Footwear companies that are good for the planet and sole
These footwear companies offer more than a shoe’s standard function; they create environmental and social good with every step.
Shoes can do more than transport you in comfort and style – they can create a healthier planet and social world. Ignited to be agents of positive change, the founders of these footwear companies represent a better way – from use of sustainable and recycled materials, to healthier manufacturing techniques. Step into your next pair of shoes, knowing you are part of that better way.
The People’s Movement
If the phrase “eco-hip footwear and accessories” speaks to you, look no further than The People’s Movement. Guided by an unrelenting need to decrease single-use plastic pollution, this company upcycles plastic bags from Bali and California for the production of their footwear. Other eco-friendly materials include organic cotton canvas, water-based glues and natural dyes, creating a style you will look good in and feel good about. Beyond the shoes themselves, The People’s Movement works toward greater planet health through sustainable packaging and support of like-minded organizations.
“We see single-use plastics as one of the greatest threats facing the environment, but also the most fixable” says co-founder, Mark Wystrach.
Start Somewhere: Join The People’s Movement by shopping for your next pair of shoes, and helping to reduce plastic pollution.
Every pair of Indosole shoes works to diminish the heap of tires that will long outlive you by thousands of years. Around 1.5 billion tires go out of use each year, adding to this heap, as well as polluting the air due to the burning of tires for low-cost fuel. The repurposing of the tires and use of materials like banana leaves, grass and organic canvas, gifts you with shoes you can wear with pride. Another accomplishment of Indosole is their 2014 B Corp certification, which means in addition to operating with environmental care, they also navigate with a social conscience.
Start Somewhere: Find your ideal fit – hand-stitched by Indonesian artisans – and learn more about their mission.
A blend of culture, history and craft creates a company that is kind to the planet and the artisans who expertly create shoes that matter. Founded by Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu in Zenabwork, Sole Rebels operates with attention to building healthy communities and economic stability to the artisans, within a “green by heritage” mission. This kind-to-the-earth principle stems from their Ethiopian culture, not a trend to be environmentally conscious. As the first footwear company certified by the World Fair Trade Organization, they incorporate materials, such as recycled tires and hand-spun and hand-loomed organic cotton (yay for a zero-carbon technique!).
Allbirds challenges the synthetic norm of shoe production by constructing comfortable shoes for your toes and souls using natural materials. Tim Brown and Joey Zwillinger lead this certified B Corp through use of materials, such as merino wool, laces made from recycled bottles and insoles created with castor bean oil. Attention to sustainable sourcing of materials and animal welfare are evident through use of TENCEL™ tree fiber with FSC certification and SweetFoam ™ shoe soles produced with Proforest-protected sugarcane. Among their other accomplishments as a do-good company, include their use of recycled packaging and global sharing of shoes through SOLES4SOULS®.
Matt & Nat
Shoes produced by Matt & Nat are vegan all the way. No animal materials, just a desire to do good. They incorporate vegan leather and sustainably-sourced rubber and cork, recycled nylon and even recycled bicycle tires in the production of their nature-inspired footwear. To do their part in reducing the accumulation of plastic, Matt & Nat create each shoe lining out of 100% recycled plastic bottles.
Start Somewhere: Shop the shoes and accessories of this PETA-approved vegan company.
Guillaume, also known as Gee, established SAOLA with a love of the outdoors and an inability to find eco-friendly footwear. This company strives toward that friendliness with cleaner manufacturing practices and materials. As you tie up your organic cotton laces (GOTS certified), know that the algae used in production of the outsoles and insoles is taken from water sources with excess levels, thereby increasing the health of the water ecosystem. Another environmental perk of the materials used by SAOLA is the recycled PET for the upper portion of the shoe, which keeps three to four plastic bottles out of the landfill.