Feel Good With Every Step You Take Thanks to Sustainable Footwear

sustainable footwear

 
If you’ve been with us for a while, you know by now that here at She’s a Full on Monet we’re passionate about ethical fashion. We’ve talked about the ugly truth behind the fashion industry and the importance of brand accountability, and to keep the conversation going, today we’re going to turn our attention to sustainable footwear.

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What is sustainable footwear?

For the full scoop on everything sustainable footwear, head on over to this amazing article by Aston Baby (and check out their super cute shop while you’re at it!). Sustainability in general is something we should all be conscious of nowadays, and it’s especially important in the fashion industry because of the rate at which we consume fashion and all the resources required to create even a single piece of clothing.

Sustainable footwear:

  • Has a low environmental impact (less waste)
  • Is made with energy-conserving methods
  • Conserves our natural resources
  • Is mindful of the safety of employees and consumers

For a company to be sustainable, ethical and sustainable practices must be integrated into its business model from the sourcing and design stage, to manufacturing processes, and to the time its products hit the marketplace.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Aston Baby (@astonbabyonline)

As important as sustainability is, it’s not easy to achieve and it doesn’t just involve one step of the production process. Manufacturing sustainable products is an incredibly involved practice and often requires companies to make temporary financial sacrifices in the interest of creating ethical and sustainable products and bettering the world.

Challenges of sustainable footwear

As with many sustainable fashion products, sustainable footwear is more expensive and takes more time to manufacture than fast fashion products. But fortunately these standards are quickly changing, and shoesustainability.com forecasts that producing sustainable footwear will continue to become more feasible for companies.

Benefits of sustainable footwear

Even though the up-front costs and time required to produce sustainable footwear may seem steep, the long-term benefits are way worth it. Aston Baby puts it well: “Sustainable raw materials are costlier to acquire. But since they are designed to reduce waste and protect the environment, they save manufacturers’ resources in the long run.” Additionally, reducing the amount of chemicals released into the environment is a step towards an ecological balance that the world needs.

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Making the transition to consuming and shopping more sustainably includes discovering the brands that are putting their best foot forward to make a positive change. Here are some sustainable footwear companies on our list that we’d love to share with you!

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ABLE

Best For: Minimalist, trendy shoes and leather goods
Who They Are: ABLE is a lifestyle brand with a comprehensive product line of shoes from flats to boots to sneakers. ABLE found its beginnings by creating jobs for women in Ethiopia who were coming out of the sex industry. They are committed to a transformative future in the fashion industry by investing in and empowering women around the globe. These ladies began by making scarves but ABLE has now grown into a brand offering leather bags, clothes, shoes, and jewelry.
When a woman is economically empowered, her children and community thrive, making her crucial to eradicating poverty. ABLE is committed to ensuring every woman receives treatment and compensation reflective of her immense worth.
Price Range: $70-$200

Featured Pick:

able flats
Krista Slide
$118

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by ABLE (livefashionable) (@able)


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Nisolo (@nisoloshoes)

NISOLO

Best For: Men and women’s leather shoes
Who They Are: Nisolo is an ethical and sustainable footwear brand that carries chic shoes for men and women. They guarantee fair and living wages and are committed to 100% carbon neutral processes. Nisolo collaborates with artisans from Peru and deliver quality and style. They also have a blog that features brand updates along with articles about sustainability and community support.
To accelerate the shift toward living wages, we are partnering with our competitor, ABLE, to co-launch a movement that makes next steps for consumers and brands as seamless and straightforward as possible.
It’s called the #LowestWageChallenge, and this movement depends on you asking other brands outside of Nisolo and ABLE to share their lowest wages. Here is where you can learn more, and here is where you can take action.
Price Range: $100-$200

Featured Pick:

Dari Boot
$168

ROTHY’S

 Best For: Comfortable women’s flats and bags
Who They Are: Rothy’s is committed to a brighter future through their innovative manufacturing processes. These processes include utilizing thread spun from plastic water bottles, use of marine plastic and eco-friendly rubber for their soles. Rothy’s products are made to last so they can be washed (on cold) any time! Their flats come in all styles and in just about every color of the rainbow!
“Being sustainable means more than just using recycled materials. It also means fostering a healthy, inclusive, positive work environment for our team members around the globe.”
Price Range: $65-$165

Featured Pick:

Cranberry Plaid Pointed Flats
$145

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Rothy’s (@rothys)


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Sézane (@sezane)

SÉZANE

Best For: Trendy, modern suede and leather shoes for women
Who They Are: Based in Paris, Sézane designs ultra chic shoes for the modern woman. They are committed to sustainability by implementing a lean production model and no overproduction. They have also branched into apparel, with their denim and leisurewear being 100% eco-friendly. Their clothing line and jewelry are also worth checking out.
“In 2017, Morgane founded DEMAIN (tomorrow in French), a philanthropic fund, to support children whose prospects are unfairly disadvantaged. Through various partner charities, the program funds concrete actions in favour of access to education, culture & equal opportunities for children around the world.”
Price Range: $145-$350

Featured Pick:

High Angele Boots
$360

MATISSE

Best For: Contemporary, artisan-made boots
Who They Are: Matisse is based in LA and is committed to fair labor practices. They especially pay attention to detail and craftsmanship and have shared that their artisans are an integral part of their business practices.
“Most of our factories are family-owned and operated and have been partners with Matisse for over 30 years. All factories used are socially audited to ensure workers are compensated accordingly and treated fairly based on standards set by Matisse. Our factory partners are a very important part of our company and the Artisans that produce our goods are an integral part of our team.
Recycled leathers and textiles are used whenever possible, from heel wraps and welts to uppers and other minor components. We strive to source sustainable and re-usable materials as well as lessening water-shed waste by utilizing technological advances as well as using nominated tanneries that have worked tirelessly to be cleaner and greener alongside us.”
Price Range: $40-$250

Featured Pick:

Clyde Boots
$100

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Matisse + Coconuts By Matisse (@matissefootwear)


THOUSAND FELL

Best For: Adult lace-ups and slip-on sneakers
Who They Are:Thousand Fell is designed in NYC and made in Brazil. They are committed to pushing circularity in the footwear industry by creating sneakers that are made to last and built to recycle. An amazing part of their business model is their recycle program! As a customer, you can ship back your shoes for free once you no loner want them and Thousand Fell will refurbish your shoes and offer you $20 in credit towards a new pair.
“Our mission is to take out what we bring in and to leave the world better than we found it. To do this, we only source materials that can either be biodegraded (safely compost in < 1 year), be recycled to make new shoes, or upcycled into materials for new projects.”
Price Range: $120

Featured Pick:

Lace-Up
$120

ALICE + WHITTLES

Best For: Rainboots and outdoor footwear
Who They Are: If you’re searching for ethically and sustainably made rainboots, you’ll definitely want to check out this brand! Their designs are simple and versatile and the best part is their commitment to reaching 100% sustainable and traceable materials. Currently they utilize natural fair trade rubber, re-claimed ocean plastics, recycled PET, and vegan water based glue, just to name a few. Inclusion and diversity are also a priority in their company and business practices.
Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, we are a tight-knit, diverse team of people from around the world . Our diversity is what makes us stronger. Sofi Khwaja, our CEO, is a woman and a POC. This puts us in a unique position to truly represent our diverse community of outdoor enthusiasts. We are committed to ensure diversity in all our ranks as we grow.”
Price Range: $120-$200

Featured Pick:

The Weekend Boot in Beige
$200

BROTHER VELLIES

Best For: Luxury, trendy footwear
Who They Are: Brother Vellies keeps their traditional African design practices alive. They recognize the importance of sustaining artisanal jobs which is why their products are artisanally made around the world with an ongoing commitment to sustainably. Their products are extremely unique, luxurious, and guaranteed to be conversation-starters wherever you go.
“At our core, you will find vegetable-tanned leathers, soling from recycled tires, hand carved wood, floral dyed feathers along with a collection of other by-product materials sourced from farmers across the globe.”
Price Range: $500+

Featured Pick:

Lauryn Loafer in Espresso
Lauryn Loafer in Espresso
$725
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**To discover more ethical and sustainable footwear brands, check out these articles from The Good Trade and My Green Closet.

Are you inspired to shop and support sustainable footwear brands? What are some ways you’ve learned to live more sustainably? Share with us in the comments below!


Feeling Inspired? Check Out These Related Articles:

We Need To Get Honest About The Ugly Truth Of The Fashion Industry

The Importance Of Holding Brands Accountable + How To Support Brands That Align With Your Values

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