12 Best Sustainable Shoes Of 2023

by | Nov 17, 2023 | Sustainability

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In 2023, the fashion industry witnessed a significant shift towards sustainability, with footwear leading the way. The 12 best sustainable shoes of the year embraced eco-consciousness without compromising style or comfort. These innovative designs reflected a collective commitment to reducing the environmental impact of footwear production. These shoes were made from recycled plastic and rubber, demonstrating the industry’s commitment to reducing waste and pollution.

Organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo emerged as popular alternatives to conventional fabrics, fostering a more sustainable approach to material sourcing. Vegan options continued to gain prominence, meeting the demands of conscious consumers who sought cruelty-free alternatives. The 12 best sustainable shoes of 2023 set a precedent for a greener and more responsible future for the footwear industry, catering to environmentally aware consumers without compromising style and quality.

Challenges Faced by Sustainable Shoe Brands

By addressing these challenges with innovative solutions and a commitment to sustainability, the footwear industry can work towards a greener and more ethical future, offering consumers stylish and environment-friendly options.

Challenges Faced by Sustainable Shoe Brands

12 Best Sustainable Shoes of 2023

1. Allbirds

12 Best Sustainable Shoes of 2023

Allbirds is a leading brand in the sustainable shoe market, offering eco-friendly footwear that prioritizes comfort, style, and environmental responsibility. Their commitment to sustainability is evident in their use of renewable materials like merino wool, eucalyptus tree fibres, and sugarcane-based foam, which lowers their shoe’s carbon footprint. Whether it’s their classic wool runners, cosy loungers, or versatile tree sneakers, each pair of Allbirds showcases the brand’s dedication to crafting high-quality and planet-friendly footwear. Embracing the concept of “doing well by doing good,” Allbirds continues to make strides in the sustainable shoe market, encouraging a greener and more sustainable future for the fashion industry.

2. Veja

12 Best Sustainable Shoes of 2023

Veja is a prominent sustainable shoe brand that has significantly influenced the fashion industry with its commitment to eco-friendly practices and stylish designs. Founded in 2004, Veja has been at the forefront of sustainable footwear, offering a range of sneakers that combine fashion and environmental responsibility. Veja’s sneakers have gained a loyal following among eco-conscious consumers and trendsetters alike because of their distinctive and minimal design. What sets Veja apart is its emphasis on transparency and ethical sourcing. The brand uses organic cotton, wild rubber from the Amazon rainforest, and recycled materials in its shoe production, reducing the environmental impact while supporting local communities.

3. Rothy’s

12 Best Sustainable Shoes of 2023

Rothy’s has garnered widespread acclaim for its innovative approach to eco-friendly footwear. Founded in 2012, Rothy’s has become a trailblazer in the sustainable shoe market, offering a range of stylish and comfortable flats, sneakers, and loafers. The brand’s commitment to sustainability is evident in its use of recycled materials, primarily repurposing plastic water bottles into their signature thread. By transforming single-use plastics into fashionable shoes, Rothy’s significantly reduces waste and promotes a circular economy. Rothy’s has also incorporated other sustainable practices, such as utilizing bio-based components and employing 3D knitting techniques to minimize material waste during production. Furthermore, their shoe boxes are made from 85% recycled materials, reflecting their dedication to eco-conscious packaging.

4. Nisolo

12 Best Sustainable Shoes of 2023

Nisolo has earned accolades for its commitment to ethical practices and artisanal craftsmanship. Nisolo was founded in 2011 to produce high-quality footwear with a positive social and environmental impact. The brand’s sustainable shoes are meticulously handcrafted by skilled artisans in Peru and Mexico, using ethically sourced materials such as vegetable-tanned leather, recycled materials, and responsibly harvested rubber. Nisolo’s dedication to transparency and fair-trade practices ensures that the artisans receive fair wages and safe working conditions, fostering a positive impact on local communities.

5. SeaVees

SeaVees

SeaVees is a renowned brand that combines California cool with sustainability, offering a range of eco-friendly shoes for the conscious consumer. The brand, first developed in the 1960s, has recently been revitalized with a strong focus on environmental responsibility. SeaVees incorporates sustainable practices throughout its product line, using materials like organic cotton, recycled plastics, and natural rubber. SeaVees offers a diverse selection of sneakers, espadrilles, and boots for various occasions. Embracing the laid-back California lifestyle, SeaVees encourages consumers to make sustainable choices without compromising style or comfort.

6. Koio

Koio

Koio is a luxury sustainable shoe brand that has redefined the intersection of style, craftsmanship, and environmental consciousness. Founded in 2015, Koio has become synonymous with premium footwear crafted from responsibly sourced materials. The brand’s commitment to sustainability is evident in its use of high-quality, natural materials like vegetable-tanned leather, organic cotton, and recycled materials. Koio’s dedication to eco-friendly practices extends to its manufacturing processes, ensuring minimal waste and carbon footprint. Koio’s stylish and versatile collection of sneakers, boots, and loafers caters to fashion-forward individuals seeking sustainable luxury without compromising elegance or comfort.

7. Alpkit

Alpkit

Alpkit is a prominent brand that exemplifies sustainability and outdoor adventure, offering various eco-friendly shoes designed for outdoor enthusiasts. Alpkit’s sustainable shoes reflect its dedication to preserving nature and minimizing its ecological impact. Alpkit’s footwear collection uses recycled materials and sustainable manufacturing processes, such as recycled PET plastic bottles and responsibly sourced materials. Their shoes cater to hikers, climbers, and outdoor enthusiasts seeking durable, comfortable, and planet-friendly footwear. Alpkit’s passion for the environment is evident in its products and ongoing initiatives to support conservation and outdoor sustainability projects.

8. Everlane

Everlane shoes

Everlane is a renowned sustainable fashion brand that extends its commitment to ethical practices to its range of eco-friendly shoes. Everlane, founded in 2010, has established a reputation for transparency and sustainability, offering high-quality products at transparent prices. The brand’s sustainable shoes use responsibly sourced materials, such as recycled plastics, organic cotton, and ethically produced leather. With a diverse collection of sneakers, boots, flats, and sandals, Everlane offers stylish and versatile options for conscious consumers seeking sustainable and chic footwear. Beyond creating sustainable products, Everlane actively shares information about its factories and production processes, emphasizing transparency and accountability.

9. Nae

Nae

Nae (No Animal Exploitation) is a cutting-edge sustainable shoe brand that embodies compassion and innovation in the fashion industry. Founded in Portugal, Nae is committed to producing 100% vegan and cruelty-free footwear without compromising style or quality. Nae’s sustainable shoes use eco-friendly materials like Piñatex (derived from pineapple fibres), recycled PET, organic cotton, and cork. Nae significantly reduces its environmental impact by utilizing these alternatives to leather and synthetic materials. Nae offers a diverse collection of sandals, sneakers, heels, and boots, catering to eco-conscious individuals seeking fashionable and ethically produced footwear. Nae also prioritizes fair labour practices and partners with ethical factories in Portugal.

10. Thousand Fell

Thousand Fell

Thousand Fell offers a remarkable range of 100% recyclable and biodegradable shoes. Their innovative shoes use a unique combination of sustainable materials, including recycled water bottles, natural rubber, and bio-based TPU. With an emphasis on longevity, each pair of Thousand Fell shoes can be easily disassembled and recycled at the end of its life, promoting a circular approach to fashion. Moreover, Thousand Fell offers a free take-back program, encouraging customers to return their old shoes for proper recycling. Thousand Fell sets an inspiring example for the footwear industry, proving that fashion can be trendsetting and environmentally friendly.

11. Ecco

Ecco sustainable shoes

With a legacy spanning decades, Ecco has become synonymous with high-quality and eco-friendly shoes. The brand’s commitment to sustainability is evident in its use of responsibly sourced materials, such as chrome-free leather and recycled materials. Ecco’s innovative technologies, like FLUIDFORM™ and DriTan™, ensure reduced water and chemical consumption during production. Ecco’s sustainable shoes cater to a wide range of styles and activities, from casual sneakers to formal dress shoes, ensuring that consumers can make sustainable choices across all occasions.

12. Cariuma

Cariuma shoes

Founded in 2018, Cariuma has become a go-to brand for fashion-forward individuals seeking ethically produced and planet-friendly footwear. Cariuma’s sustainable shoes use environmentally responsible materials like organic cotton, bamboo, and sugarcane-based EVA. Cariuma reduces its carbon footprint and minimizes its environmental impact using these sustainable alternatives. The brand’s versatile collection includes sneakers, slip-ons, and other stylish footwear options for various occasions. Cariuma’s dedication to sustainability extends beyond its products. The brand is committed to ethical practices, ensuring fair labour conditions, and fostering positive social impact.

Conclusion

In 2023, the fashion industry witnessed a remarkable surge in sustainable footwear options. The 12 best sustainable shoes of the year embraced eco-consciousness, utilizing innovative materials and responsible manufacturing practices. From vegan shoes made without animal-derived materials to biodegradable and upcycled designs, each pair showcased a commitment to reducing environmental impact. Brands prioritized transparency, fair trade, and circular design, appealing to a growing segment of eco-conscious consumers. The intersection of style and sustainability was evident, as timeless designs catered to various preferences. The collective effort to create planet-friendly footwear paved the way for a more ethical and environmentally responsible future in the fashion industry.

Also Read: Sustainability Fashion: 10 Tips To Adopt While Shopping

 

Author

  • Dr. Elizabeth Green

    With over two decades of experience in sustainability, Dr. Elizabeth Green has established herself as a leading voice in the field. Hailing from the USA, her career spans a remarkable journey of environmental advocacy, policy development, and educational initiatives focused on sustainable practices. Dr. Green is actively involved in several global sustainability initiatives and continues to inspire through her writing, speaking engagements, and mentorship programs.

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