15 Ethical Shoe Brands You Might Not Know

Ethical Shoe Brands

Many people think that ethical fashion is a niche market. They believe that ethical brands are all small companies that produce only a few shoes or clothes each year, and they’re mostly available in specialty stores. This couldn’t be further from the truth!

The ethical shoe market has grown more and more over the years, and for good reason. Consumers are becoming more aware of where their shoes come from, who made them, and how they were made. With that in mind, we wanted to share with you 15 ethical brands that we think need a little bit of recognition!


Based In | San Francisco, CA

Ethics | Certified B Corp, carbon-neutral, natural & recycled materials, gives back, WRAP- & SMETA-certified production

Best For | Machine-washable sneakers

Product Range | Adult sneakers, loafers, slip-ons, flats, sandals, weather-repellent options

Price Range | $98–$145

Allbirds is a shoe brand that strives to make shoes as sustainable and ethical as possible. Allbirds uses wool for the insole, which means it’s less likely to develop bacteria and fungus than leather or other materials. The wool also has natural anti-bacterial qualities and doesn’t require any chemicals to be produced. Furthermore, this makes them vegan-friendly! Allbirds is committed to using renewable energy sources such as solar power and wind turbines, making them eco-friendly too!


Based In | Paris, France

Ethics | Fair & safe working conditions, eco-friendly materials & packaging, gives back, powered by renewable energy

Best For | Boots & clogs

Product Range | Women’s sneakers, boots, pumps, loafers, sandals

Price Range | $145–$420

Have you ever thought about what happens to your shoes after you throw them away? One of the most common materials in shoe production is leather, which comes from cows. Sézane ensures that their entire supply chain doesn’t support animal cruelty by using vegan-friendly materials instead. They also use sustainable practices and give back to communities when possible. The company’s mission statement is “to change the way people think about fashion.” Sézane provides a modern approach to style while still maintaining a commitment to ethical values and responsibility for the environment.


Based In | Nashville, TN

Ethics | Certified B Corp, women artisan-made, fair labor & wages, responsibly sourced materials, Leather Working Group certified leather, eco-friendly packaging

Best For | Minimalist shoes

Product Range | Women’s sandals, heels, flats, sneakers, boots, loafers

Price Range | $70–$145

Able is an ethical footwear brand that has been in business for years. They are committed to creating handmade shoes for all seasons and occasions, with a focus on sustainability and social responsibility. Their mission is to make shoes that are not only stylish but also sustainable both environmentally and socially. To ensure this they use materials like hemp, recycled plastics, or vegetable tanned leathers; making their products more durable than most other brands out there! When you buy from Able it’s because you’re getting something better – ethically made product that will last longer!


Based In | Nashville, TN

Ethics | Certified B Corp, artisan-made, fair labor & wages, climate-neutral certified, Leather Working Group certified leather, vegetable-tanned leather

Best For | Artisan leather shoes

Product Range | Adult sneakers, boots, heels, chukkas, mules, oxfords, loafers, sandals

Price Range | $90–$250

Nisolo is a company that offers shoes with ethically sourced materials. They believe that the shoe industry has historically been built on unethical labor practices, and they are dedicated to changing this. Their products are designed for comfort, style, and sustainability; all of their materials are sourced from places where workers have safe conditions. Nisolo also employs sustainable practices such as recycling, water reclamation, and using eco-friendly materials whenever possible to minimize its impact on the environment. 

Thousand Fell 

Based In | Brazil & New York City, NY

Ethics | Recyclable sneakers, sustainable & vegan materials, gives back, closed-loop processes, safe & fair production

Best For | Sneakers

Product Range | Adult lace-ups & slip-ons

Price Range | $120

Designed in New York and made in a family-owned factory in Brazil, Thousand Fell sneakers are made to last and built to recycle. They’re crafted from recycled plastic and rubber as well as natural materials like palm leaf fibers and coconut husks. They don’t just create shoes but rather offer consumers an experience with their products through exclusive events and opportunities. They want people to feel like they’re part of something special when wearing their shoes. And it’s not just about giving back to communities in need – they also work closely with social entrepreneurs who have created innovative projects in low-income areas around the world so that these communities can benefit from global trade as well.

Fortress Of Inca

Based In | Austin, TX

Ethics | Artisan-made, safe & fair wage working conditions with benefits, local sourcing, natural materials, secondhand shop

Best For | Leather booties & block heels

Product Range | Women’s boots, flats, heels, mules, sandals

Price Range | $150–$275

Fortress of Inca is a footwear company that takes pride in manufacturing shoes with ethical responsibility. These shoes are made without any harm to animals, and the materials used are environmentally friendly. They also use recycled water bottles for their shoe soles which can help reduce waste pollution. With every purchase, not only are you getting one of the most comfortable pairs of shoes on the market today, but you’re also making an impact on someone’s life halfway around the world!


Based In | Paris, France

Ethics | Certified B Corp, fair trade practices, organic & upcycled materials, low waste, gives back, vegan options

Best For | Street shoes

Product Range | Adult & children’s sneakers

Price Range | €72–€229

Veja is a sustainable, ethically conscious brand that offers an alternative to the unsustainable fashion industry. By using high-quality Brazilian materials and manufacturing in Brazil, Veja maintains its commitment to the environment. Their shoes are handmade in small batches by skilled craftsmen with zero waste in their process. Veja’s footwear is designed for comfort and style while maintaining ethics – they even have vegan styles! The style of Veja’s products are based on quality, comfort, and sustainability. 

Zou Xou

Based In | Buenos Aires, Argentina

Ethics | Small batch production, artisan-made, meets fair labor standards

Best For | Made-to-order shoes

Product Range | Women’s slip-ons, flats, mules, heels, sandals, boots

Price Range | $149–$298

Zou Xou is a company that specializes in ethically made shoes and accessories. They are dedicated to promoting the idea of ethical fashion by providing customers with an option for sustainable style. The Zou Xou website offers several pages of information about their products, including handmade quality, materials used, prices, and more. Furthermore, they have a page where you can find shoe sizes for your feet so you know what size will fit best! There are many reasons why you should consider buying Zou Xous as your next pair of shoes – they’re eco-friendly, comfortable and stylish!


Based In | Brixlegg, Austria

Ethics | Responsibly sourced wool, zero waste, renewable energy, eco-friendly & responsible production, ethically made in Vietnam or China

Best For | Wool runners & sneakers

Product Range | Adult sneakers, runners, high-tops, snow shoes, flats, slippers 

Price Range | $99.95–$199.95

Giesswein is a company that strives to create and provide sustainable, ethical and beautiful shoes. The company works with world-renowned designers to produce shoes from start to finish – from the design conception, materials sourcing, manufacturing process and even packaging for shipment. They make shoes using vegan materials and natural fibers like hemp, linen, wool, silk and cotton. Giesswein has an experienced team of professionals who are committed to creating high-end shoes with ethical standards, so you can feel good about your purchase knowing it’s not harming the environment or those making it.

Matisse Footwear 

Based In | Los Angeles, CA

Ethics | Meets fair labor standards, recycled & PETA-approved vegan materials

Best For | Western boots

Product Range | Women & children’s boots, mules, heels, flats, sandals, sneakers

Price Range | $24–$265

I’m so excited to share the latest shoe brand that I’ve found on my search for ethical footwear! Matisse Footwear is a sustainable, eco-friendly company with an emphasis on quality and comfort. They are committed to being environmentally friendly by using recycled materials in all of their products, donating leftover leather scraps to be used in other shoes and purses, and ensuring that they never use any animal products or animal skins in their shoes. Matisse Footwear also offers a satisfaction guarantee with every purchase so you will never have to worry about your new pair of eco-friendly shoes not fitting properly!

The Root Collective

Based In | Guatemala

Ethics | Leather & textiles paired together in Guatemala, beyond fair trade wages & fair labor, works with women’s co-ops

Best For | Flats (customization available)

Product Range | Women’s flats, boots, sandals, heels, & men’s boots

Price Range | $128–$348

In an often mass-produced world, The Root Collective reminds us to think about who and where our products are made. Working with shoemakers and textile-weavers in Guatemala, the brand believes ethically made shoes can change lives and start a culture of kindness. They’re not only an amazing shoe company but they also work to empower communities in developing countries with their own sustainable projects. The Root Collective is for people who care about the world around them and want to make positive change through their lifestyle choices.


Based In | San Francisco, CA & China

Ethics | Recycled materials, sustainable packaging & practices, fair labor practices

Best For | Comfort flats & loafers

Product Range | Adult & children’s flats, slip-ons, loafers, lace-up sneakers, sandals, boots

Price Range | $55–$185

The Rothy’s company is an ethical shoe brand that has taken the concept of sustainable fashion to a whole new level. Their shoes are made out of recycled plastic bottles and they donate one pair to someone in need for every purchase that is made. They also use their profits to contribute towards causes like fighting malaria, supporting women entrepreneurs, and providing clean drinking water for children around the world. The idea behind this company was not only born out of wanting to create high-quality product but also with the intention of helping those who are less fortunate than us.


Based In | Los Angeles, CA

Ethics | Certified B Corp, fair labor & wages, gives back ⅓ of profits via grassroots orgs, eco-friendly packaging & materials

Best For | Everyday shoes

Product Range | Adult & children’s flats, slip-ons, sandals, heels, boots, sneakers

Price Range | $29.95–$149.95

Toms is a company that has taken the world by storm with their one for one program. Toms are shoes that are made in America, but have an international footprint. With every purchase, another pair of Toms goes to someone in need because they believe “One for One”. The company has given over 100 million pairs of shoes to children in need through their revolutionary one-for-one model.  And they started out with just two pairs of shoes and have grown into a powerhouse of ethical fashion. What’s not to love?

Alice + Whittles

Based In | Toronto, Canada

Ethics | Fair trade rubber, natural & recycled materials, virgin plastic-free, 90 percent traceable, fair & safe working conditions

Best For | Waterproof rainboots

Product Range | Adult boots & slip-ons

Price Range | $120–$198

The ethics of the shoe brand have been a top priority for Alice + Whittles. The company has made it their mission to create shoes that are sustainable, ethical, and socially-conscious. They believe in fair trade practices so they can provide better wages to those who work with them. This is important because many people are not paid an appropriate wage for the hard work they do each day. Alice + Whittles also takes into consideration what materials go into making their products as well as how much waste is created during production or shipping. Finally, all customer feedback is considered before any decisions are made about the future of this shoe line!


Based In | Rio, Brazil

Ethics | Responsibly sourced & natural materials, low impact dyes, ethically made via ILO standards, carbon-neutral shipping, reforestation program

Best For | High-tops

Product Range | Adult sneakers (canvas, low-tops, high-tops, slip-ons)

Price Range | $79–$159

Cariuma is an ethical shoe brand that was created to make women’s lives easier. They pride themselves on using materials that are environmentally friendly, such as leather from animals that have died of natural causes. This process helps to reduce the demand for new hides, thereby reducing animal suffering in slaughterhouses. Cariuma also uses recycled materials like cotton and polyester for some of their products; these materials help to create an ethical product while still maintaining durability and comfort. They have a wide range of styles including sandals, boots, sneakers and flats so there is something for everyone!

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We hope this article has made you more aware of the ethical shoe brands out there. The ethical shoe industry is an important one, and these 15 brands are doing their part in making the world a better place. Which of these brands have you discovered? What other companies would you like to see on this list? Leave your comments below at SenseOrient and we look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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