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 we wear 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.
Based In | San Francisco, CA
Ethics | B Corp, natural materials, gives back, recycled packaging, WRAP-Certified production
Best For | Sneakers
Product Range | Adult & children’s sneakers, slip-ons, trainers
Price Range | $55–$135
Allbirds started with one simple mission: to make shoes in a better way, using natural materials. The brand's shoes are made from sustainable materials like FSC-Certified Tencel™ Lyocell and ZQ Merino Wool, the latter of which ensures environmental and animal-friendly practices. With a simple pricing structure (the adult styles start at $95), and comfortable, lightweight designs, these shoes will be your go-to for daily wear.
Based In | Nashville, TN
Ethics | Female artisan-made in Peru, fair labor practices
Best For | Minimalist women's shoes
Product Range | Women’s loafers, flats, mules, sandals
Price Range | $54–$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 until you find the perfect pair. This certified B Corp is dedicated to creating long-term economic impact by employing female artisans around the world.
Based In | Nashville, TN
Ethics | Artisan-made in Peru
Best For | Handmade leather shoes
Product Range | Adult boots, flats, oxfords, sandals
Price Range | $88–$248
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, as well as the fast and free shipping options.
Based In | San Francisco & New York City
Ethics | Direct partnerships with factories
Best For | Staple shoes
Product Range | Women’s loafers, sandals, boots
Price Range | $88–$250
If you’re looking to buy shoes that are long-lasting, ethically sourced, and not marked up eight times the production price, Everlane is your one-stop-shop. The brand's shoes will be staples in your closet for years to come. Everlane makes its shoes in ethical factories (check out the interactive map on the brand's website), bringing you one step closer to an ethical wardrobe.
Based In | San Francisco, CA & China
Ethics | Recycled materials, sustainable packaging and practices, fair labor practices in China
Best For | Comfort flats & loafers
Product Range | Women and children’s loafers, flats, pull-on boots
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 marine plastic. With these kinds of sustainable practices and recyclable materials, 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 made to last to further reduce waste. It’s the perfect eco-investment for women and children alike.
Based In | Paris, France
Ethics | Fair & safe working conditions, low waste, natural materials, gives back
Best For | Women’s loafers
Product Range | Women’s sneakers, boots, pumps, loafers & flats
Price Range | $145–$280
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 mostly natural materials in production, and gives back to various philanthropic causes.
7. The Root Collective
Based In | Guatemala
Ethics | Leather & textiles paired together in Guatemala, beyond fair trade wages
Best For | Women’s flats
Product Range | Women’s flats and boots
Price Range | $108–$248
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 certified B Corp brand believes ethically made shoes can change lives and start a culture of kindness. We’re suckers for flats, so we’re stocking up on the fun colored and patterned pairs.
Based In | Venice, CA
Ethics | One-for-one giving model, fair wage & equal employment
Best For | Everyday shoes
Product Range | Adult and children's every day flats, slip-ons, sandals, heels
Price Range | $55–$140
As one of the most mainstream examples of the one-for-one charitable business model, TOMS has given over 100 million pairs of shoes to children in need around the world. Moreover, one-third of TOMS' production is done locally in the communities it supports—meaning sustainable, fair jobs for people who need it the most. We love TOMS for its expanding shoe selection and, of course, the comfortable classics for the whole family.
9. Fortress Of Inca
Based In | Austin, TX
Ethics | Safe & fair wage working conditions with benefits, local sourcing, natural materials
Best For | Leather booties
Product Range | Women's boots, booties, oxfords, mules
Price Range | $160–$275
Fortress of Inca believes that the people who make its shoes are just as important as the people who buy them; 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 and stylish booties, and the fresh take on classic oxfords.
Based In | France
Ethics | Ethical production, organic materials, zero waste
Best For | Street shoes
Product Range | Adult street shoes
Price Range | 85€–250€
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.
11. Native Shoes
Based In | Vancouver, BC
Ethics | Environmentally-friendly shoes for the family
Best For | Children’s shoes
Product Range | Adult and children’s boots & shoes
Price Range | $45–$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, innovative, and future-forward shoe for adults and children. Mindful of the environment, no animal by-products are used in the shoes and they’re recyclable, too.
12. Alterre Shoes
Based In | New York, USA
Ethics | Fair trade, sustainable practices, gives back, offers management training to factory employees
Best For | Interchangeable shoes
Product Range | Women’s sandals, slides, heels, platforms, boots
Price Range | $185–$545
If you find yourself continually experimenting with new shoe styles, Alterre’s interchangeable footwear is a gamechanger. Choose a versatile base you love, and then swap out the strap to create a new look depending on the occasion! These beautiful shoes are designed in New York and made in fair labor factories in Brazil. The brand also donates five percent of proceeds to Restore NYC, a nonprofit organization providing long-term rehabilitation to survivors of sex-trafficking in New York City.
13. Matisse Footwear
Based In | El Segundo, CA
Ethics | Fair labor standards, regular factory audits, recycled materials, vegan options
Best For | Artisan-made boots & mules
Product Range | Women’s leather & vegan boots, mules, heels, flats
Price Range | $30–$200
Matisse Footwear’s artisan-made footwear is perfect if you're searching for everyday shoes. From the 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!
14. Alice + Whittles
Based In | Toronto, Canada
Ethics | Fair trade rubber, natural & recycled materials
Best For | Rainboots & outdoor footwear
Product Range | Women’s boots
Price Range | $120–$160
Alice + Whittles makes wearable, fashionable footwear—and with one of the most thoughtful supply chains around. Small scale producers and artisans craft these rainboots using 100 percent natural and certified fair trade rubber. Pair these effortless and chic boots with denim or shorts, in the rain or the snow, and you’ll be ready to weather any storm.
15. Handmade Barcelona
Based In | Bogota, Colombia
Ethics | Fair trade & middle person-free
Best For | Durable boots & oxfords
Product Range | Adult moccasins & boots
Price Range | €50–€195
Bold, bright, and functional, Handmade Barcelona is a brand born from the quality shoemaking tradition in Colombia. The company has worked with more than 150 artisans and offers microloans and flexible schedules so its employees can set up workshops and become self-sustained. Locally-sourced materials are used to create this adult shoe collection.
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