Fair Trade & Sustainable Shoe Brands

As consumers, we recognize the power of our vocalized objections. Through our purchases, we can make a positive difference for the people that make the clothes and footwear we put on every day, and ensure they have fair wages and environmentally safe working conditions. Because, unfortunately, shoe production is not exempt from the sweatshop labor and hazardous production processes involved in fashion manufacturing.

In our search for fair trade shoe brands, we've compiled a list of our favorite footwear brands producing fairly made shoes that range in function, style, and price. From hiking and running to work or a night out, these brands make it easier to fill your closet with high-quality staples for every occasion. 

Also, if you're looking for leather alternatives, check out this guide for a list of our favorite vegan and cruelty-free shoes.


1. Allbirds

Based In | San Francisco, CA
Ethics | Certified B Corp, carbon-neutral business, natural & recycled materials, gives back, WRAP- & SMETA-certified production
Best For | Machine-washable sneakers
Product Range | Adult weather-repellent sneakers, loafers, slip-ons, flats & apparel
Price Range | $95–$135

Allbirds started with one simple mission: to ethically make shoes in a better way, using natural materials. The brand's shoes are made from sustainable materials like FSC-certified Tencel lyocell and Merino wool, the latter of which ensures environmental and animal-friendly practices. With a simple pricing structure and comfortable, lightweight designs, these shoes will have you walking on Cloud Nine every single day.

Shop Allbirds


2. Sézane

Based In | Paris, France
Ethics
| Fair & safe working conditions, eco-friendly materials, gives back, recycled packaging
Best For
| Espadrilles & clogs
Product Range
| Women’s sneakers, boots, pumps, loafers, sandals
Price Range
| $120–$305

The quintessential Parisian brand Sézane designs stunning apparel and footwear for the modern woman. The European label has forged strong partnerships in many countries, always focusing on where and how products are made. The team advocates for safe working conditions for artisans, uses 75+ percent eco-friendly materials in production, and gives back to philanthropic causes.

Shop Sézane


3. ABLE

Based In | Nashville, TN
Ethics | Certified B Corp, female artisan-made, fair labor practices & wages, responsibly sourced materials, eco-friendly packaging
Best For | Minimalist shoes
Product Range | Women’s sandals, heels, flats, sneakers, boots
Price Range | $88–$218

The minimalistic design of ABLE’s shoes makes these a classic addition to your wardrobe. The color palette features elegant basics in neutral colors, and the spring arrivals are bright and cheerful! If you don't get the right size the first time, ABLE offers unlimited free returns and exchanges until you do. This certified B Corp is dedicated to creating long-term economic impact by employing female artisans worldwide.

Shop ABLE


4. Nisolo

Based In | Nashville, TN
Ethics | Certified B Corp, artisan-made, fair labor & wages, climate-neutral certified, Leather Working Group certified leather, vegetable-tanned leather
Best For | Artisan leather shoes
Product Range | Adult sneakers, boots, chukkas, mules, oxfords, loafers, sandals
Price Range | $90–$260

Nisolo collaborates with local artisans in Peru. From design to the handmade production process, this brand boasts a handsome line of adult-sized shoes, heeled boots, and sandals. Nisolo also provides fair wages and full-time employment for artisans. We love these gorgeously designed, well-made shoes that offer 100 percent living wages and zero net carbon.

Shop Nisolo


5. The Root Collective

Based In | Guatemala
Ethics | Leather & textiles paired together in Guatemala, beyond fair trade wages & fair labor, women’s co-ops
Best For | Colorful flats
Product Range | Women’s flats, boots, sandals & men’s boots
Price Range | $108–$318

In an era where products are mass-produced, The Root Collective reminds us to think about who and where our products are made. Working with shoemakers and textile-weavers in Guatemala, the brand believes ethically made shoes can change lives and start a culture of kindness. Plus, you can meet the makers who’ve consented to sharing their stories! We’re suckers for flats, so we’re stocking up on the fun styles.

Shop The Root Collective?


6. TOMS

Based In | Los Angeles, CA
Ethics | Certified B Corp, fair wages, gives back ? of profits via grassroots orgs, eco-friendly packaging & materials
Best For | Everyday shoes
Product Range | Adult & children's flats, slip-ons, sandals, heels, boots, sneakers
Price Range | $59.95–$149.95

TOMS has given over 100 million pairs of shoes to children in need through their revolutionary one-for-one model. Today, the brand gives back one-third (!) of profits to grassroots organizations focused on equity. TOMS has a bold agenda for sustainability, including organic and recyclable materials, reduced carbon footprints, and transparent reporting. We love TOMS for its expanding shoe selection and, of course, comfortable classics for the whole family.

Shop TOMS


7. Fortress Of Inca

Based In | Austin, TX
Ethics | Artisan-made, safe & fair wage working conditions with benefits, local sourcing, natural materials
Best For | Leather booties & block heels
Product Range | Women’s boots, flats, heels, mules, sandals
Price Range | $140–$285

Fortress of Inca believes that the people who make its shoes are just as important as the people who buy them (and we agree!); the staff personally audits each of the brand's factories in Peru to ensure excellent working conditions. Fortress of Inca also sources materials locally, including byproduct leather that would otherwise go to waste. We love the durable booties, stylish block heels, and the fresh take on classic oxfords.

Shop Fortress Of Inca


8. Veja

Based In | Paris, France
Ethics | Certified B Corp, ethical production & fair trade practices, organic & upcycled materials, zero waste, gives back
Best For | Street shoes
Product Range | Adult & children’s sneakers
Price Range | 85–270

Veja is a leader in eco and ethical production for street shoes. The brand buys organic and ecologically friendly materials from fair trade family farms in Brazil and the Amazon and partners with a social charity that helps disadvantaged people reintegrate into society through work. No matter where you live, you can have a pair—the brand offers worldwide shipping in packaging made from recycled and recyclable cardboard.

Shop Veja


9. Zou Xou

Based In | Buenos Aires, Argentina
Ethics
| Small batch production, artisan-made, Fair Labor standards
Best For
| Made-to-order shoes
Product Range
| Women’s slip-ons, flats, mules, heels, sandals, boots
Price Range
| $149–$325

Zou Xou is the brand for people who prioritize practicality, comfort, and style. Inspired by classic styles like pumps, slip-on sandals, and sleek mules, Zou Xou works with Argentinian artisans to make timeless styles in small batches, using age-old traditions and quality materials. Don’t see your size available? The brand also offers made-to-order options, so that you can invest in a pair made just for you. By prioritizing mindful production, Zou Xou efficiently cuts down on waste, and you’re left with shoes that will last.

Shop Zou Xou


10. Native Shoes

Based In | Vancouver, BC
Ethics | Eco-friendly shoes for the family, circular initiatives, responsible production
Best For | Children’s shoes
Product Range | Adult & children’s boots, sandals, sneakers, flats
Price Range | $30–$135

Native Shoes was founded in Canada back in 2009 with the goal of creating “future classics.” The brand combines casual silhouette style shoes with evolving technology, creating a lightweight and innovative, and future-forward shoe for all. Mindful of the environment, no animal by-products are used in the shoes and they’re recyclable, too. As a step further, by 2023, every pair of Native Shoes will be 100 percent life-cycle managed.

Shop Native Shoes?


11. Matisse Footwear

Based In | Los Angeles, CA
Ethics | Fair labor standards, recycled & PETA-approved vegan materials
Best For | Artisan-made sandals & slip-ons
Product Range | Women’s boots, mules, heels, flats, sandals, sneakers
Price Range | $32–$205

Matisse Footwear’s artisan-made footwear is perfect if you're searching for everyday shoes and sandals. From fair labor standards to the sustainable practices and penchant for small-scale artisanal production in family-owned factories, Matisse is making wardrobe staples the right way. We especially love the attention to detail in these shoes—check out the embroideries, studs, and cutouts. Plus, the brand has a stunning vegan collection!

Shop Matisse Footwear


12. Rothy’s

Based In | San Francisco, CA & China
Ethics | Recycled materials, sustainable packaging & practices, fair labor practices
Best For | Comfort flats & loafers
Product Range | Women & children’s flats, slip-ons, loafers, lace-up sneakers, sandals
Price Range | $55–$165

Rothy’s crafts the sustainable shoes of the future: Each pair of shoes are shaped by 3D knitting using ocean-bound plastic. (And they’ve saved repurposed more than 78 million bottles to date.) There’s far less waste involved too; all you’re left with is shoes that fit like a glove. Often touted as one of the most comfortable shoes on the market, they’re designed to last and are fully machine washable. It’s the perfect eco-investment for adults and children alike.

Shop Rothy's


13. Thousand Fell

Based In | Brazil & New York City, NY
Ethics | Recyclable sneakers, vegan & sustainable materials, gives back
Best For | Sneakers
Product Range | Adult lace-ups & slip-ons
Price Range | $120

Designed in New York and made in a family-owned factory in Brazil, Thousand Fell sneakers are made to last and built to recycle. They’re crafted from recycled plastic and rubber, and natural materials like palm leaf fibers and coconut husks, so they’ll carry you for years. But since Thousand Fell knows that 97 percent of shoes end up in landfills, the company will take your sneakers back once you’re ready to part with them, refurbish and give them to someone in need, and also give you a $20 credit towards a new pair.

Shop Thousand Fell


14. Alice + Whittles

Based In | Toronto, Canada
Ethics | Fair trade rubber, natural & recycled materials, virgin plastic-free, 90 percent traceable, fair & safe working conditions
Best For | Waterproof rainboots
Product Range | Adult boots & sneakers
Price Range | $120–$200

Alice + Whittles makes wearable, fashionable footwear—and with one of the most thoughtful supply chains around. Small scale producers and artisans craft these waterproof rainboots using 100 percent natural and certified fair trade rubber. Pair these effortlessly lightweight and chic boots with denim or shorts, in the rain or the snow, and you’ll be ready to weather any storm.

Shop Alice + Whittles


15. Cariuma

Based In | Rio, Brazil
Ethics | Responsibly sourced & natural materials, Blue-sign certified dyes, ethically made via ILO standards, carbon-neutral shipping, gives back
Best For | High-tops
Product Range | Adult sneakers (canvas, low-tops, high-tops, slip-ons)
Price Range | $79–$129

For some of the most sustainable and stylish sneakers on the planet, Cariuma is it. The brand’s materials include GOTS certified organic cotton, bamboo, recycled PET, and Leather Working Group-certified leather and suede, all dyed with low-impact inks. Whether you’re a high-top gal or a low-top sneakerhead, you’ll find a variety of colors, sizes, and styles sure to impress.

Shop Cariuma


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