Ethical Companies that Offer Fair Trade, Vegan & Eco-Friendly Shoes

Shoeaholics Anonymous Disclosure

The term “ethical” will mean different things for different people. As a catch-all phrase, it typically refers to products that are made within fair trade guidelines, do not harm animals, and/or require minimal environmental impact for their production. The products can also support social causes or charities. There are many shoe companies that produce products that fall under these guidelines. Here are five companies that produce both stylish and ethical footwear:

1. TOMS Shoes

When you buy a pair of shoes from TOMS, another pair is donated to needy children in different parts of the world. The lack of shoes can contribute to the spread of disease and the prevention of educational opportunities, and the company aims to reduce those problems with its mission. You can find comfortable slip-ons or even lace-up boots. The classic style is a functional, slip-on canvas loafer.

2. Olsen Haus

Less than five years old, this company strives to be “a voice for animals, the environment, transparent business practices and unwavering values in ethical and social responsibilities.” These upscale stylish shoes for women are 100 percent vegan.

3. The Blackspot Anticorporation

The folks from Adbusters created a shoe line to be an alternative to major corporations like Nike and Adidas. Shoes are made from organic hemp, recycled tires, and other vegan materials. The company employs fair labor standards.

4. El Naturalista

The company passes guidelines for its own production, suppliers, and selling agents that include use of natural and biodegradable materials where possible, environmentally friendly practices, fair wages, and transparent operations. It also works to give back to local charities.

5. Buy Shoes, Save Lives

Buy shoes made from people in Iraq and help pay for heart surgeries for Iraqi children without health care. Proceeds also help train Iraqi doctors and healthcare professionals to provide the life-saving care needed.

What is your definition of an “ethical” shoe line? Do you have a favorite brand of ethical shoe wear? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

  • Qamay San Francisco
    These espadrilles take comfort and style into a whole new level. Handcrafted from upcycled cloth by our partner communities, each pair is a statement not just of individual expression but of social responsibility. Easy to match with jeans, shorts or even a day dress, Classic is a must-have in your wardrobe.
    $39.99  from OpenSky
  • Timberland
    What's better than comfortable, stylish men's shoes that you can wear on the job and off the clock? How about comfortable, stylish black shoes that are also eco-friendly? If you like to look good while working hard while also reducing your impact on the environment, these Timberland Men's TB05051A 001 Black Leather Richmont Plain Toe Water-Resistant Oxford Shoes are for you.What makes these Timberland shoes eco-friendly? We're glad you asked. First off, they feature laces, linings, and footbed covers that are made from 100% recycled polyethylene therephthalate (PET) - those are recycled plastic bottles! The next time you finish a bottle of water or a tooth-melting soda, that bottle might get recycled into something useful. Nice! Not only that, but the non-marking rubber outsoles on these black shoes are 34% recycled, and the OrthoLite polyurethane footbeds are made from 5% recycled rubber. In addition to being a bit greener than your normal footbeds, these OrthoLite footbeds are also more comfortable and functional than your normal footbeds. They provide moisture transport to wick away sweat, an anti-microbial function to kill stink and long-lasting cushioning. The ultra-breathable material won't breakdown or lose cushioning over time, so you'll be comfortable from now until we're all driving solar-powered hovercrafts around (we're still crossing our fingers for those!) .These men's shoes help protect the environment - and they also protect your feet from water. The uppers are treated with a durable water repellent (DWR) finish to help keep your feet dry. The padded collars prevent chafing when you're putting in long hours on the job. And the injection-molded EVA midsoles give you lightweight comfort and durability, so every step you take will be a good one. As an added bonus, the premium burnished full-grain leather uppers come from a silver-rated tannery. A silver-rated tannery is classified by the Leather Working Group judges based on energy use, waste production, and water treatment. Look good and feel good about helping the environment in these Timberland Men's TB05051A 001 Black Leather Richmont Plain Toe Oxford Water-Repellent Shoes.Manufactured Sizes: M: 7-12, 13 W: 7-12, 13
    $85.00  from Working Person's Store
    This handmade creation is offered in partnership with NOVICA, in association with National Geographic. India's Anita Ahuja proves there is elegance in recycling materials with the design of this shoulder bag. Crafted of upcycled cotton canvas, the bag is trimmed with tire inner tube and the bag features a zipper pocket in the black cotton interior. Product Features: Colors: Black Style: Shoulder bag Construction: 100-percent upcycled cotton, recycled tire accents Entry: Open-top Hardware: Iron Lining: Solid black cotton Interior pockets: One zipper-top Exterior pockets: One open-top Bag: 14.5 inches high x 19.8 inches wide x 5.5 inches deep Strap : 52 inches long x 1.1 inches wide Drop length: 24.5 inches Handles: 12.3 inches long x 1.2 inches wide Story Behind the Art: It was out of sheer social responsibility that my husband Shalabh and I started this organization to help conserve the environment, while at the same time make beautiful usable products crafted by creative talents. After much experimentation we realized that the solution laid in upcycling the bags into sheets of plastic that could be reinvented as fashion accessories. What is Worldstock? The handcrafted touch of artisan skill creates variations in color, size and design. If buying two of the same item, slight differences should be expected. Note: Color discrepancies may occur between this product and your computer screen. Imported Please allow 10 business days for the product to leave our warehouse and to receive tracking information. You should expect to receive this item within 15 business days. Worldstock Country: India Handbag Material: Cotton, Rubber, Metal Handbag Color: Black Product Features: Eco-Friendly Pattern: Solid Main Closure Type: None
    $62.99  from
    New Fashion Retro Women's Girl Eco-friendly Canvas Handbag Shoulder Bag
    $6.99  from CNDirect
    Eco Friendly Product Reusable Jute Shopping/ Beach Tote bag with leather handle. Size: 16"W x 15"H x 4".
    $142.49  from Walmart
  • Leaf & Fiber
    Leaf & Fiber bags are handcrafted in India with love, using centuries old methods Natural, eco-friendly, renewable, sustainable, bio-degradable product Environmentally conscious and socially responsible product Extremely durable and versatile Color: Black, red, brown, yellow, orange, brick red, green, natural Style: Cross-body, satchel Construction: Jute Exterior: Solid colored Entry: Zip-top closure Hardware: Brass or steel Handles: Adjustable strap Exterior pockets: One (1) front pocket Interior pockets: One (1) interior pocket Bag dimensions: 10 inches high x 8.5 inches wide Story Behind the Art: The jute fibers used are grown in rain water without the aid of pesticides and fertilizers. Our craftsmen use old family traditions of hand dyeing, hand block printing and handloom weaving to create these exquisite handcrafted bags. Our product is a community based initiative that brings a safe and sustainable livelihood to displaced artists and disadvantaged women. What is Worldstock? The handcrafted nature of this product will produce minor differences in artwork, color/shade, size and overall design. Subtle variations will occur from piece to piece and may not appear exactly as pictured, adding to its unique qualities. Measurements may vary slightly. If buying two of the same item, slight differences should be expected. Note: Color discrepancies may occur between this product and your computer screen. Imported
    $38.49  from

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