Strap On Summer’s Most Sustainable Sandals
Summer’s here and we are ready. From sipping Aperol spritzers at outdoor happy hours, to hanging out at the beach, to visiting our local farmer’s market for the most delicious strawberries, we are embracing all of the warmer weather and the fashion that comes along with it. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite brands that are bringing ethical and fair trade sandals to the masses. You can find every kind of wedge, slipper, slide, or heel you need. Happy summer (and shopping)!
Ethics | Artisan-made, beyond fair trade wages, transparent production practices
Best For | Huaraches
Our Pick | Burnt Siena Huaraches
Price | $92–$168
When we think of sustainable and ethical footwear, we immediately think of Nisolo. Their line of boots, oxfords, mules, and sandals are all made ethically working with partners in Peru, Kenya, and Mexico. This offers jobs to more than 500 workers across their supply chain. Nisolo is best known for their huaraches, inspired by pre-Columbian Mexico and perfect for airy summer days. You’ll fit right in with the locals no matter where you are.
Ethics | Female artisan-made in Peru, fair labor practices
Best For | Ankle-strap sandals
Our Pick | Gisela Sandals
Price | $78–$148
ABLE knows that investing in women leads to disruptive change: they’re more empowered, economies grow, and generations of poverty are broken. That’s why they craft everything from jewelry to denim to fair trade sandals made by women around the world. And to be fully transparent, they provide wage and cost transparency as well—because all too often, women are held back from the wages they deserve. Consider us hooked—we’ll take every pair possible.
3. Native Shoes
Ethics | Ethically-made, eco-friendly, cruelty-free
Best For | Water-friendly sandals
Our Pick | Spencer X Sandals
Price | $25–$50
Change happens one (literal) step at a time. Native Shoes wants us to feel better and lighter with their animal-free and eco-friendly sandals. These beach-ready sandals are hand-washable, water-resistant, and—best of all—super affordable. And by 2023, all of Native Shoes’ products will be upcycled and repurposed. Wear to the shore, a waterfall, or anywhere in between.
4. Beyond Skin
Ethics | Ethically-made, fair trade, PETA approved vegan, cruelty-free
Best For | Strappy sandals
Our Pick | Jackie B Cream Faux Leather Mid Wedge Vegan Sandals
Price | ?110–?165
For our animal-loving friends, Beyond Skin has the vegan, cruelty-free, and fair trade sandals for you. The team at Beyond Skin has spent nearly two decades at their Spain headquarters perfecting their stunning footwear, from strappy sandals to handmade heels. We especially love that they offer faux leather and other leather alternatives, so you can look as good as you feel, knowing no humans or animals were harmed in the making of your shoes.
5. Christy Dawn
Ethics | Fair trade, eco-friendly, made in LA, uses upcycled leather
Best For | Flat sandals
Our Pick | The Dawn Sandal in Carmine
Price | $158
Handcrafted in Los Angeles by a number of artisans, Christy Dawn reimagines what eco-friendly vintage looks can be. Inspired by Mother Earth and using upcycled deadstock leather and fabric whenever available, they sew together stunning pieces that are limited edition and better for people and the planet. Minimizing our environmental footprint while rocking these bold red sandals? Yes, please.
6. Sseko Designs
Ethics | Fair trade, women’s empowerment
Best For | Slides
Our Pick | Caramel Crossover Slides
Price | $50–$90
When you grab a pair of Sseko Designs’ fair trade sandals, you’re investing in women across Uganda. Their business model has supported hundreds of women and their families, creating sustainable jobs, providing thousands of meals, and giving away dozens of scholarships. That’s the kind of change we want to see in the world. And it just so happens they also craft incredibly stunning, comfortable, and affordable shoes, including our favorite crossover slides.
Ethics | Fair labor standards, vegan options
Best For | Wedge sandals
Our Pick | Struttin’
Price | $35-$135
Matisse gives us vintage and contemporary vibes all at once with their ethically-made sandals. From their coconuts collection that throws us back to the early 2000s to their Struttin’ platform wedge reminiscent of our college days, we’re summer-ready with any of their pairs. And starting at just $35, you can stock up on all the fair trade sandals you’ll need for this summer and beyond.
8. Insecta Shoes
Ethics | Ethically-made, fair trade, eco-friendly & sustainable
Best For | Colorful platforms
Our Pick | Tona Strap Sandals
Price | $116–$129
You’re getting a real two-for-one deal with Insecta Shoes’ sandals from Brazil. With a removable velcro strap, these platforms turn into slides in just ten seconds. And they’re made using recycled plastic water bottles, fabric scraps, and recycled rubber, so they’re eco-friendly in every way. What we love most are their fun, colorful, and eclectic patterns that are perfect for summer styles. They take sustainable footwear to a whole new level.
Ethics | Fair trade, B Corp, gives back
Best For | Beach sandals
Our Pick | Kaekae Leather Sandals
Price | $65–$120
OluKai makes us feel like we’re in Hawaii (aka an endless summer) and, for that, we are eternally grateful. As a certified B Corp, they are mindful of both people and planet using environmentally-conscious practices and giving back regularly through their foundation. We most love their sandals for being both simple and sophisticated, so we can go from running errands, to a lazy walk around the neighborhood, to an evening stroll on the beach all in one.
10. Laadi Designs
Ethics | Fair trade, women’s empowerment, gives back
Best For | Artisan-designed sandals
Our Pick | Santa Fe Red Cross
Price | $39–$112
Laadi Designs brings artisan designs to the everyday consumer in the most impactful way. Working with a family factory out of Oaxaca, Mexico, they use traditional weaving methods that merge functionality and aesthetic. And a portion of each purchase goes back to support girls’ education around the world through She’s the First, a nonprofit fighting gender inequality through education. Made for—and by—women, we love these effortless, comfortable, and gorgeously unique sandals.