Best Ethical Sneakers: 5 Awesome Brands You’ll Love


A good pair of ethical sneakers should be a staple piece in every closet. They’re perfect for every season and great for different activities, from going on adventures to working at the office. But more importantly, their production is not linked to exploitative working conditions and pollution!

When shopping for ethical sneakers, you’re not only looking for the most stylish and comfortable shoes but also protecting the Earth and the people that make your footwear.

Not sure where to buy sustainable sneakers? Keep reading to find 5 awesome fair trade brands that offer stylish ethical sneakers for every occasion!

What are Ethical Sneakers?

Ethical sneakers are shoes that were made prioritizing ethics and the environment in every step of their production and life cycle. Usually, eco-friendly sneakers are made with high-quality, durable, and sustainable shoe materials.

These materials include natural fibers like organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, and others. They could even be made from recycled materials like ocean garbage!

Besides, ethical shoe companies make sure that workers receive protective equipment, living wages, fair working conditions, training, and more. Some of them even have third-party certifications like B-corp and Fairtrade to back up their claims.

Why Buy Sustainable and Ethical Sneakers?

sneakers with daisy
Did you know that your sneakers are part of the plastic pollution problem?

Unlike other shoes, trendy sneakers go out of style quickly and people tend to replace them more often. And as they’re usually made using a combination of virgin plastics, regular sneakers aren’t recyclable. Once people get rid of them, they will end up releasing toxic chemicals and plastics into the environment!

If that’s not scary enough, the manufacturing of traditional sneakers has bad environmental and labor practices! Workers are most likely to be harmed while making unethical sneakers and they rarely receive a living wage.

For that reason, buying durable, ethical sneakers that will last for longer is more sustainable than purchasing trendy sneakers. Not only will you reduce pollution and save money but you will also support fair working conditions for shoemakers!

5 Awesome Ethical Sneaker Brands that You’ll Love

A good pair of sustainable sneakers will help you complement your outfits and align your values with your footwear choices. Here are 5 sustainable shoe brands that offer a wide variety of ethical sneakers you can choose from:

Comfortable Ethical Sneakers: Allbirds

Allbirds Ethical sneakers
Image Sourced from Official Website
Looking for comfortable, eco-friendly, and stylish shoes? Then, you should have a look at Allbirds’ collection. Their ethical sneakers are one of the most comfortable shoes you could use!

Allbirds is a carbon-neutral and certified B-corp that uses sustainably sourced and recycled materials, like eucalyptus tree fibers and recycled plastic bottles. And it gets better! Allbirds use less water and energy than other companies. Plus, they ensure environmental and animal-friendly practices.

If you are interested in purchasing a pair of Allbirds, here is a link to one of their best sellers Wool Runners! (P.S. This link is an affiliate link, we do get a commission if you purchase through our link. The profit is to help us continue to make content about sustainability and more.)

Stylish Ethical Sneakers: Cariuma

Cariuma's ethical sneakers
Image Sourced from Official Website
Cariuma is another conscious shoe brand that creates stylish and sustainable sneakers with people, animals, and the environment in mind! Although they use leather for some of their ethical shoes, over 40% of their collection is vegan!

Besides, they only use leather that has been certified by the Leather Working Group. They also use other eco-friendly materials like certified organic cotton, recycled PET, and toxic-free dyes. And the best part is that they follow the guidelines of the International Labor Organization!

Affordable Sustainable Sneakers: Saola

Colorful Saola's sneakers
Image Sourced from Official Website
If you want to buy ethical sneakers for your outdoor activities, Saola’s shoes might be the right fit for you. Their shoes are comfortable, ethical, and affordable. What else could you ask for?

This eco-friendly shoe company is constantly monitoring its factories to make sure they meet ethical standards. Also, they use sustainable materials, like recycled plastic bottles, recycled algae foam, and organic cotton!

Recycled Plastics Sneakers: EcoAlf

There's no planet b sneakers
Image Sourced from Official Website
EcoAlf’s sneakers are the most animal-friendly shoes you will find! Their vegan sneakers are PETA-approved. Additionally, this vegan shoe brand has removed tons of plastic waste from the oceans to create eco-friendly sneakers!

They use 100% recycled polyester made from plastic bottles and 100% recycled nylon made from discarded fishing nets. So far, they’ve upcycled 200 million plastic bottles and 100 tons of ghost fishing nets!

Sustainable Sneakers: 8000 Kicks

sustainable sneakers from 8000 kicks
Image Sourced from Official Website
Would you like to use sneakers that withstand the wear and tear of your adventures and daily use? 8000 Kicks creates durable, waterproof, and lightweight shoes made from responsibly sourced materials like hemp, recycled rubber, and cork!

They meet strict labor standards and provide some benefits to their employees, like free health care. And there’s more! Their ethical sneakers need less water to manufacture than traditional sneakers.

Which Pair of shoes will you get?

As a consumer, remember that your purchases can have a powerful effect on others. By preferring ethical sneakers rather than traditional options, you ensure that shoemakers receive a fair wage and safe working conditions.
What’s more, supporting ethical sneaker brands sends a message to other companies. Hopefully, this will encourage other companies to offer ethical and sustainable products too!
Looking for other types of ethical shoes? Here are few brands you might want to check out!

Author: Monica Chang
Director of Ethical Choice
I am passionate about finding amazing sustainable and eco-friendly products and sharing them with more people. Interesting in plastic-free, reduce waste, and DIY.