Ethically Made Vegan Shoes That Help Both Animals and the Planet
Shopping in a department store can mean more than enough options to satisfy a vegan customer. After all, there are several mid-range brands that offer styles in imitation leather, canvas or other animal-free materials.
However, the average brands may not be up to standards when it comes to environmental and ethical practices. Making the switch to vegan products, especially accessories like shoes and purses, may be intimidating at first for a diehard fashionista. However, these eight brands make it much less of a challenge to find ethically made, well-priced vegan shoes that are also extremely stylish.
Established in 2001, Beyond Skin is both cruelty-free and stylish. While they started off making their shoes in the UK, they now make their leather-free shoes in Spain. The shoes are not only vegan, but made with premium recycled and environmentally friendly materials in factories that maintain high standards for labor practices. Currently the brand only offers women’s styles, but their website says that a men’s line is coming soon. The prices range from around 90 dollars to 350 dollars and there is free worldwide delivery.
The founder of Bourgeois Boheme didn’t want to create “just another shoe brand.” By combining podiatry and vegan values, the company is founded on principles of comfort and living cruelty-free. Each pair is made under ethical conditions in Portugal. The shoes from this brand are undeniably sharp and professional. Given that Bourgeois Boheme wants to “challenge the perception of leather-free footwear,” there are a lot of updated classic styles for both men and women.
According to the Nicora website, no part of the supply or production process for their hand-crafted shoes “involves the exploitation of humans, animals or the environment.” It’s rare to find hand made shoes that are made in the United States, but Nicora fits this niche. While the brand offers flats and heels for women, the stand-out style is the unisex Sinclair boot.
This quirky brand is the recipient of the 2015 PETA Award for “Best Stylish Casual Shoes.” It’s not hard to see why! They offer everything from sneakers to bright, canvas sandals. According to their website, Good Guys is the first French brand dedicated entirely to vegan footwear. The shoes are in fact designed in Paris and made in Portugal, giving them a distinct “je ne sais quois” factor that makes them stand out from other brands.
The goals behind the Ahimsa brand are to question traditional habits, inspire conscious attitudes, manufacture sustainably and respect all forms of life. This transparency combined with their casual but classic products makes the brand a unique addition to the vegan market. No shoes are over 200 dollars, but they are all handmade in their own factory in Brazil. Ahimsa is a good option for those looking to replicate many styles like boat shoes that are popular in traditional department stores but do not offer vegan options.
Even their boots coming in at under 200 dollars because Cri de Coeur offers quality classic shoes for a slightly lower price than the traditional leather market. Each pair of shoes has a timeless aesthetic rather than being overly trendy, meaning they can be worn for years to come. The products are “cruelty-free from start to finish,” as the brand is committed to utilizing factories that treat their workers right as well as recycled materials. This brand is a celebrity favorite given their elegant designs.
Perhaps one of the oldest vegan shoe brands around, Vegetarian Shoes was founded in 1990 with just a simple lace up style made from a faux leather used for yachting upholstery. At first, everything was made-to-order. However, the brand has since grown from its origins of one person making all the shoes to instead being made to order in European and English factories. They offer extremely practical choices like snow boots alongside fashionable favorites like brogues and sneakers. Worldwide delivery varies in price; however the shoes are under 200 dollars even for the thickest ice-friendly boots.
This brand states that they are “100 percent singularly and uncompromisingly vegan for the animals and the planet, not trend.” That being said, no one would ever think the shoes aren’t hip! Olsen Haus offers shoes for everyone in the family, including children. The products are made in small, family-operated factories in Mexico and India. The styles are made to order according to wholesale orders, with a few extra for the brand’s own website, rather than mass producing each style and having an excess that doesn’t sell. Instead of imitating styles that customers may be used to, Olsenhaus pushes the envelope for very fashion-forward styles that still come in under 200 dollars.