Our editors curate highly rated brands that are first assessed by our rigorous ratings system. Buying through our links may earn us a commission—supporting the work we do. Learn more.
A true ‘90s baby, Skechers is known for its supportive and comfortable sneakers. Sadly, the “We Avoid” brand’s ethics don’t hold up. But we have good news: we went on the hunt to find more sustainable alternatives to Skechers.
Why Skechers is a brand ‘We Avoid’
Founded in 1992, Skechers has become a popular sneakers brand, so popular that it has now become the third largest shoe brand in the US, above Adidas and New Balance. Skechers’ sneakers are known for being supportive and comfortable, and with the return of ‘90s fashion trends, their aesthetics are being praised and even deemed cool.
What’s not cool, however, is Skechers’ impacts on people, the planet, and animals, and we rate the brand “We Avoid”, based on our team’s research here at Good On You. Here’s a quick recap of what we found out.
Skechers uses very few eco-friendly materials, and we found no evidence that it reduces its carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions in its supply chain, that it has taken meaningful action to reduce or eliminate hazardous chemicals, or that it minimises textile waste.
We also found very little evidence of Skecher’s initiative to reduce its impact on people: none of Skechers’ supply chain is certified by labour standards and it received a score of 0-10% in the 2021 Fashion Transparency Index. More importantly, we found no evidence Skechers ensures payment of a living wage in its supply chain.
Finally, while Skechers doesn’t use fur, exotic animal skin or hair, angora, or down, it still uses leather and wool. Sadly, we couldn’t find whether Skechers traces any animal products to the first stage of production, or whether it has policies to minimise the suffering of animals.
Long story short, Skechers needs to do better, starting with using more responsible materials, reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, and ensuring that workers in its supply chain are treated and paid fairly.
So, if you’re looking for quality, comfortable, and supportive shoes in the style of Skechers but want to support brands making a solid effort across the board for sustainability and ethics, we have good news. There are “Good” and “Great” brands making items similar to Skechers’ sneakers but doing better for people, the planet, and animals.