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11 Feb

5 Iconic Shoes and Our Ethical Alternatives

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When it comes to shoes, it pays to tread carefully. From sweatshop scandals to animal rights issues, some of the world biggest shoe brands have hit the headlines over the years for all the wrong reasons.

Luckily for us shoe lovers, there is a growing number of brands getting on the front foot and creating beautiful designs that are good for your sole.

Here are five ethical, eco-friendly, or vegan alternatives to the world’s most iconic shoes:

For Fairtrade

Instead of Converse, choose:


Rated: Great
black and white high tops by eco-friendly brand Etiko

Organic Fairtrade Black & White Hightops – Ships internationally

Etiko is an ethical footwear pioneer. The award-winning brand is Fairtrade-certified 100% vegan.  These basketball shoes provide the perfect alternative to Chuck Taylor All Stars.

See the rating.

Shop Etiko.

Instead of Nike, choose:


Rated: Good

Fashion and sustainability can go together and Womsh is the footwear brand that proves it. Their sneakers are entirely designed and manufactured in Italy – a great alternative to Nike Air Max runners.

See the rating.

Shop Womsh.

Shop Womsh @ COMOVITA.

For Vegan

Instead of Jimmy Choo, choose Bhava:


Rated: Good

We love US label Bhava. Their shoes are not only elegant and high quality, they’re also 100% vegan, meaning you can guarantee no animals were harmed in the making. What’s more, they won’t cost you the GDP of a small nation state to buy. We think that makes it a pretty easy choice.

See the rating.

Shop Bhava.

Instead of Timberland, choose:


Rated: Good

Portuguese footwear makers NAE are wholeheartedly committed to minimising their impact on the environment as well as our furry friends. Their shoes are made from natural materials like cork, recycled plastics, and Piñatex (faux leather made from pineapple leaves).

See the rating.

Shop NAE.

Shop NAE @ Staiy.

Shop NAE @ Urbankissed.

Instead of Vans, choose:


Rated: Good

OCA Low – Ships internationally

CARIUMA is a more 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.


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.

Ethical brand ratings. There’s an app for that.

Wear the change you want to see. Download our app to discover ethical brands and see how your favourites measure up.