6 Sustainable and Ethical Shoe Brands for 2020

You’re here, so we’re guessing that means you’re on the hunt for some good quality, sustainable shoes. And you’re not the only one! The search for ethically-made and eco-friendly shoes is on the rise these days. 

Maybe because we’ve gotten uncomfortable with all the talk about our sneakers coming from sweatshops. Maybe because we hate the idea that our poor quality shoes are made by polluting the environment. Maybe because we’re sick of buying cheap, uncomfortable kicks that fall apart and end up in a landfill a year later. 

Any way around it, lots of sustainable shoe brands have stepped in to fill the need for ethically-made shoes—from sneakers and sandals to boots, dress shoes, and even house shoes. And they’re all made with socially-responsible practices; they promise fair wages and working conditions for workers and sustainable materials and production for the environment. 

Let’s check them out!



Your sneakers are an irreplaceable part of your wardrobe, so we want to make sure you find a stylish, ultra-comfortable athletic shoe that you’ll be proud to wear for years to come. And Saola makes that easy with their affordable vegan sneakers. They use sustainable materials that not only make the planet happy, but also make your kicks even more comfortable and durable. Recycled plastic and organic cotton make your tennies breathable, and natural cork and algae foam give them the right amount of cushion and spring. Their minimalist design makes them stylish, lightweight, and comfortable, even for your longest days and toughest workouts. Saolas are ethically manufactured in Vietnam where their workers earn fair wages.


Shoes of All Kinds

Nisolo sells just about every type of shoe you could be looking for, all made with sustainably-sourced leather. Find fine leather heels, flats, loafers, boots, and even sneakers that look super sexy but feel like your favorite pair of tennis shoes. If the shoes themselves aren’t enough to impress, Nisolo’s business model is! All of Nisolo’s shoes are made in ethical factories in the developing world. They pay above fair wages to their employees and all their practices are eco-friendly and sustainable. Nisolo pieces are made to last for years to come, so you’re not having to go shoe shopping every season.

Adelante Shoe Co. 

Boots & Dress Shoes

Adelante shoes may be the reason that the heart eyes emoji was invented. Take a look at their collection and you’ll see that Adelante Shoe Co. puts an insane amount of effort into making sure every detail of their shoes are perfect. They are all about creating the highest quality leather shoes out there, and empowering artisans in Guatemala in the process. The result is a killer collection of men’s and women’s boots, dress shoes, and flats. Plus, their designs are made to order, so you can customize your shoes for size, foot wideness, and more. Perfect for different sized feet, wide calves, wide feet, or any other feet that don’t quite fit in traditional shoes.

Handmade Barcelona

Shoes of All Kinds

Handmade Barcelona offers just about every kind of shoe you can think of. And there’s good reason for that—they partner with over 150 artisans around the world who own their own shoe shops! These community business owners specialize in different kinds of shoes, and then partner with Handmade Barcelona to sell them all over the world. All this means you help keep family-owned businesses alive, make an impact in the developing world, and get a unique pair of ethically-made shoes. Handmade Barcelona believes in keeping their shoes affordable, high-quality, and made from only locally-sourced materials. 

Deux Mains

Sandals and Flip Flops

Deux Mains is working to help pull Haiti up from every angle—and they do it by providing us with amazingly unique sandals and flip flops. Here’s how they do it: first, Deux Mains employs female artisans in Haiti and teaches them how to make shoes and other products. These products are at least partially made from—wait for it—recycled tires! Old tires litter the streets in Haiti, so making shoes and other products from tires is an inexpensive way to create products and help clear out waste. What isn’t made from tires is made from locally and sustainably sourced leather. The result is a beautiful collection of men’s and women’s sandals that do good and capture the spirit of Haiti.


House Shoes and Slippers

There’s nothing quite like coming home, kicking off your work shoes, and slipping your sore feet into some cozy slippers. And Kyrgies works extra hard and meticulously to make sure that slipping on your Kyrgies is a bright spot in your day. Their sustainably-sourced wool is thermoregulating, meaning that your feet stay warm and cozy without getting hot and sweaty. Their molded orthopedic sole means that you get gentle support that will wear in instead of wearing out. And chrome-free leather and no harsh dyes or irritants means that these slippers are safe even for sensitive skin. Look no further for eco-friendly, ethically-made house shoes that will last you for years to come.

P.S. Still looking? We've got even more! Check out our collections of men's, women's, and kids' shoes.





Erin King
DoneGood Contributor

Writer, editor, and all-around language enthusiast who uses her love of words to help others.


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