Shoes are a staple in a closet. I am way more picky with my shoe selection than anything else. I used to buy tons of clothes and also buy tons of cheap, cute shoes to match all my outfits. However as time has gone by and our purchasing has become more intentional, finding the perfect few pairs of, versatile, high-quality shoes have become really important.
So because of this, I came up with a list of 7 brands that sell well-made ethical shoes each with their own amazing story and mission behind their brand. I’ve featured both men’s and women’s shoes so you can find something great for him and her. Of course, there are so many great ethical shoe brands out there so if you know any more quality and ethically made shoe brands feel free to list them in the comments below!
THE PEOPLES MOVEMENT | Men’s + Women’s Sneakers
The People’s Movement is all about clean; clean style and clean environment. They sell eco-hop footwear and accessories that are made from eco-conscious materials and up-cycled plastic bags. Their products help to protect our planet and look super cool doing so.
VEJA | Men’s + Women’s Casual Sneakers
Veja is one of the most ethical shoe companies around. They make every piece of their shoe using fair trade practices and materials, from beginning to end. They also don’t over design their shoes which allow for a minimal and casual look. The leather is a bit stiff when you first slip into them, but once they’re worked in you’ll never want to take them off!
NISOLO | Men’s and Women’s Dress Shoes + Sandals
They promote three main concepts within their brand: intentionally designed, ethically made, fairly priced. The simplicity within each shoe can speak for itself within the intentionality of the design. They also offer beyond fair trade wages for all of their workers and they also sell directly to the customer, which removes the middleman allowing for the high quality of product to be fairly priced.
OLIBERTÉ | Men’s + Women’s Casual Sneakers, Boots + Slip Ons
Oliberté is a sustainable and ethical brand that supports workers’ rights in Sub-Saharan Africa. They have a motto on their website that speaks to who they are: “because every purchase, every pair, every person matters.” They are certified Fair Trade and appreciate empowerment and transparency within their brand and with the people they work with.
SSEKO | Women’s Shoes + Sandals
Sseko Designs sells more than just footwear and are also known for their leather goods and accessories. They are an ethical fashion brand that works with women in Uganda by employing them and helping them live a dignified life by having the money go directly towards a college education. To date, they have enabled 60 women to pursue their dreams and continue onto university. From employment in Uganda, and the product production in East Africa, Ssekko ensures their entire product process is about empowerment, positive social change and building up of healthy communities.
ROOT COLLECTIVE | Women’s Boots + Slip Ons
The Root Collective focuses their production on handcrafted quality items, made in small batches by artisans rather than in mass manufacturing. They believe in making a change in communities where jobs are low paying and quality of life is low as well. They also believe that jobs can change lives and make a huge difference in communities. You can see even within their designs a little artistic piece of the wonderful people who made them.
ETIKO |Casual Sneakers +Sandals
Etiko is an ethical shoe and clothing brand from Australia. Since their launch in 2005 they have gained several achievements such as being the first non-food brand to gain fair trade certification with Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Region, help fund the creation of more than 300 micro businesses in Pakistan and achieved an A+ ranking which is the highest ranking for the ethical supply chains in 2013, 2015 & 2016. Even though their product range varies from shoes to clothing, the most popular and well-known product is their sneakers that resemble the very popular converse all stars style.