On the lookout for ethically-made women’s vegan shoes? Put your best foot forward with my top UK finds, featuring brands such as Veja and Novesta.
I’ve spoken before about the ethical dilemma of leather vs. non-leather and six months on I’ll still not entirely sure what the answer is. Personally, as a vegetarian, I’m happy to wear vintage or secondhand leather or new vegetable-tanned leather. Equally, I understand that not everyone is happy wearing leather.
If you’re not happy wearing animal-based products then I’ve been on the lookout for some stylish women’s vegan shoes that are ethically made. I think I’ve done alright – I’ve found a selection for most occasions that I think you’ll love:
The Ethically Made Women’s Vegan Shoes Brands
Here are some lovely women’s vegan shoes, from the top:
Beyond Skin (£71) make beautiful women’s vegan shoes. I’m a little bit in love with these teal Oxford-style vegan heels. Alas, they only have them left in small sizes otherwise I’d have these in a heartbeat…
Boheme is another manufacturer of beautiful vegan shoes for women. These ethical tan brogues (£87) are so pretty. I do like a good pair of brogues, they make wonderful shoes for autumn.
If trainers are more your thing, then Ethletic footwear is proud to offer an ethical alternative to leather trainers. Their vegan trainers are made with organic and Fairtrade certified cotton, the rubber soles are FSC certified and sourced responsibly, and the rubber is fairly traded. Seeking to tick every ethical box for footwear, Ethletic is a fair-trade company, with the environment and sustainability at the core of what they do.
In addition, the pioneering Fairtrade rubber project pays a Fairtrade social premium for every kilo of rubber used in the production of these trainers. The rubber tappers then decide how to use their income to improve their living and working conditions. Almost every material used is fair trade and ecologically certified so you can wear these shoes with a clean conscience.
Find them on sale in the UK at Ethical Superstore*, from £54.
Good News signature low-top vegan trainers are sustainably made from organic and recycled materials.
The uppers are made from bio-degradable natural oatmeal organic cotton sourced. Meanwhile, the organic cotton laces are threaded through recycled metal eyelets. And what’s more, the soles are made from recycled material – a mix of car tyres and old rubber shoes!
Find these women’s vegan shoes at Young British Designers* for £80. Use the discount code YBD10 for 10% off at Young British Designers. Please note this code cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers.
Novesta’s vegan trainers are made with a cotton upper and a natural rubber sole. What’s more, they are made in Slovakia, giving them a lower carbon footprint. Find them on sale in the UK at Toast for £55.
Good old TOMS UK has some funky women’s vegan shoes in stock. I love this zebra print pair (£39.99) – they’d look great with skinny jeans.
Wills Vegan Shoes
Wills Vegan Shoes* make eco-friendly women’s vegan shoes (and for men too). These are all ethically made in Italy & Portugal under European Union employment, discrimination, and health & safety laws. These directives ensure that workers receive equal pay, maternity, and parental leave, as well as other benefits.
The shoes themselves are made from vegan leather created with bio oil sourced from organic cereal crops grown in Northern Europe. The rest of their products are manufactured from Ecolabel certified vegan leathers and suedes made in Italy and Spain. Meanwhile, most of their outer soles are made from natural rubber. Finally, their insoles are made in Spain from recycled rubber.
What’s more, their online store operates a plastic-free Carbon Neutral supply chain using sustainable materials. It’s no surprise that Ethical Consumer has ranked Wills Vegan Shoes as one of the most ethical shoe retailers out there.
Veja Vegan Shoes
VEJA is not a completely vegan footwear brand, however, they do have many women’s vegan shoe options in their collections, making it well worth a look in your hunt for ethical and vegan shoes.
This organic, fair trade and ethical brand uses eco-conscious fabrics such as recycled and organic cotton, recycled plastic bottles, and sustainably harvested wild rubber to make their shoes. What’s more, workers are paid a fair price. Find them for sale in the UK at Selfridges*.
Which vegan shoes are your favourite? And when your shoes reach the end of their life, here’s how you can recycle your old shoes correctly.