When it comes to ethical credentials, some are more straightforward than others.
The Vegan designation, for instance, is complicated. If something is labeled vegan, it simply means it was produced without the use of animal products. It doesn’t, however, account for the environmental costs of production, biodegradability, or toxicity, which means a whole lot of vegan products are made with synthetic, oil-based materials that are bad for people, animals, and the ecosystems both parties depend on. Read more on that here.
This doesn’t seem to ring true to the broad ethos of veganism, which is to respect all life. Though I’m not vegan personally, I respect the arguments of those who avoid leather and other animal products and figured it was time to create a resource that pairs the vegan label with ecological sustainability and human rights.
Tip: When shopping for eco-vegan shoes, look for materials like cork, canvas, Pinatex, and recycled fibers.
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12 PLACES TO FIND SUSTAINABLE VEGAN SHOES
Made ethically with organic, natural, and recycled materials. Boots, flats, mules, and more.
Made with recycled faux leather (called Kind Leather) in the USA. Classic combat boots, flats, and more.
Made ethically with natural rubber and canvas. Sneakers.
Made ethically with cork, Pinatex (pineapple fiber), and other innovative materials. Sneakers, flats, and more (+ Star Wars exclusives).
Made ethically with more eco-friendly PU and sustainable materials like Pinatex. Flats, boots, sandals, and more.
Fair trade and made with canvas and natural rubber. Low and high top sneakers.
Made ethically with canvas and rubber, with 20% of profits benefiting Kiva entrepreneurs. Low and high top sneakers.
And don’t forget the secondhand option! Because secondhand shoes have already been produced and purchased once, they are a more sustainable option than buying new even if they weren’t produced with natural fibers.
Tip: When shopping for secondhand shoes, aim for higher quality brands with minimal wear.