Shoes are life. But they don’t have to take a life to be fabulous.
In my world I do not buy shoes out of necessity, but out of love.
For as long as I can remember shoes have been more than just something to put on my feet. They are a work of art, a statement piece, and very often I plan my entire outfit around which shoes I want to wear that day.
When I first committed to a cruelty-free and sustainable closet, my shoe collection was the biggest hit. While I could easily find cotton sweaters and ethically made jeans, chic, finding the best vegan, leather-free shoes was another story. Yes, there were cheap, fast-fashion options made entirely out of synthetics, but they were poor quality — and more importantly, uncomfortable.
Fast-forward to today and boy has the landscape of ethical shoes changed. Whether I need new pumps or new sneakers I can find quality, leather-free options galore. I can safely say that my shoe collection has made a full recovery.
I personally own at least one pair of shoes from each of the incredible brands below, and I can attest to the quality (and beauty) of them all. Happy shoe shopping!
The Best Vegan Shoes
1. Will’s Vegan Shoes
Will’s Vegan Shoes was started in 2012 by Will Green. The high-quality products include classic pumps, sneakers, and everything in between. My personal fav is their dock boots, pictured above.
All of the materials used are 100% vegan, from the fabrics to the glue. They are all also ethically made Italy and Portugal under European Union employment, discrimination, and health and safety laws.
2. Cult of Coquette
Founder Bebe Roxana is a former boutique owner who after removing meat from her diet wanted to sell only cruelty-free fashion in her store. But the transition seemed tricky as she found such a lack of options in the space. In 2014, after moving to LA, she set out to create luxury heels without the cruelty.
Her line, which is made almost exclusively of heels, are chic, unique and I want every single pair in my closet.
Veerah started with one classic pump style, the Florence, that featured changeable accessory attachments to create multiple styles out of one shoe. They have now evolved to include multiple chic styles including their newly launched bootie.
Not only is the brand cruelty-free, but they are also focused on sustainable materials using materials such as apple leather, recycled plastic and even algae.
Bhava was built out of a compassionate approach to design. The company believes this goes beyond just using alternatives to leather, but to also include the environment and working conditions in its factories. These pillars come through in all the products that are thoughtfully designed with cruelty-free materials and are crafted by artisans in Spain.
5. Beyond Skin
One of the oldest vegan shoe brands Beyond Skin was built “for those who care about where their fashion comes from and what it stands for.“ The company also has transparency and social responsibility at the forefront of its mission.
Today, Beyond Skin has one of the largest offerings of exclusively cruelty-free shoes with more styles than we can count. Everyone is sure to find something they love.
Learn more about sustainable fashion in our complete guide here.