Fashion

Put your best foot forward with these eco-friendly shoe brands

Going green has never been so chic.

In a world where environmental consciousness is becoming increasingly important, it’s no surprise that sustainable fashion is making its mark.

One area where this trend is gaining momentum is in the world of footwear.

Sustainable shoe brands are stepping up to the challenge of creating stylish, eco-friendly options for those who want to make a positive impact with every step they take.

Whether they’re using innovative materials and ethical manufacturing practices to define their place in the industry, or creating long-lasting, timeless styles that can be worn season after season – the move to a greener future has resulted in ample options and chic new styles to try. 

Below are some of our favourite footwear brands to have taken a step in the right direction when it comes to eco-friendly fashion. Bookmark this page so you can shop sustainably for your next pair of sneakers, sandals and heels. 

The best sustainable shoe brands to shop in Australia 2024

sustainable shoe brands
(Credit: TWOOBS)

TWOOBS

Launched back in 2016, TWOOBS set out to create vegan footwear that looked and felt good to wear.

Its selection of sandals and boots is a maximalist dream as they come in every hue of the rainbow to suit your style and have a covetable collaboration with First Nations artist collective Cungelella Art which you can pre-order now. 

TWOOBS shoes are made with vegan-friendly materials and are PETA-Approved Vegan. The brand also uses recycled materials in its packaging and shipping. TWOOBS is committed to sustainability and transparency and is working to reduce its environmental impact.

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sustainable shoes
(Credit: Cariuma)

Cariuma

Cariuma has made a name for itself with its iconic white sneakers and a strong commitment to sustainability. It has nailed the skate and surfwear aesthetic that inspired its founders and created wearable, eco-friendly footwear to wear on the daily.

Cariuma partners with ethical factories and utilise natural, top-quality, eco-friendly materials to craft stylish, wearable sneakers, establishing them as leaders in the sustainable sneaker industry.

As a B Corp-certified company, Cariuma goes the extra mile by employing recyclable and recycled packaging, offering carbon-neutral shipping, and planting two trees in Brazilian rainforests for every pair purchased.

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sustainable shoes
(Credit: Veja)

Veja 

French footwear brand, Veja, has made an international name for itself thanks to its eco-friendly approach to classic sneaker silhouettes.

Whether you’re after basic white everyday runners or statement pastel hues, you’ll find thoughtfully designed footwear made from innovative materials that will last for years to come. 

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sustainable shoe brands
(Credit: Alohas)

Alohas

This Hawaiian footwear brand has redefined the way we design trend-driven fashion. With its ‘green tax’ system, you can pre-order your favourite styles, reducing unsold shoe production and potentially saving up to 30 per cent.

Additionally, Alohas has an ‘In The Making’ section for items in production and a ‘Ready To Ship’ selection for those in need of sustainable footwear right away.

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sustainable shoes
(Credit: Zeroe)

Zeroe

Betts has extended its selection of affordable footwear with the launch of its Zeroe line. This collection of sustainably made shoes is created from recycled materials such as BLOOM, and it prioritises eco-friendly packaging and distribution. 

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sustainable shoes
(Credit: Aere)

Aere

Aussie brand Aere is on a mission to craft practical, sustainable garments that streamline everyday dressing and combat overconsumption whilst still allowing you to explore your style and follow trends. 

Its collection features minimalist and elegant designs that strike a balance between contemporary trends and timeless style.

Whether you’re in need of boots, sandals, heels, or slides, Aere’s footwear range offers options for everything from the beach to the bar. 

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(Credit: Nomadic State of Mind)

Nomadic State of Mind

Nomadic State of Mind has been handcrafting unique sandals for over 16 years, teaching Nicaraguan artisans the art of sandal-making. Not a scrap goes to waste; they turn leftovers into one-of-a-kind rope art, including bags and rugs.

Fast forward to the 21st century, the brand has expanded operations in the USA, using vintage machinery from the ’60s and upcycled materials like hemp, old sailboat sails, and vintage tapestries to create various footwear.

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(Credit: ELK The Label)

ELK The Label 

ELK the Label, an independent Aussie fashion brand, was born in 2004 and stands out for timeless styles, eco-friendly values, and ethical production. 

Prioritising sustainable manufacturing, it uses materials like organic cotton, recycled polyester, and Tencel throughout its collections. Plus, the brand is all about transparency, and is teaming up with ethical factories and releasing annual Transparency Reports into its business practices.

The designs are designed to be trans-seasonal to ensure you can wear them year after year, no matter the trend cycle.

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(Credit: Dear Frances)

Dear Frances 

Founded in 2016 by Jane Frances, Dear Frances is a London-based luxury footwear brand that marries craftsmanship and modern elegance. Crafted in Italy by skilled artisans, the brand’s classic leather shoes with artistic flair offer versatile options for work, everyday wear, and special events.

Dear Frances shoes feature sculptural designs and architectural elements, making them a canvas for artful expression. From Italian leather flats and slides to sophisticated heels and mules, they effortlessly transition from day to night. 

These pieces are sure to be worn year after year, reducing your consumption and need to buy more. 

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(Credit: Stella McCartney)

Stella McCartney

If you want to splurge, Stella McCartney has changed the fashion game with her sustainable and ethical brand. Her collections span women’s, men’s, and children’s fashion, all crafted with a conscience for the environment and the people who make them.

Stella’s creations aren’t just about looking good; they’re about doing good. Her pieces are lovingly made from sustainable materials, making a positive impact on the planet. It’s no surprise that her brand has a devoted following among celebrities and fashion icons who appreciate not only the style but also the commitment to sustainability and ethics.

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(Credit: Nelson Made)

Nelson Made 

Nelson Made is a Melbourne-made brand that has a focus on creating effortlessly chic footwear, not to the detriment of the planet. Prioritising sustainable materials such as recycled and certified leather, organic linen, deadstock fabrics and OEKO TEX-certified materials, these deliver luxury looks without the eco-footstep. 

Its collections are made in smaller batches to reduce waste and the brand works with independently audited factories to ensure ethical standards. 

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How can shoes be sustainable?

There are a number of factors that influence whether a shoe can indeed be deemed sustainable, but most sustainable shoes tend to have lower carbon footprints, are constructed using sustainable, eco-conscious materials and are manufactured in ethical factories that ensure fair labour practices.

Which sneaker company is the most ethical?

While there is no certifiable global ranking system that denotes which sneaker company is the most ethical, brands such as Cariuma and VEJA are highly regarded in the industry for their commitment to sustainable practices. 

LEAD IMAGE: Instagram /@nomadicstateofmind

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