The Best Vegan Shoes: 8 Brands Making Cruelty-Free Footwear 

Last Updated on April 30, 2024

Are you on the hunt for the proper vegan footwear? There are many manufacturers which might be beginning to create vegan footwear, however not all of them are created equal. 

For instance, manufacturers that use virgin plastic of their footwear can technically declare it’s “vegan.” The identical goes for many fake leather-based that claims to be vegan – it’s sometimes simply virgin plastic. 

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Virgin plastic might not be derived from animals, per say, however its manufacturing is straight linked to the local weather disaster.  

To make virgin plastic, crude oil should be extracted from the earth by way of fracking. Then by an power intensive course of, often finished in a fossil gasoline powered manufacturing unit, it’s remodeled into virgin plastic. All of this emits carbon (CO2), which is a greenhouse gasoline that exacerbates local weather change. 

So, what’s the answer? Looking into vegan footwear which have a low carbon footprint. That can imply they’re made with sustainable and recycled supplies, constructed to final, and/or are designed in a low waste method.  

Thankfully, many manufacturers are beginning to embrace moral and sustainable shoemaking practices that additionally embody vegan choices. Here are the perfect manufacturers making vegan footwear with a small carbon footprint.  

what’s a vegan shoe? 

A vegan shoe is footwear that’s made with none animal-derived supplies, like silk, leather-based, wool or suede. Essentially, no animals had been harmed within the making of the shoe. 

Instead, vegan footwear may be produced from: 

  • Bio-based supplies like corn, bamboo, mushroom, apple or pineapple fibers
  • Synthetic supplies like recycled plastics, rubber, canvas, microfibers 

Just be aware that many firms can even use vegan leather-based, which is most frequently produced from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyurethane. Both supplies are produced from fossil fuels and take many centuries to interrupt down. 

However, there are numerous firms popping out with progressive vegan leather-based choices produced from pineapple, cactus, mushroom and apple skins too. These plant-based leathers are produced from juice trade waste or waste from farming. Several of the manufacturers listed beneath make the most of these supplies. 

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You’ll additionally need to keep away from manufacturers making an attempt to greenwash you through the use of the label “vegan” as a advertising and marketing tactic. This label alone doesn’t make it sustainable.

Is the model being clear about their supplies and manufacturing practices? Look into their eco-friendly initiatives and see what they’re pursuing, reminiscent of providing a take-back program or planting bushes with each buy.

Here’s a common overview of what to search for in vegan footwear to make sure they’re sort to planet + folks: 

  • Made from sustainable, progressive supplies (aka, not virgin plastic) 
  • Ethical manufacturing: Brands paying honest wages + offering protected working environments 
  • Thoughtful packaging that’s not excessively wasteful 
  • Timeless designs that may be paired with any of your wardrobe items 
  • Repairability + sturdiness – can it simply be repaired by a shoe cobbler?  
  • Thoughtful craftsmanship: Every part of the shoe was fastidiously thought-about 

are vegan footwear higher? 

It’s vital to keep in mind that “vegan footwear” are usually not extra environmentally pleasant by default, just because they’re vegan. Rather, what issues is wanting on the complete shoe as a complete. 

There is a few debate on the environmental affect of artificial leathers (like PVCs) versus leather-based manufacturing. Both have an effect on the environment. 

For instance, the affect of actual leather-based is pushed by land use and greenhouse gasoline emissions related to animal agriculture. This impacts biodiversity, water utilization and local weather change. 

But the plastic trade additionally has a heavy carbon footprint. Plastic takes lots of of years to biodegrade and through that point, they shed microplastics which have been present in human feces, blood and even placentas. 

So, which is healthier? Well, neither is right. Because vegan leather-based produced from vegetation (like apples, cactus, and pineapple) definitely outranks each plastic leather-based and actual leather-based mixed. This type of leather-based is produced from a waste product, which lowers its affect even additional. 

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However, keep in mind this: The shoe you have already got is essentially the most sustainable possibility, be it vegan or not. The supplies and assets wanted to make that shoe have already been expended, so that you would possibly as properly put it to make use of.  

Another nice possibility is to search out vegan footwear secondhand at a neighborhood thrift retailer or classic retailer. Here are the perfect on-line marketplaces for thrifted and classic finds. You’ll give footwear a second likelihood at life and keep away from sending them to the landfill.

the way to inform if a shoe is vegan? 

You can inform if a shoe is vegan by their supplies, that are often listed on their web site or on the shoebox.  

Vegan supplies can embody, however are usually not restricted to: 

  • Cotton 
  • Hemp 
  • Cactus, apple, pineapple + mushroom leather-based 
  • Cork 
  • Recycled plastic 

Just be aware of labels like “vegan leather-based” or “pleather”, as this might simply imply virgin plastic. Make certain to double examine and see what their vegan leather-based is manufactured from earlier than committing.

Here are some non-vegan supplies: 

  • Leather 
  • Wool 
  • Suede 
  • Fur 
  • Silk 

how lengthy do vegan footwear final? 

How lengthy vegan footwear final is variable: This will depend on how prime quality the shoe is, how usually you put on it, and what circumstances you put on it in. 

For instance, in case you put on your favourite vegan footwear day by day, rain or shine, likelihood is they may diminish in high quality quite a bit quicker than saving them for particular events.  

However, a great prime quality pair of vegan footwear can final for a number of years, even with repeat use. If they’re repairable, you could possibly prolong their lifespan even additional. 

gzw authorized vegan shoe choices

I’ve rounded up an inventory of manufacturers that create vegan footwear: All of those get the Going Zero Waste seal of approval. Some of those manufacturers are completely vegan, whereas others provide a various array of vegan choices. 

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All the manufacturers on this listing make the most of totally different methods to make sure their supplies are sustainable and moral. There are a number of manufacturers that additionally provide take-back applications, which assist shut the loop and guarantee your footwear get recycled on the finish of their life.  

I’ve gone forward and highlighted some key options of every model, nevertheless it isn’t an exhaustive listing. Be certain to take a look at their web sites for extra info. 

1. cariuma

  • Women + males’s footwear 
  • 65% of merchandise are 100% vegan 
  • Sustainable supplies like natural cotton, recycled PET and pure rubber 
  • Support honest working hours + wages 
  • Focus on biodiverse reforestation: Plant 2 bushes for each pair of footwear bought 

2. rothy’s

  • Women + males’s footwear  
  • Vegan + cruelty-free 
  • Made from recycled water bottles with pure and renewable soles  
  • Offers a recycling program  

3. suavs

  • Women + males’s footwear 
  • Vegan 
  • Made from sustainable supplies like 100% post-consumer recycled plastics  
  • Compact and reusable shoe packing containers that double as delivery packing containers 
  • Excess product is donated to organizations like Soles4Souls 

4. alohas

  • Women’s footwear 
  • Multiple vegan shoe choices out there 
  • Locally produced in Spain 
  • Carbon offset possibility 
  • On-demand procuring to keep away from overproduction 

5. kengos

  • Women + males’s footwear 
  • Various vegan choices 
  • Made from progressive supplies like mushroom leather-based + cactus leather-based 
  • Created with solely 6 parts 
  • No petroleum-based adhesives used 
  • Recycled cardboard packaging 

6. nae shoes

  • Women, males + unisex footwear 
  • Vegan + cruelty-free 
  • Made from sustainable supplies like Pinatex, apple pores and skin, cork, natural cotton, and so forth. 
  • Pre-loved program permits you to ship again your footwear to be recycled or resold 

7. clae

  • Women + males’s sneakers 
  • Vegan choices out there 
  • Made with cactus and apple leather-based, recycled supplies, and so forth. 

8. ground cover

  • Unisex footwear 
  • Vegan + cruelty-free 
  • Made with cactus + pineapple leather-based 
  • Non-virgin inputs for each the insole and sole: cork + espresso floor waste 
  • Packaged in a post-consumer cardboard shoebox 

So, which of those sustainable vegan footwear would you attempt? Let me know within the feedback!

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