11 Recycled Shoe Brands Swapping New Materials For Old Image by Sustainable Jungle #recycledshoes #shoesmadeofrecycledplastic #recycledplasticshoes #recycledshoebrands #recycledmaterialshoes #shoesmadefromrecycledmaterials #sustainablejungle
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11 Recycled Shoe Brands Swapping New Materials For OldImage by Sustainable Jungle#recycledshoes #shoesmadeofrecycledplastic #recycledplasticshoes #recycledshoebrands #recycledmaterialshoes #shoesmadefromrecycledmaterials #sustainablejungle
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11 Recycled Shoe Brands Swapping New Materials For Old

Amber McDaniel

Want to take a stroll down sustainability street with us?

The most sustainable shoes are those that make use of recycled and sustainable materials already in existence—which is why we’re sole-d on recycled shoes.

We’re talking tennies made of trash, boots out of bottles, and circular skate shoes.

All of these and more are used by numerous recycled shoe brands to create on-point foot-styles to keep you in step (environmentally speaking).

But who makes shoes from recycled plastic, you ask?

Everything we recommend to you on Sustainable Jungle is independently researched and we ask all brands to confirm their claims. To avoid waste, we test products on an as needed basis. This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission. Learn more about why we do this here.

Kicking It Off With Our Favorite Shoe Brands Made From Recycled Materials

Thousand Fell does. They not only make some of the best recycled plastic shoes, but are one of the best recyclable shoe brands thanks to an innovative zero waste take back system.

Dooeys shows us just how versatile shoes made from recycled materials can be. Using all manner of recycled substances—from apple industry scraps to recycled foam—their house shoes are a true do-it-all slip-on that can take the place of all kinds of other shoes.

Ground yourself in sustainability with Grounded People’s ultra-traceable 100% recycled material shoes.

Wondering how we found the best shoes made of recycled plastic and more? Jump down to the end of the article where we’ll walk you through our process, step-by-step.

The Full List Of Recycled Material Shoes

1. Thousand Fell

11 Recycled Shoe Brands Swapping New Materials For Old Images by Sustainable Jungle #recycledshoes #shoesmadeofrecycledplastic #recycledplasticshoes #recycledshoebrands #recycledmaterialshoes #shoesmadefromrecycledmaterials #sustainablejungle
Images by Sustainable Jungle

About Thousand Fell

Price Range: $125–$135 (+$20 recycling deposit)

Thousand Fell is all about turning old shoes into new shoes. 

The closest you can get to 100% recycled shoes, the brand has created the first zero waste, closed-loop recyclable, and recycled sneaker to stomp on the 97% of sneakers that currently end up in landfills.

Their sustainable sneakers made of recycled materials are vegan, stain-proof, water-resistant, and tested to last for 2.4 million steps and be “comfy AF”. 

Though we can’t speak for a 2.4 million step test (yet) after trying the Women’s Slip On and Women’s Lace-Up, we can attest to the second point.

What we’re most impressed about regarding the Slip-On style is how secure it fits. It isn’t like other slip-on skate shoes that sometimes slide off the heel when you least expect it. These ones fit like a glove, but stretch comfortably around the foot.

Likewise, the Lace-Ups fit soft and snug, with a bit more support than the Slip-ons, making them ideal for longer wear and greater mileage.

Thousand Fell’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices


They may look like recycled leather shoes, but it’s actually recycled bottles that create the leather-like uppers, as well as mesh liners and laces. 

This upper has a quartz coating to repel liquid, which we’ve tested and can confirm it does repel liquids.

They’re also recycled rubber shoes in terms of the outsoles.

Midsoles and insoles partially feature materials like castor beans, coconut husk, sugar cane, and palm leaf fibers (from food waste).

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Thousand Fell’s recycled plastic shoes are made in a family-owned factory in Brazil using as many locally sourced materials as possible.

Carbon commitments & green practices: 

Can shoes be recycled? What can you make from recycled shoes?

According to Thousand Fell: other shoes.

Send back your old recycled kicks and receive $20 off your next order. TF will either refurbish and donate them or break them down to become new recycled sneakers.

Any materials TF can’t reuse are sent on to the upcycling partners.

The company offsets its carbon and water usage, and orders come in an organic tote bag and FSC-certified shoe box.

Community & charitable giving: 

Any returns of their tennis shoes made from recycled plastic are refurbished and given to someone in need via their partnership with Sole4Soles.

Thousand Fell is a member of 1% for the Planet.

2. Dooeys

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Images by Sustainable Jungle

About Dooeys

Price Range: $130–$140

What company makes recycled shoes you can wear around the house?

Dooeys does!

Sustainable house shoes—in loafers, mules and sandals—are this female-founded brand’s jam, each one designed to be comfortable, easy to slip on and off, and versatile enough to dress up or down for any occasion.

We slipped into the open-back House Mules, and now you have a hard time convincing us to wear anything else. 

If you’re like us on a little backyard homestead, they’re especially perfect because we can go from working in the office to watering the garden to cooking dinner, all without having to change our shoes.

The open back is airy enough for wear in warmer weather while the sherpa fleece lining keeps our tootsies toasty on cold mornings.

Dooeys’ Ethical & Sustainability Practices


Dooeys’ recycled women’s shoes feature an upcycled apple scrap vegan leather upper, recycled rubber soles, recycled plastic bottle sherpa fleece lining, sugarcane midsoles, and a cork and recycled foam insole.

These cork insoles are SO COMFORTABLE. Unlike other flat, hard cork insoles we’ve seen, these are contoured to fit the feet and provide cushioning right under the arch, so our feet never feel tired after standing in them for long periods of time.

Supply chain & labor practices:

Dooeys is committed to ethical production practices and works with factories in Portugal that meet high standards for labor and environmental practices.

Carbon commitments & green practices:

Dooeys is committed to reducing their carbon footprint by using recycled and plant-based materials in their shoes, offering carbon-neutral shipping on every order, and minimizing production waste through small batch manufacturing.

Community & charitable giving:

Dooeys is committed to giving back through organizations likeThe Ocean Cleanup, One Tree Planted, and Women for Women International, which supports women survivors of war.

3. Grounded People

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Images by Sustainable Jungle

About Grounded People

Price Range: $179–$189

Despite their name, Grounded People offers people a way to get ethically high with their small but essential collection of classic low and high-top sneakers.

Not only are their shoes made from recycled materials in every way, but they’re designed to fit anyone and everyone, thanks to versatile, unisex styles.

The CAMPINAS low-rise shoes are the perfect blend of retro punk and modern, making them an all-around effortless wear.

The zero drop design provides an ergonomic fit that’s as close to natural grounding as you can get while still wearing sneakers.

Grounded People’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices


Grounded People uses only recycled materials in the production of their shoes. 

They use recycled cotton for the upper part of the shoe, natural rubber for the sole, recycled metal eyelets, and recycled car tires for the outsole.

Supply chain & labor practices:

They work with a small team of artisans who handcraft each 100% recycled shoe across South America. Their shoes are specially made in Brazil, in the world’s first 100% vegan factory.

The brand ensures that their suppliers and partners adhere to ethical labor practices and that workers are paid fair wages.

You can track each product’s journey via their partnership with Retraced, available in each product page.

Community & charitable giving:

When checking out, you get to pick your laces, each color of which sees a portion of your purchase donated to a specific organization, thanks to the L.A.C.E.S program.

They’re also committed to supporting local communities by sourcing materials and labor locally whenever possible.

4. Vivaia

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Images by Sustainable Jungle

About Vivaia

Price Range: $97–$199

Viva la Vivaia!

This stylish brand’s recycled water bottle shoes include heels, loafers, sandals, mules, sneakers, and boots—all machine and hand washable.

While primarily a maker of recycled women’s shoes, they do offer a small men’s sneaker line.

For sustainable heels, we love the looks of the Julie Pro Round-Toe Chunky Heels, which feature a super classy ebony and ivory colorblock combo that’s all fashion, combined with a functional low rise heel that you can wear to your next boardroom presentation or party alike.

Vivaia’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices


These recycled ocean plastic shoes feature recycled plastic bottles collected from the oceans, recycled into a signature thread and used to knit the uppers. Each pair of recycled bottles shoes contains about six of them.

Other materials include an herbal PU foam insole, carbon-free rubber outsole, and natural latex rubber or recyclable TPE yoga mat midsoles. 

Some contain wool but many vegan styles are available.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Shoes are made at a regularly audited facility in China, ensuring fair and healthy conditions. 

Green business practices: 

Their factory is partly powered by renewable energy and a low-waste production process reduces production waste by over 30%. 

Packing boxes are made from 100% recycled cardboard.

Community & charitable giving: 

For every pair of Avis recycled shoe flats sold, the brand donates $5 to SOS Children’s Village


11 Recycled Shoe Brands Swapping New Materials For Old Images by SAOLA #recycledshoes #shoesmadeofrecycledplastic #recycledplasticshoes #recycledshoebrands #recycledmaterialshoes #shoesmadefromrecycledmaterials #sustainablejungle
Images by SAOLA


Price Range: $45–$120

Named after an endangered bovine species, French brand SAOLA does their part by offering men’s and women’s shoes made from recycled plastic.

Designs include lace-ups, slip-ons, and sandals in various colors.

If you’re tired of the same old sneaker style, check out the Alta Vibram shoes, which combine ultra sticky Vibram 90% recycled Ecostep soles with fully recycled linings and partially recycled uppers (the rest being organic cotton).

We love the look of the granite speckled midsoles—and love even more that it’s thanks to 25$ recycled EVA foam.

SAOLA’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices


Offering shoes made out of recycled plastic bottles, each set of SAOLAs feature 3-7 bottles that have been turned into GRS-certified rPET.

The insoles are made with recycled algae foam from BLOOM Foam, midsoles from partially recycled EVA, and any Vibram outsoles feature 90% recycled rubber.

They use organic cotton for their laces and natural cork insoles.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

SAOLA works with a well-established and reputable factory in Vietnam (near where most materials are sourced) that has high social and environmental standards in place. 

Regular visits are carried out by their local agent.

Carbon commitments & green practices: 

Not only are their sneakers recycled, but also machine washable to extend their longevity.

Community & charitable giving: 

Members of 1% for the Planet, SAOLA’s contributions to wildlife conservation organizations like the Mwalua Wildlife Trust and Coral Guardian.

6. Native Shoes

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Images by Native Shoes

About Native Shoes

Price Range: $32–$110

Live Lightly™ with Canada’s Native Shoes.

Their shoes made with recycled materials aren’t just light in impact but are physically lightweight, too, making them the perfect slip-on-and-go shoe.

From slides and perforated upper slip-ons to sneakers and boots, Native shoes it all.

As a PETA-approved vegan shoe brand, no materials consist of animal byproducts—even though the adventurous-looking Fitzsimmons Citylite Bloom boots will have you feeling ready to go on an African safari.

Native Shoes’ Ethical & Sustainability Practices


Many Native Shoes use either an Injection Molded Bio-based EVA foam or recycled PET upper.

Others feature upcycled algae foam, solvent-free vegan suede or corn-based PU, sugarcane, organic cotton, and cork fabric.

Supply chain & labor practices:

Native Shoes is committed to ensuring that its supply chain and labor practices are ethical and fair across its factories in Vietnam and China.

Carbon commitments & green practices:

Native Shoes has set a goal to achieve carbon neutrality in 2023 and each pair emits ½-¼ the carbon emissions compared to traditional models.

To achieve this goal, the company has implemented a number of initiatives, such as using renewable energy, conserving water in manufacturing methods, and implementing sustainable transportation practices.

The Remix Project allows customers to send their well-loved shoes back to this recyclable shoe brand back for recycling into future shoes, playground flooring, insulation, or seating.

Community & charitable giving:

Native Shoes acknowledges the stolen land of their headquarters as that of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. 

They partner with various organizations to support initiatives such as community development, environmental conservation, and social justice.

7. Cariuma

11 Recycled Shoe Brands Swapping New Materials For Old Images by Cariuma #recycledshoes #shoesmadeofrecycledplastic #recycledplasticshoes #recycledshoebrands #recycledmaterialshoes #shoesmadefromrecycledmaterials #sustainablejungle
Images by Cariuma

About Cariuma

Price Range: $79–$169

In Cariuma’s words:

“We love an old-school aesthetic as long as it’s made with new-school ethics.”

They embody “old-school” in their retro-inspired styles of recycled plastic sneakers, like high-tops, low-tops, and slip-ons for men and women—like the OCA Low, a classic skate-style recycled flat shoes that are so versatile, you’ll have to think of reasons not to wear it every day.

Carimua’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices


The majority of the plastic used for the uppers, laces, labels, and threads is recycled.

Carimua’s recycled PET is GRS certified, so if you’re looking for a pair of shoes made from recycled plastic, these are certified to contain a minimum percentage of it. 

Other sustainably sourced materials include bamboo, natural rubber, GOTS-certified organic cotton, sugarcane, mamona oil, and vegetable tanned leather sourced from LWG-Gold certified suppliers.

65% of their products are vegan and they use bluesign®-approved chemicals for their dyes.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Cariuma’s WRAP-certified manufacturing partner is audited against their comprehensive Code of Conduct. 

The average wage is 79% above the legal minimum wage.

The Certified B Corp is working towards full traceability of its supply chain. It currently has 100% traceability of its Tier 1 suppliers, 85% of Tier 2 suppliers, and 59% of Tier 3.

Carbon commitments & green practices: 

Cariuma’s warehouse building is ISO 14001:2015 Certified and LEED Gold Certified for meeting high environmental standards. 

Their LWG-Gold leather suppliers use chrome and chemical-free tanning methods and reuse the water involved in the cleaning process.

Cariuma’s sneakers made from recycled plastic will appropriately come boxed in recycled cardboard packaging and via carbon-neutral shipping.

Community & charitable giving: 

Two trees are planted in the Brazilian rainforest for every pair of recycled sneakers sold.

8. Thesus

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Images by Thesus

About Thesus

Price Range: $138–$220

Formerly Alice + Whittles, BIPOC women-owned Canadian brand Thesus is no stranger to shoes made out of recycled ocean plastic. 

Embodying the concept of a minimal wardrobe for feet, they offer three essential and classic styles: a clog, a pair of eco-friendly boots, and some waterproof rain boots.

These recycled material shoes feature an impressive 95% recycled content, and Thesus is aiming for 100%.

The Terrus Clog is an excellent versatile casual shoe, with a lightweight slip-on design and sturdy back strap that ensures you won’t be sliding out of these slides unless you want to.

Thesus’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices


Making shoes from recycled plastic for Thesus means 100% ocean plastic uppers, 100% recycled PET bottles in laces, and recycled natural rubber soles—yielding 95% total recycled content.

They also use recycled synthetic wool in their boots.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

After months of looking for the right partners, all production occurs in a family-owned factory in Portugal.

They pay a living wage to all manufacturing staff and aim for all of their material suppliers to provide a living wage to their staff within the year.

Carbon commitments & green practices: 

Thesus is striving to become a Climate Neutral Certified company and are aligned with the UN’s SDGs.

Community & charitable giving: 

Proceeds from limited-edition designs by this BIPOC-woman owned brand support a number of charitable organizations. 

9. Allbirds

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Images by Allbirds

About Allbirds

Price Range: $555–$170

Certified B Corp Allbirds is based in New Zealand, and given there are about seven times more sheep than people there it’s no wonder ethical wool is their main material. 

However, recent years have seen them increasingly embrace the recycled shoes brand tag.

They make recycled sneakers and sustainable running shoes for men, women, and kids, as well as sandals, slip-ons, flats, hiking shoes, and slippers.

We’ve sampled their Tree Runners sneakers, and, as avid runners, can confirm that they’re truly some of the lightest and most comfortable running shoes we’ve had the pleasure of taking our morning jog in.

Allbird’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices


For the long version of Allbirds’ sustainability read our deep dive, otherwise here’s the summary.

For recycled running shoes, Allbirds combines natural materials like wool or FSC-certified TENCEL™ lyocell fabric with recycled plastic bottle laces and bio-based TPU eyelets.

The cushion and support are thanks to castor bean oil and Proforest-certified Brazilian sugarcane SweetFoam, the world’s first carbon-negative green EVA. 

Their slippers are made from recycled wool, recycled polyester, and natural rubber.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Their ZQ-certified merino wool is ethically sourced from New Zealand and the TENCEL Lyocell from FSC-certified rain-fed South African farms. 

Regular 3rd party audits are in place in their supply chain and they work with WRAP-certified factories in China, South Korea, and Vietnam.

Carbon commitments & green practices: 

The company is 100% certified Carbon Neutral and uses 90% recycled cardboard packaging.

Community & charitable giving: 

Allbirds have partnered with Soles4Souls to donate lightly worn pre-loved pairs to communities in need. 

10. Icebug

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Images by Icebug

About Icebug

Price Range: $139–$239

Icebug is a Swedish shoe company that produces a range of footwear for outdoor activities—namely sustainable hiking boots and trail running shoes, including some with studs for winter traction.

Their collection is extensive but if you’re looking for an excellent all-around sneaker, you can’t go wrong with the Eli RB9X.

Made from mostly recycled materials (including a removable recycled foam insole), these breathable and durable shoes are popular for their comfort and performance alike.

Icebug’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices


With Icebug’s shoes, recycled materials aren’t all you’ll find. RWS wool, BLOOM™ algae foam, LWG Gold leather, and natural rubber are present in many shoes in some capacity or another.

However, recycled polyester and recycled wool (sourced from another Swedish clothing company) make regular appearances in their women’s and men’s recycled shoes.

They prioritize bluesign®-approved or OEKO-TEX certified materials.

Supply chain & labor practices:

This Certified B Corp is committed to ethical labor practices and works closely with their suppliers and factories in Vietnam and China to ensure workers are treated fairly and paid a living wage. 

They’re also a member of the Fair Wear Foundation, which promotes fair labor conditions in the fashion industry and holds supply chain entities to its code of conduct.

Scan the QR code on each product tag and Follow the Footprints to learn all about its production journey and impact.

Carbon commitments & green practices:

Icebug is committed to reducing their carbon footprint by half by 2023 and they’re measuring emissions to track progress.

The company uses renewable energy sources and has implemented a number of green practices in their manufacturing process, such as using water-based adhesives, reducing waste, and promoting product longevity by offering replacement parts.

Community & charitable giving:

The recycled shoes brand has partnered with Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, Protect Our Winter, and the World Wildlife Fund through their 1% For the Planet membership.

11. VEJA

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Images by VEJA

About VEJA

Price Range: $70–$120

VEJA is a French footwear brand whose mission is to use plastic bottles in sneakers that are both stylish and sustainable.

Whether you need a more active design or a casual skate shoe, VEJA offers various styles of recycled plastic bottle shoes for women, men, and kids.

One of their most sustainable styles is the Alveomesh Sneaker, which is one of their vegan, mostly-recycled models thanks to a recycled polyester upper and lining and a rubber and recycled rice waste outsole.

VEJA’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices


One of the key materials used in VEJA’s sneakers is B-mesh, a fabric made entirely from recycled plastic bottles. Other recycled upper materials include organic cotton and rPET Hexamesh and corn-based vegan leather.

The company also uses organic cotton for the canvas and laces, Amazonian rubber for the soles, and castor bean or sugar cane midsoles and inserts. 

Not all are vegan recycled shoes, however. Many styles contain LWG and REACH-certified leather tanned via vegetable or chrome-free methods.

Supply chain & labor practices:

VEJA’s sneakers are designed in Paris and ethically made in Porto Alegre, Brazil. In fact, all manufacturing and sourcing takes place in Brazil, except for their Peruvian cotton sourcing.

As a Certified B Corp, they ensure their factory workers are paid fair wages and work in safe and healthy conditions.

They also support their small-scale farming partners by purchasing raw materials at double the market price.

Carbon commitments & green practices:

VEJA uses renewable energy sources in their factories and has implemented a closed-loop water system to reduce water waste. T

They also keep an emissions report of Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, so they can continue to make improvements to lower them, mostly through their material choices. For example, they aim to use 100% organic cotton in their sneakers by 2025.

If you’re wondering what to do with old shoes from VEJA, send them back for repair or recycling.

Community & charitable giving:

VEJA supports various social and environmental initiatives through their charitable giving program, like Atelier Sans Frontières, a Paris-based non-profit that provides job training and support for homeless individuals. 

VEJA also works with environmental organizations to promote reforestation and sustainable agriculture practices in the Amazon rainforest.

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How We Found The Best Recycled Shoes

So what are recycled shoes?

Well, at the risk of sounding obvious, they’re shoes made of recycled materials—at least partially—but that wasn’t our sole consideration.

Just like when we sussed out the sustainable rain boots, repairable shoes and ethical heels, we considered our sustainable and ethical fashion criteria.


Footwear is a notoriously finicky subject due to the many components required to make a sturdy pair of shoes. 

For this list, we prioritized shoes made from recycled plastic bottles, recycled tires, or any other manner of recycled material, especially anything recycled to replace the EVA foam that makes shoes cushioned—like recycled algae.

Many still struggle adopting sustainable materials here, because when it comes to recycled materials, shoes may require certain performance components that recycled substances can’t match yet.

Shoes made out of recycled plastic are synthetic fabrics, so they’re not compostable, which is okay because shoes rarely are, and they’re diverting sustainable materials from landfills.

Supply chain & labor practices:

Being an ethical shoe brand also means being mindful of the people behind the shoes, as well as the planet under them.

Regular independent audits carried out by third-party organizations are the best way to seek reassurance of high social and environmental standards. 

Carbon commitments & green practices:

Shoes made out of recycled materials are the first steps on a path toward sustainable footwear.

But it’s a long and winding road that starts with creating durable and washable shoes so that they can cover a lot of ground before needing to be recycled again.

Other things top recycled shoe brands are doing include offering repair and recycling services, counteracting emissions by supporting carbon offset programs, and using renewable energy.

Community & charitable giving:

Shoe brands that use recycled materials AND go the extra mile to circulate the wealth by supporting community events and donating of products or proceeds put an extra spring in our step.

Final Thoughts On Recycled Shoe Brands

With over 22 billion pairs of shoes ending up in landfill every single year, the footwear industry has to reduce the size of its colossal footprint.

Brands offering shoes made from recycled ocean plastic, recycled plastic bottles, tires, or old shoes is a huge step in the right direction.

Let’s just make sure we don’t buy shoes made of recycled plastic if we don’t need them or send them to landfill after one lifetime.

Brands offering circular recycling services are lending a hand (err, foot) in this matter, but it’s important we do our part. If you’re replacing a worn-out pair of shoes, try to recycle them, too.

Have any friends or family that could use some sustainability in their step? 

Share this list so they too can support recycled shoes brands supporting our planet.

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11 Recycled Shoe Brands Swapping New Materials For Old Image by VEJA #recycledshoes #shoesmadeofrecycledplastic #recycledplasticshoes #recycledshoebrands #recycledmaterialshoes #shoesmadefromrecycledmaterials #sustainablejungle

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