Fashion is here to be enjoyed, but the happiest choice is always the kindest. Leather has been sold to consumers as a great ‘natural’ product, but as it is literally skin, it will decompose without unnatural methods, such as ‘tanning’ which uses bountiful preservatives and chemicals. Not only this, but leather is unethical from an animal rights standpoint, and there are ample alternatives to suit all and every need. The kindest thing for animals, humans and the planet, is to search for sustainable options that you can enjoy with a happy heart (and fabulous feet!).
There is an incredible amount of choice now in the vegan footwear arena. Even non vegan brands such as Dr Martins and Marks & Spencer have gotten in the game and produced cruelty free shoes. Here are 16 vegan shoe brands and vegan collections - from affordable to luxury - you need to know about.
Founded by Will Green in 2012, Will’s Vegan Shoes has been forefront of sustainable fashion for years. The award winning and PETA approved company are dedicated to bringing vegan shoes to all. Whether you’re vegan or making your way towards more eco-friendly attire, Will’s as a brand is incredibly inclusive and works in strides to help everyone live a more positive life. Will’s Vegan Shoes make footwear (and accessories) for men and women that’s stylish, comfortable, durable and doesn’t break the bank.
This French brand’s name literally means ‘Midnight on Earth’, and it refers to the Cinderella-esque magic that a pair of shoes can change a life and, in the case of vegan brand Minuit Sur Terre, it can also save many. Hand-made in small factories in Portugal, the brand has generational expertise on their side and ensures fair working conditions, so it’s a positive for planet, animal and human alike. Their styles are super on trend, with an incredible amount of attention directed to making veganism fashionable, yet timeless.
Bourgeois Boheme was created by ex-podiatrist and long-term vegan, Alicia Lai. She combined her in-depth knowledge of foot care with her love for shoes to create animal friendly footwear alternatives. Challenging the stereotypes of leather free shoes, BB creates stylish and coveted designs that have be worn by many an A-List vegan celebrity, such as Oscar winner Natalie Portman and musician turned photographer Bryan Adams. To truly encompass all elements of ethical creation, BB also champions slow fashion to protect the environment, the animals and the humans involved in their shoe making movement.
A proudly ethical and vegan brand, By Blanch don’t use any animal products in their designs and endeavour to creature beautiful yet durable shoes for the eco-conscious consumer. Using high quality synthetic leather coated in vegetable oil, it is incredibly soft (like leather) but with none of the cruelty or toxicity. Each shoe is created with micro-perforated insoles that encourage ample air flow to help feet breathe for optimum comfort.
Created in 2010, Caja Vegan shoes provide exceptional vegan footwear, handmade in Italy. Caja care about every aspect of their process, from the working conditions of their staff, to the materials used in every aspect of production. They are passionate that all of their shoes are free from any animal suffering and strive towards making conscious decisions for the health of our planet, even down to the water based glue. These truly are the epitome of look-good and feel-good footwear, from the ethical processes to the stylish end product.
Beyond Skin search for the newest eco-friendly fabrics to create the most comfortable, stylish and, of course, ethical shoes possible. Enjoying a close partnership with their factories in Spain, the company ensures that no human or animal is exploited in the creation of their fashionable footwear. Aiming to empower stylish women, the eco-conscious brand is faultlessly on trend each season, but ensures they respect the planet with cuts on carbon footprints and avidly avoiding animal derived materials.
Toxin, bleach and pesticide free, the natural quality of the material used by Po-Zu demonstrates their passion as an eco-conscious brand. With all their materials coming from renewable sources that are conscientiously harvested, they ensure that their footwear is low impact and natural. The high-quality materials produce exquisite, timeless footwear that can be enjoyed guilt-free. Several of Po-Zu shoes are vegan whilst the others are created using only recycled leather.
NAK know that we all like to look good, but they also recognise we do not need to exploit animals in pursuit of fashionable footwear. Made by Italian artisans that craft their shoe collection in traditional methods, and created by Italian designers, NAK footwear boasts the style and quality that Italy is renowned for. Each NAK designer is passionate about their ethos of cruelty-free fashion and the brand covers a wide variety of shoe type, all in a sustainable setting. A higher-end luxury brand that’s well worth spending a little extra on.
Founder Ivana Basilotta believes that fashion is a powerful platform that is repeated; everything has been done but needs to be done again. This applies to the brand’s ethos of moving forward from materials traditionally used in fashion to sustainable, ethical and cruelty free. They are proud to steer far away from the conventional yet archaic materials of the industry, such as leather and fur. Using plant based polymers that are sustainable and ethically sourced, No One’s Skin proves that these materials are far superior to leather in every way - and their styles are fabulous.
Universally renowned footwear brand Dr Martens are proud to offer a select vegan range of shoes. From sandals, to Chelsea boots and of course their iconic lace up biker boots, these are a fashion statement for the eco-conscious consumer. They are showing that you can still make your mark with a pair of bold boots, but you can do it cruelty free and make the smart and kind choice. Here’s hoping that their vegan range will only expand!
Matt + Nat, or Matt(erial) and Nat(ure) was launched in Montreal in 1995. Being passionate about our planet, the idea of material and nature and how they work together and reflect one another was the initial concept for the brand. With their motto ‘live beautifully’, Matt + Nat strive for social responsibility, inclusiveness and love (to name a few). Inspired by nature, they aim to protect it and constantly try to improve their ways. They have never used leather or any other animal-based materials in their designs and each season they explore how to improve sustainability, for example using recycled materials in some of their products. They have an incredible range of footwear (and other accessories), so there is an eco-friendly find for everyone.
As a life-long vegetarian, designer Stella McCartney ensures that all her collections of footwear (and many other accessories) are leather and animal product free. It is refreshing to have such a high profile, luxury brand on the market that is dedicated to animal rights and maintains a cruelty free outlook within all its collections and methods. Stella McCartney’s ethos of responsibility, honesty and modernity shines through in each collection. Recently the brand collaborated to create a non-leather pair of ‘Stan Smith’ trainers, which sold out almost immediately, hopefully suggesting a demand for designer products which are consciously cruelty-free.
Following on from the success of their plant-based food selection, Marks & Spencer have now begun to label applicable shoes with ‘Vegan’ stickers, so the ethically conscious consumer can shop with peace of mind. With the average shoe in this range sitting at around £25, the selection spans widely from trendy trainers to simple, yet stylish sandals for women and shoes and boots for men. This is a great step in the right direction towards making vegan lifestyle a forefront on the British high-street and beyond.
Keeping a fashion foot forward, whilst maintaining affordable prices, this sustainable accessory store is on top of the trends, with accessible and easy-to-wear footwear. With ethical, cruelty free materials and strict standards, the quality of these 100% vegan shoes is second to none. Proving you don’t have to sacrifice style to be kind, Koi is the go-to for the fast-paced fashionista, without compromising on compassion.
Established in 2008 by Gina Ferraraccio and Julie Dicterow and literally meaning ‘cry from the heart’ in French, the brand is determined to change the face of fashion by providing stylish and modern accessories that are ethically produced. Starlets and fashion fanatics alike have hot-footed it to the fabulous footwear brand that exudes style and timeless luxury. Appreciating the growing awareness that global production has on our planet and its inhabitants, Cri de Coeur are putting a firm foot forward in ensuring environmental protection and rejuvenation.
After 5+ years of research, popular sneaker brand Veja have created a vegan trainer that they are excited to bring to the market. With eco fabrics at the forefront of their design, ‘Campo’ have been created with C.W.L (a waste product from the corn industry). The signature V is made of rubber and the lining is formed from recycled polyester. Even the durable sole is created with wild rubber from the Amazonian forest and the shoes themselves are made in Brazil. The brand has highlighted the importance of the sneakers being seriously stylish but made from the best raw, organic materials with no chemicals or polluting processes. Launched on 24 January 2019, these vegan sneakers come in six colour options.