With conscious fashion and veganism on the rise, more and more people are trying to switch to fashion that is not only kinder but more sustainable.
So naturally, any vegan alternative is the solution, right? Well, not exactly. Even though using vegan shoes is a step in the right direction, it's not always a complete solution.
In reality, a lot of vegan clothing and vegan shoes are far from being eco-friendly.
In fact, many vegan shoes that are sold as "sustainable ethical shoes,” still have a negative impact on our planet. And in the world of fast fashion, PVC is one of the biggest culprits.
Here Are 5 Brands Making Eco-Friendly Vegan Fair Trade Shoes
The Problems with PVC
Although it's good that people are waking up to the realities of the systemic devastation of fast fashion, many vegan shoes are still made out of harmful materials.
Plastic polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a material used for faux leather and it is harming our planet, the workers producing it, and ourselves.
Like all plastics, PVC is not bio-degradable which means it will contaminate our planet and waterways for decades after the shoes are discarded.
That’s right, PVC is both devastating for our environment and to the health of humans which is why we need to avoid it.
To be honest, we’ve only recently begun to understand the implications of fast fashion.
The issue can seem daunting, and changing out your wardrobe for more fair and eco-friendly clothing can seem harder and more expensive than it actually is.
Luckily, there are many vegan leather options on the market right now, and it has never been easier to ditch leather for ethical shoes.
More and more fair trade shoe brands are committed to sourcing eco-friendly faux leather.
Not only are these shoes made of sustainable leather but they are vegan and fashionable to boot.
Enter Vegan Microfiber Leather - A Sustainable Alternative
Vegan microfiber leather is a new wave of conscious fashion that is reshaping the fashion industry with the most stylish shoes and ethical footwear all the while being environmentally friendly.
This high-quality eco synthetic leather is used to produce shoes and other items typically made of leather such as bags, belts, and purses.
Vegan microfiber leather is manufactured in Italy under fair working conditions and is later used by vegan shoe companies.
Here Are The 5 Best Ethical Shoe Companies Offering Eco-Friendly Vegan Leather:
Ahimsa - Maker of Quality Vegan Shoes
Image Credit: Petit Vour
Ahimsa should very well be considered a role model for other vegan shoe companies.
It’s a small company based in Brazil, and they produce some of the best and most ethical shoes on the market.
Adam bought a pair of faux suede derbys earlier this year and is in love with them.
In fact, they are the only pair of “nicer” shoes he’s ever had that are comfortable enough to wear on a daily basis.
When Ahimsa was founded in 2014, they were using a third-party producer to make their products like most ethical shoe companies these days.
But it didn’t take long before the founders started getting uncomfortable with the idea of using a producer that didn’t share their vegan beliefs.
Only 6 months later, Ahimsa opened their own factory ,and today it's the only 100% vegan shoe factory in the world.
All of Ahimsa’s products are created by a small and very dedicated team in their own vegan shoe factory.
You even get a handwritten thank you note from the staff with every pair you buy!
Ordering from Ahimsa is easy.
The company offers free worldwide shipping and their fair trade vegan shoes can be ordered directly from their website or from several online retailers such as Avesu, Amazon, etc.
Veerah - Fair Trade Vegan Shoes with a Positive Social Impact
When it comes to vegan and ethical shoe companies, we personally think Veerah is one of the most exciting.
Their heels are to die for, and naturally, they produce gorgeous fair trade shoes for vegans.
But even more so, Veerah is also dedicated to helping make a larger impact on the world.
At least 1 percent of all Veerah's revenue is donated to social impact causes, all of their staff gets 10 paid hours every month to use for volunteering and self-improvement, and they are constantly working on minimizing their impact on the world.
All of the vegan fair trade shoes that Veerah sells are 100% cruelty-free and made from sustainable and eco-friendly leather alternatives.
For example, Italian microfiber leather is one of the most popular materials used for a majority of their heels, but they also use recycled PET-bottles, apple skins, cork, and 100% percent organic cotton.
Veerah’s hard work and dedication has earned them an official approval from PETA, and to us, they are one of the most fashion-forward manufacturers of vegan fair trade shoes today.
Image Credit: Petit Vour
Will’s Vegan Shoes - A Pioneer in the Vegan Ethical Shoe Industry
Will Green founded Will’s Vegan Shoes back in 2012 with the goal of producing great ethically made vegan shoes.
This means that all of the materials used are certified vegan, the staff is treated respectfully under-regulated European working conditions, and the production line is designed to cause as little harm as possible to our world.
Will’s was also one of the first companies that started using Italian microfiber leather on a larger scale.
Moreover, Will’s Vegan Shoes has literally taken the vegan fashion world by storm by filling a void and offering long-lasting, affordable, sustainable fashion for vegans.
Before Will’s, it was hard to find any really good fair trade vegan shoes, both for men and women.
What is even more impressive is that the company has initiated a well-needed change in the industry that is inspiring more vegan companies to take on the fast fashion industry.
All of their products are certified carbon neutral, ethically made, and vegan, and they are by far one of the most environmentally-friendly clothing companies today.
Last year, Victoria bought a pair of vegan boots from Will’s Vegan Shoes, and she has been wearing them as often as the weather allows.
Bourgeois Boheme is a brand that embodies chic fashion effortlessly.
Their range of vegan shoes spans from ethical sneakers and everyday shoes to luxury vegan leather shoes and workwear.
The inspiration is always fashionable sustainability, and the London-based designers are always looking for new materials to use from cork and microfiber leather to recycled rubber.
Bourgeois Boheme has also recently started to incorporate Piñatex™ in their shoe collections.
Piñatex™ is a sustainable leather alternative made from leftover pineapple harvesting.
Over the past two years, pineapple leather has become a very popular material for vegan shoe companies.
All of the faux leathers used by Bourgeois Boheme are of the highest quality and sourced from the most eco-friendly producers around the world.
The shoes are designed in London and hand-made in a fair trade factory in Portugal before being sold from the UK.
We absolutely love Bourgeois Boheme and are convinced that they will play an important role in the future of sustainable fashion with their exceptionally stylish vegan and fair trade shoes.
Image Credit: Bourgeois Boheme
Beyond Skin is another company that offers a range of vegan shoes that are designed in England and hand-made in their fair trade factory in Spain.
Like the other brands on this list, Beyond Skin uses Italian microfiber (PU) as their main source of faux leather but they do even more to limit their impact.
In addition to PU, Beyond Skin uses up to 70% recycled material, especially for the cardboard insoles and the rubber parts of their shoes.
Beyond Skin is working hard to promote sustainability on a global level, and by selling fashionable fair trade shoes, they are constantly inspiring others to live a more conscious lifestyle.
Natalie Portman is even a Beyond Skin ambassador!
Read more about Beyond Skin, their products, and their urgency to save our planet on their website.
Pro Tip: If you live in the UK, you can get any products shipped with free delivery!
Image Credit: Beyond Skin
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