible) for their lines.
Their MARGOT, the women's mid-heel sandals, are in Piñatex, with ankle and toe straps in natural cork. The company offers free shipping and returns worldwide .
What about us?
What we have learnt from these different companies is their struggle to continuously minimize their impact on the environment and be kind to animals and land. They perfectly know that the road is still long but they keep going faster to find solutions. The next step is on us, as consumers we can start to be more selective when we buy, being more careful about the materials used and the story behind the product.