19 Jan

8 More Sustainable Alternatives to Skechers You Might Want to Check Out

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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.

More sustainable alternatives to Skechers

Good Guys

Rated: Good
White vegan low top sneakers by Good Guys.

Good Guys creates cruelty-free shoes for women and men, founded and designed by Marion Hanania in Paris. Through Good Guys, Hanania aims to create the perfect cruelty-free, made in Europe closet, where no animal product is involved, and the production guarantees fair trade working conditions.

Find most shoes in EU sizes 36-46.

See the rating.

Shop Good Guys.

Shop Good Guys @ Immaculate Vegan.

Shop Good Guys @ thegreenlabels.

ID.EIGHT

Rated: Good

ID.EIGHT is an Italian brand that was born from the meeting between Dong Seon Lee and Giuliana Borzillo, both come from the world of footwear, where they worked and met. Together they have created a more ethical and sustainable collection of sneakers with a refined design. The shoes are made in Italy with low environmental impact materials from food industry waste such as apple peels, grape stalks and seeds, and pineapple leaves, as well as recycled cotton and polyester.

Find the shoes in EU sizes 36-46.

See the rating.

Shop ID.EIGHT.

Ecoalf

Rated: Good
orange sustainable running shoes by ecoalf

Thanks to recycled materials like rescued ocean plastic, Ecoalf creates sustainable fashion with the same quality, design, and technical properties as the best non-recycled ones.

Find the range in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Ecoalf @ Farfetch.

Shop Ecoalf.

Biankina

Rated: Good
A pair of light beige flat canva sneakers by Biankina.

Biankina is an American label that offers vegan shoes inspired by the Mediterranean. The brand's passionate about inspiring change through eco-friendly, vegan, and artisan-crafted footwear. Its collections are designed in Barcelona and handmade by artisans in Europe.

Find most shoes in US sizes 6-11.

See the rating.

Shop Biankina.

Veja

Rated: Good
Purple ultraviolet vegan sneakers in ethical streetwear by Veja.

Veja is a French brand designing ecological and fair trade footwear, and is also a sustainable fashion pioneer. The brand uses eco-friendly materials, like GOTS certified cotton and vegetable-tanned leather! Veja pays its co-operative cotton growers and rubber tappers between 30% and 100% above the world market price. By not advertising, Veja is able to invest more money into strengthening its ethical practices.

You can find Veja shoes in women’s EU sizes 35-46, and men’s 35-47.

See the rating.

Shop Veja.

Shop Veja @ LVR Sustainable.

Shop Veja @ thegreenlabels.

Shop Veja @ Outerknown.

Shop Veja @ Threads 4 Thought.

Shop Veja Kids second hand @ Retykle.

Thesus (Alice + Whittles)

Rated: Good
A pair of khaki mule clogs by Thesus.

Thesus favours transparency, ethical manufacturing practices and sustainable materials as a means of creating long-lasting, positive change.

Find the shoes in EU sizes 36-46.

See the rating.

Shop Thesus.

CARIUMA

Rated: Good

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CARIUMA is a sustainable Brazilian sneaker brand that wants you to feel super comfortable while providing effortless style in organic canvas, leather, and suede styles.

Find CARIUMA’s shoes in US sizes 5-13.

See the rating.

Shop CARIUMA.

Shop CARIUMA @ Good.

Adidas (Pre-Owned)

Rated: It's A Start

Adidas is one of the largest sportswear makers in the world. The company has set some good environmental and labour standards, including an absolute target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated from its own operations.

See the rating.

Shop Adidas Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

 

Check out our selection of more sustainable sneakers

Editor's note

Feature image via Unsplash, all other images via brands mentioned. Good On You publishes the world’s most comprehensive ratings of fashion brands’ impact on people, the planet, and animals. Use our directory to search thousands of rated brands.

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