In the spirit of walking towards a greener future, we’ve been hunting for ethical and eco friendly sandals Image by Indosole #ecofriendlysandals #ethicalfashion
Image by Indosole
In the spirit of walking towards a greener future, we’ve been hunting for ethical and eco friendly sandals Image by Made Trade (Swahili Coast Design) #ecofriendlysandals #ethicalfashion
Image by Made Trade (Swahili Coast Design)
In the spirit of walking towards a greener future, we’ve been hunting for ethical and eco friendly sandals Image by Proud Mary #ecofriendlysandals #ethicalfashion
Image by Proud Mary

13 Eco Friendly & Ethical Sandals For Sustainable Summer Fun


In the spirit of walking towards a greener future, we’ve been on an ethical and sustainable shoe kick lately.

So it seemed like the right time to dive into eco-friendly and ethical sandals.

Perfect for when sustainable flip flops are a little too function-not-fashion for you. 

Let’s step into talking about these sustainable sandals, strap-backs, and more. 

We’ve divided them into vegan ethical sandals and other ethical sandals (that typically use leather but do incredible things for local communities involved in their production) for easy browsing.

Among the vegan sandals, we loved the versatility in Eating the Goober’s interchangeable sandals and Indosole’s innovation in their materials.

For non-vegan brands, Nisolo are super committed to transparency (take a trawl through their FAQs if you’re interested) and Proud Mary have some really interesting styles. 

To know more about how we picked these brands of eco-friendly sandals, keep reading beyond the main brand list (or jump down to the end of the article).

*This post contains affilate links

VEGAN SUSTAINABLE SANDALS

1. EATING THE GOOBER

In the spirit of walking towards a greener future, we’ve been hunting for ethical and eco friendly sandals Image by Eating The Goober #ecofriendlysandals #ethicalfashion
Image by Eating The Goober
About Eating the Goober Recycled Sandals 

Eating the Goober is an Athens-based creator of upcycled bags, clothing, and slide sandals.

The name comes from the “super goober” magic peanut that would change beloved cartoon character Goofy into a superhero.  

They write: “Metaphorically, “Eating the Goober” represents the effort to reveal our very own superhero alter ego. We believe that everybody has their own distinctive ‘super goober’. It’s just a matter of realizing it and eating it”.  

Choosing ethical fashion is a great way to do it!

Their Ethical Magic Sliders with interchangeable upper straps were a winner of the ‘Etsy Design Awards’. Choose from over 45 changeable uppers which attach to the base via a simple snap button. 

Variety often comes at a cost to sustainability, but not with these sustainable shoe sandals. 

Change your look to suit your mood, without ever having to change your shoes. Since you won’t need to buy more sandals for extra looks, they are a more affordable sustainable sandal, too. 

If we love anything, it’s a more sustainable bang for our buck!

Eating the Goober’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Each Magical Slipper base consists of a recycled tire rubber outsole, cork insole, recycled motorbike inner tube upper, and cork fabric strap liner. The interchangeable uppers are made from scraps of vegan recycled fabric.

Current fabrics include sequenced vintage fabric, burlap coffee sacks, and cork.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Production is locally based in Greece. Everything is made “by craftsmen that work in safe and fair conditions, are treated with dignity & respect and are paid fairly for their work”

Plus, everything they make is almost entirely upcycled and 100% fur friendly making this one of the few legitimate vegan shoe brands

Available: Etsy  |  Eating the Goober

2. INDOSOLE

In the spirit of walking towards a greener future, we’ve been hunting for ethical and eco friendly sandals Image by Indosole #ecofriendlysandals #ethicalfashion
Image by Indosole
About Indosole Recycled Tire Sandals 

Since 2009, “Indosole represents a lifestyle of resourceful creation”.

CEO Kyle Parsons was inspired to form the company on a trip to Bali, where he first bought upcycled tire sandals. Indosole now specialize in these flip flop, slide, and cross strap style sandals.

Kyle also speaks publicly about mindful consumerism.

All their ethical sandals have arch support and are available in men’s, women’s, and kid’s sizes. Plus, they are waterproof, texturized, and designed for outdoor, all-terrain use.

Indosole Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Indosole is in the business of turning #TiresToSoles.

Both the slide and cross sandal lines feature recycled tire outsoles combined with cushioning natural rubber midsoles.

For the upper sandal straps they use Enviro Fibre which is a PU alternative material. It’s made from coconut fibre and latex (a mix of water and rubber) and requires far less water to manufacture than traditional PU.

A handful of shoe companies use it.

If you’re interested in their recycled flip flops, they also use the same tire tread outsole. The bicycle tire inner tube straps are lined with a soft hemp fabric to protect the skin. 

Supply chain & labor practices:

Indosole is a certified B-corp, so yearly third-party audits ensure their entire supply chain is checked to meet strict ethical and environmental standards.

This means fair pay, safe work environments, and minimal chemical use.

Most of Indosole’s local supply chain is in Indonesia, where they source tires from garages and tire brokers and manufacture them into shoes.

Community & charitable giving: 

Rather than supporting specific organizations, Indosole highlights Good Humans by organizing individual charitable events.

They’ve put on charity basketball tournaments, Fashion Revolution Week events, and other events (read about them all here). 

Available: REI | Indosole 

3. HANDMADE LOVE

In the spirit of walking towards a greener future, we’ve been hunting for ethical and eco friendly sandals Image by Handmade Love #ecofriendlysandals #ethicalfashion
Image by Handmade Love
About Handmade Love Ethical Woven Sandals

Handmade Love is a small Etsy-based shop operating out of Uttar Pradesh, India.

A team of just three people, notably chief designer and maker Warina, are alone responsible for crafting their range.

This includes macrame crochet cotton products, including jute rugs, straw lamps, and straw slippers.

At only around $25, these are also the most affordable ethical sandals on this list.

Handmade Love’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Handmade Love’s slipper sandals are made of 100% natural straw uppers, woven in a tight and durable cross-stitch pattern. The outsoles are rubber.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

“Warina’s love for handmade is beyond limits,” and that’s why all products are 100% handmade. From what we can tell, she currently makes everything at her own home, but we’ll confirm this with her.

Available: Etsy

4. RAWGANIQUE

In the spirit of walking towards a greener future, we’ve been hunting for ethical and eco friendly sandals Image by Rawganique #ecofriendlysandals #ethicalfashion
Image by Rawganique
About Rawganique Hemp Sandals

You may recall this name from our eco-friendly slippers article. Rawganique has been creating organic clothing, accessories, bedding, towels, eco friendly rugs and sustainable crafting supplies since 1997.

They’re run by off-grid island homesteaders on Denman Island, off the coast of British Columbia.  

These hemp sandals are eco-friendly, vegan and suitable for people with several chemical allergies or skin sensitivity. They come in a wide variety of styles, from slides to sustainable wrap sandals.

They’re also cute, comfy, chemical-free, and completely compostable.

Rawganique’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Regardless of style, all Rawqanique’s sandals are composed of 100% organic hemp uppers and footbeds. 

If you choose one of the non-natural colors, rest assured that they only use low-impact, biodegradable fiber-reactive eco-dyes. There are no BPA, PVC, heavy metals, formaldehyde, disperse dyes, or glues.

The soles are either upcycled tire rubber or natural rubber, depending on the model.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Rawganique sources all materials from the US, Canada, and Europe. That way, they know their suppliers are legally upheld to Fair Trade standards, even if they don’t hold the certification.  

The hemp they use for these slippers is grown in Europe and they are manufactured by hand in their own Atelier shoe workshop.

The hemp scraps are remade into drawstring bags to mail all their products in.

Available: Amazon | Rawganique 

5. NAE

In the spirit of walking towards a greener future, we’ve been hunting for ethical and eco friendly sandals Image by NAE Vegan Shoes #ecofriendlysandals #ethicalfashion
Image by NAE Vegan Shoes
About NAE Sustainable Ethical Sandals

NAE stands for “No Animal Exploitation”. 

This Portuguese 100% vegan sandal and footwear company is both PETA-approved and beach-ready. 

Shop their wide selection of open-toe cork wedges, pumps, high-heeled strappy sandals, or casual Pinatex slide. From comfort to couture, they have something for every foot.

NAE’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

NAE uses a pretty wide variety of materials to make their vegan leather sandals and shoes. Some are more sustainable than others.

These include recycled PET, cork, organic cotton, and Pinatex (a blend of 80% pineapple leaf fibers and 20% PLA fibers).

All shoes have a recycled car tire outsole and cork and natural latex slip sole. 

You can shop by material if there’s one that better suits your eco inclinations. 

Supply chain & labor practices: 

NAE makes all products using a carbon-neutral manufacturing process that limits chemical use and water consumption. They produce everything locally in Portugal, so their factories are upheld to Europe’s more strict ethical standards. 

The Good On You directory notes they could improve their labor practices by having an adequate supplier code of conduct and providing proof of worker wages.

Despite this, NAE holds a “Good” overall rating.

Community & charitable giving: 

NAE partners with the ReMove Project who clean plastic from the ocean that then gets remade into shoes.

They’ve also collaborated with PETA to make a special line of pure organic cotton and natural rubber boots. $5 from each sale of that collection goes directly to PETA.

Available: eBay | NAE  

6. VERDURA

In the spirit of walking towards a greener future, we’ve been hunting for ethical and eco friendly sandals Image by Verdua #ecofriendlysandals #ethicalfashion
Image by Verdua
About Verdura Eco Friendly Vegan Sandals

Andrea Verdura describes his fateful journey into shoemaking: 

“Everyone has a story. Mine is a “walking” story since my sandals broke in Australia and I made another pair out from the tire of an old Fiat 500. It looked like a twist of fate … it became my greatest passion”.

The idea for Verdura was even more incidental when Andrea accidentally stepped in fishing nets that had washed up on the beach and looked down to see shoes.

These recycled fishing net sandals are not only light on impact, but light and breathable for your feet on hot summer days.  

These ethical vegan sandals bear unisex designs but are available in specific fits for women, men, and children.

Verdura’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

If you couldn’t guess by the net-like uppers, Verdura sandals are made from old narrow-gauge fishing nets, banned by the EU because of their higher likelihood of entrapping marine life. It’s a double-edged sword because now these nets are discarded in greater numbers.

That’s why Verdura chooses these specifically.

After collection, they’re made into sandals with natural dyes and added onto a wasted cork and recycled rubber bottom. Even the heel strap is made from cork, an improvement on their original recycled leather.

Now Verdura sandals are 100% vegan-friendly

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Verdura proudly claims their products are fully “made in Tuscany” only a few miles from their home. They also source all raw materials from Italy and its surrounding waters. 

Available: Verdura

OTHER SUSTAINABLE SANDALS

7. CHRISTY DAWN

In the spirit of walking towards a greener future, we’ve been hunting for ethical and eco friendly sandals Image by Christy Dawn #ecofriendlysandals #ethicalfashion
Image by Christy Dawn
About Christy Dawn Women’s Sustainable Sandals

Christy Dawn makes a couple of ethical sandals for women.

We love the Dawn Sandal which comes in earthy colors, and what’s neat is they’ll match any of their beautifully Bohemian ethical dresses or line of organic maternity wear. The timeless design means you can slip between casual and dressy, effortlessly.

Christy Dawn’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Christy Dawn is a deadstock fabric fashion company. Everything they make comes from production trimmings, leftover fabrics, and unsold garments. The Dawn Sandal is made from repurposed scrap leather, for both the upper and the sole.

Supply chain & labor practices:

Christy Dawn’s eco-friendly sandals are USA crafted, from design to delivery. All the magic happens not only at their own L.A Fair Trade factory, but at a partner facility also located in L.A. 

Community & charitable giving: 

Christy Dawn participates in grassroots fundraisers and social initiatives.

They became a “farm-to-closet company” by sponsoring regenerative cotton farming in India.

They also supported a local initiative to bring healthy food options to poor neighborhoods through Olympia Ausset’s SÜPRMARKT campaign. 

Available: Christy Dawn

8. NISOLO

In the spirit of walking towards a greener future, we’ve been hunting for ethical and eco friendly sandals Image by Nisolo #ecofriendlysandals #ethicalfashion
Image by Nisolo
About Nisolo’s Handmade Sustainable Sandals 

Nisolo is a specialist sustainable shoe maker for men and women, based in Nashville USA. 

They offer a wide range of shoes including ethical boots, oxfords & loafers, flats, mules, sandals, eco friendly sneakers, and heels.

They also stock a range of jewelry and accessories.

Their sandals come in a variety of styles including the (pitcured) Ecuador Huarache Sandal, slides and sandals with block heels.

Their visions is “to push the fashion industry in a more sustainable direction – where success is based on more than just offering the cheapest price – a direction that not only values exceptional design, but the producer and the planet just as much as the end consumer.”

Nisolo is a certified B Corp which measures a company’s entire social and environmental performance.

Nisolo’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices 

Materials: 

Nisolo’s shoe range is made predominantly from leather. This leather is always a by-product of the meat industry and Nisolo are currently conducting an investigation of their entire supply chain, down to the farm level.

They have visited and vetted all their factories and leather tanneries and have reported that many of their tanneries have been certified through the Leather Working Group

Nisolo are considering offering vegan leather sandals and footwear so watch this space

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Nisolo own their own ethical factory in Trujillo, Peru where their team are provided a living wage, as certified by a third party.

Nisolo have an in-house financial literacy training program which they attribute to having a major impact on the people who work for them.

They offer “100+ trainings a year on topics ranging from technical skills development, health, nutrition, English, physical education, and even yoga classes to our producers and their families.”

They also work with other factories, for which they have a Strict Code of Conduct. Employees must be paid a minimum wage, be at least 18 years old and have healthy working conditions.

Nisolo also work with independent artisans with the objective of providing job creation with the same fair work policies that Nisolo have for their own factory. These artisans are based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Community & charitable giving: 

Nisolo offset their emissions with Ecosphere+ , which “focuses on keeping the threatened forests of the Cordillera Azul of the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest alive and protected while creating sustainable livelihoods for its indigenous communities.”

Read more about Nisolo’s Impact here.

Available: Nisolo

9. SALT AND UMBER

In the spirit of walking towards a greener future, we’ve been hunting for ethical and eco friendly sandals Image by Salt and Umber #ecofriendlysandals #ethicalfashion
Image by Salt and Umber
About Salt and Umber Leather Sustainable Sandals

Salt and Umber is a woman-owned ethical footwear brand that believes in “eco-luxury for all”.

Their Lilliana sandals are a modern take on the classic mule shoes.

With a gender neutral silhouette and subtle metallic sheen, these modest mules pop just the right amount. Choose between four colors, including cognac, gold, positano, and gray.

Salt and Umber’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

The Lilliana sandals are made with recycled TPU outsoles and vegetable-tanned leather uppers sourced from a Leather Working Group (LWG) Gold-rated tannery. 

While this isn’t as sustainable as upcycling leather, it’s about as sustainable as virgin leather gets.  

Supply chain & labor practices: 

All Salt and Umber shoes are hand-made in small batches and without emission-causing machinery. They are woven by craftswomen in rural India who work with Salt and Umber via a Fair Trade cooperative system.

For marketing and packaging, they use recycled materials and recently phased out shoe boxes in their last production run. This decreases waste for us consumers and their carbon footprint is reduced by about 50%.  

Community & charitable giving: 

Co-op style weaving houses in India, like Salt and Umber provide gainful employment for women. They also receive empowerment opportunities through company-sponsored microloans and education.

Available: Made Trade | Salt and Umber

10. DARZAH

In the spirit of walking towards a greener future, we’ve been hunting for ethical and eco friendly sandals Image by Darzah #ecofriendlysandals #ethicalfashion
Image by Darzah
About Darzah’s Handmade Sustainable Sandals

Darzah is one of the few not-for-profit fashion brands out there.

They specialise in ethically made Palestinian “tatreez” embroidery, “a centuries-old art form, traditionally passed down from mother to daughter.”

A product of a non-profit women’s economic empowerment initiative called Childs Cup Full, Darzah offers a range of beautifully designed shoes, bags, accessories and home decor

Their sandals include their signature embroidery and look super comfy for everyday wear.

Darzah’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices 

Materials: 

Darzah’s sandals are made with a mix of leather, rubber and embroidery. Their leather is sourced locally from a family-run leather manufacturer in Khalil/Hebron.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Darzah’s focus is predominantly on empowering women.

They work to address the problem of womens’ unemployment on the West Bank (which exceeds 60%) by offering flexible work from home opportunities. 

Darzah is fair trade certified by Fair Trade Federation.

They are committed to “paying fair wages to our employees, implementing sustainable manufacturing practices, and supporting marginalized communities.”

All their employees earn a living wage (above the local minimum).

Community & charitable giving: 

Given Darzah is a not for profit, every purshase contributes directly to their training and employment programs on the West Bank.

Available: Darzah

11. PROUD MARY FOOTWEAR (CATRINKA)

In the spirit of walking towards a greener future, we’ve been hunting for ethical and eco friendly sandals Image by Proud Mary #ecofriendlysandals #ethicalfashion
Image by Proud Mary
About Proud Mary Footwear (Catrinka) 

First some clarification, Proud Mary Footwear was formerly sold by the company Proud Mary Global Textiles.

Recently the ethical accessory and purse maker Catrinka acquired them to help grow the footwear line. Now, under the control of Catrinka, the sandals still bear the Proud Mary seal and original craftsmanship.

Their raffia sustainable beach slide sandals scream carefree summer strolls in the sand. Choose between open and closed-toe designs, fringed flair, and a variety of different colors.

Proud Mary/Catrinka’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

The uppers are 100% Raffia grass and the soles are made of leather. They do not state where the leather is sourced or how it is tanned. We’re reaching out to them directly to confirm.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Proud Mary slippers are handmade in Morocco with raffia that is harvested from nearby palms. Each shoe takes these talented female artists about a day to make.

Overall, Catrinka aims to provide fair work to indigenous communities of women around the world. They work with over 284 women across 16 countries, providing 6,600 days of gainful employment to date.

The majority of the textiles are manufactured in rural Mexico and India. The final products are then made in family-owned factories.  

Community & charitable giving: 

Catrinka works hand in hand with the nonprofit Redmi Aq’ab’al to run the Catrinka Girls Project. It’s an education and life skills mentoring program for indigenous Mayan girls in Totonicapan, Guatemala. 

A significant portion of sales (what percentage of 50% that is left over after paying their artisans) goes directly toward this fund.  

To date, the program has provided 61,467 days of education for Mayan girls in remote villages.

Available: Ocelot Market | Catrinka

12. SWAHILI COAST

In the spirit of walking towards a greener future, we’ve been hunting for ethical and eco friendly sandals Image by Made Trade (Swahili Coast Design) #ecofriendlysandals #ethicalfashion
Image by Made Trade (Swahili Coast Design)
About Swahili Coast

Whether it’s jewelry or sandals, Swahili Coast aims to preserve the beautiful beadwork traditions of Africa.

Their slim, minimalist designs range from ethical flip flops to strap-backs to toe wrap-arounds. Each one features a classic leather look with colorful beaded accents. 

Their mission is “to help connect the incredible artistry and talents of East African Artisans to global markets using principles of fairness, dignity, and respect”.

Swahili Coast’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

These sandals are made from locally-sourced, naturally-tanned, free-range Tanzanian leather. This includes the upper and softer suede lining, finished with unique hand-beading designs. 

Between the hand-craftsmanship and practically unbreakable monofilament thread (think fishing line), they should last you many years.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

While the designs start at their studio in Wilmington, NC, the sandals are entirely handmade by artisans in East Africa. Through the Swahili Coast Cooperative, all the workers in small operations in Tanzania are paid fairly and work in safe, positive environments. 

They “operate on a model of radical transparency”, and the cooperative members even get to elect a board of directors, hire and fire management, and negotiate prices for their creations.

Community & charitable giving: 

Swahili Coast champions the empowerment of the female artisans of East Africa who don’t otherwise have cultural employment opportunities. They actually used their personal savings to start their 100% artisan partner owned cooperative in Tanzania.

Meaningful employment aside, they allow customers to directly tip these makers through their “Tip your Artisans” program.

Available: Made Trade | Swahili Coast

13. D’ARÇÉ

In the spirit of walking towards a greener future, we’ve been hunting for ethical and eco friendly sandals Image by D'Arçé #ecofriendlysandals #ethicalfashion
Image by D’Arçé
About D’Arçé Leather Sustainable Sandals

Founded by Monica Arce Garcia, D’Arçé is a luxury ethical shoe brand with dressier sandals.

If you’re looking for a little metallic flare or some delicate straps to go with that summer dress, this brand has you covered.

D’Arçé’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

D’Arçé shoes are uniquely made of local vegetable-tanned kangaroo leather. The animals are only caught in the wilderness during population control harvests. None are killed specifically for the hides and are not a byproduct of the meat industry either.

They “believe this makes it one of the most sustainable leathers available” and encourage you to read more here.

They use all grades of leather and upcycle production scraps into insoles to ensure no part is wasted.

These shoes also have hard Lactae Hevea heel grips. This type of tree milk is harvested without chopping down the tree.

Supply chain & labor practices:

Handmade in Australia by indigenous communities, D’Arçé aims to keep things as local and low impact as possible. For instance, they use biodegradable satchels over shoe boxes.

As for raw materials, they source the kangaroo leather from Australia and the hardware comes from France or Spain. The Lactae Hevea is from France or Vietnam.

Community & charitable giving: 

Another brand that believes in “trade not aid”, D’Arçé chooses to work with marginalized women to empower them both artistically and economically. 

So far, they’ve invested over a million dollars in the local economy and sponsored over 414,000 hours of employment.

Available: D’Arçé

HOW WE FOUND THE MOST ETHICAL SANDALS

Being sparse in material, sandals are easy to overlook in favor of larger, more resource consumptive fashion items. Truly sustainable fashion knows no size or season. 

As we do with these articles, we judged the brands and their products showcased here against our sustainable and ethical fashion criteria.

If you haven’t read it yet, please do, but here’s a condensed summary of our requirements: 

  • Materials: Low impact materials with a good end-of-life story. Preferably zero waste materials that can compost or biodegrade. Upcycling and using materials already in existence is favorable, too. See below for more specifics.
  • Supply chain & labor practices: Firstly, consider that all workers involved (in sourcing and manufacturing) are paid living wages and treated fairly. On the environmental side, we look for companies that reduce their operational impact by using green energy, purchasing carbon offsets, recycling their own products, and using low waste packaging. Even better if companies hold third party certifications (like B-Corp, Fair Trade, among many others) because then we know others have confirmed that they’re not greenwashing their products.
  • Charitable endeavors: If companies give back and involve themselves in the world at large, all the better! For many of these footwear companies, this comes in the form of manufacturing via small artisan co-ops. This gives a level of freedom, independence, and integrity to the artists while bolstering developing communities. 

Fabrics for Eco-friendly Sandals

Typically, we like compostable fabrics, but here we found the market a bit different. For most sustainable sandals, recycled materials were key.

You’ll notice many of the outsoles are made of recycled rubber sourced from trashed tires. This is great because there are So. Many. Tyres. just sitting in landfills producing greenhouse gases, or worse, being incinerated and releasing toxins into the air. 

And since cars aren’t going anywhere fast, that waste will just keep coming. If we can find a way to put it to better use, great!

Natural rubber is the next best thing because it’s biodegradable and can be extracted from trees harmlessly.

Some other sustainable fabrics common to these eco-friendly sandals include:

  • Recycled PET/Nylon: A synthetic fabric, made from upcycled plastic bottles, discarded fishing nets, and other ocean plastic.
  • Deadstock fabric: Sourced from either extra unsold garments or spare cuttings from production lines. 
  • Cork fabric An all-natural material we love for shoes because it’s cushioning, supporting, and antimicrobial (odor resistant- so no sweaty, stinky sandals!). It can also be harvested without killing the cork tree and ultimately, composted
  • Jute: A plant-based fiber woven from the tough, straw-like leaves of the jute plant.
  • PinatexA plant-based fiber made from pineapple leaf scraps, which would otherwise get burned).

Let’s Talk About Leather

Leather is a divider.

Normally, we wouldn’t include leather on our ethical fashion guides. Between the hundreds of chemicals used in the tanning process and the obvious ethical conundrum in sourcing it, leather isn’t our bag.

But here, we found a fair few ethical companies who were still using leather in some capacity. And let’s be honest most people (conscious consumers or not) use leather. Clothing or otherwise. No judgement.

So if this is your thing, our goal here is to rather point you in the direction of brands who are doing leather as ethically as possible. 

Some forms of leather we included, in order of sustainability:

  • Upcycled/repurposed leather: The materials already exist so there’s no additional harm caused. And it repurposes them, avoiding rotting in a landfill.
  • Naturally sun dyed leather: No chemicals used whatsoever, just nature working naturally.
  • Vegetable-dyed leather: Goes through the tanning process but without any of the toxic chemicals. 
  • Chrome-free leather: Last and least sustainable. We avoid this one because it still uses some harmful tanning chemicals. However, fewer heavy metals are involved.

We also consider how the leather was sourced. As mentioned, we think upcycled leather is the best bet because it’s making use of material that already exists.

Then there’s wild-caught leather. These are typically indigenous or rural communities that also use the meat to feed the community, so no part of the animal is wasted.

Next, there’s leather as a byproduct of the meat industry.

Much like the former in that the animals aren’t killed for their hides but less ideal because the meat industry, especially the industrial meat industry, is one of the least ethical and most rampant producers of greenhouse gases.  

We don’t consider brands that have no clear leather sourcing policy. We also completely avoid those that source from the pure leather industry, which needlessly kills over 1 billion animals per year. 

Know that we reach out to each of these brands to confirm all facts and policies.


FINAL THOUGHTS ON ECO FRIENDLY AND SUSTAINABLE SANDALS

Finally, it’s time to go seek some fun in the sun.

Strap on your sustainable sandals, grab your eco friendly sunglasses, and remember your zero waste sunscreen!

If you enjoyed this list, give it a share so we can all help make our planet a little bluer this summer.

After all, the beach is always more fun with friends. 


In the spirit of walking towards a greener future, we’ve been hunting for ethical and eco friendly sandals Image by Eating The Goober #ecofriendlysandals #ethicalfashion

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