Fair Trade & Sustainable Shoe Brands
As consumers we recognize the power of our vocalized objections to make a positive difference for the people that make the clothes we wear everyday, ensuring they have fair wages and environmentally safe working conditions.
Unfortunately, shoe production is not exempt from the sweatshop labor and environmentally hazardous production processes involved in fashion manufacturing.
In our search for fair trade shoe brands, we've compiled a list of our favorite footwear brands producing fairly-made shoes that range in function, style and price. From hiking and running, to work, or a night out, these 17 brands make it easier to fill your closet with high quality staples for every occasion.
Also, if you're looking for leather alternatives, check out this guide for a list of our favorite vegan and cruelty-free shoes.
1. Matt & Nat
Based In | Montreal, Quebec
Ethics | Vegan, fair wages, use eco-friendly materials
Best For | Everyday & special occasion vegan shoes
Product Range | Women's sneakers, sandals, heels, and mules
Price Range | $55–$125
Matt & Nat believes in living beautifully and mindfully, crafting vegan shoes with synthetic leathers, 100% recycled plastic bottles, and cork. Short for MAT(T)ERIAL and NATURE, they are dedicated to creating long-lasting shoes and bags without the environmental and ethical impact of leather. We love their fresh designs, and their commitment to transparent, ethical labor practices.
Based In | Nashville, TN
Ethics | Female artisan-made in Peru, fair labor practices
Best For | Minimalist women's shoes
Product Range | Women’s loafers, flats, mules & sandals
Price Range | $98–$128
The minimalistic design of ABLE's shoes makes them a classic addition to your wardrobe. Their color palette features elegant basics in neutral colors and their spring arrivals are bright and cheerful! If you don't get the right size the first time, ABLE also offers free unlimited US shipping back and forth until you find the perfect pair. This certified B Corp is dedicated to creating long-term economic impact by employing female artisans around the world.
Based In | Nashville, TN
Ethics | Artisan-made in Peru
Best For | Handmade leather shoes
Product Range | Men’s & women's boots, flats, oxfords, sandals
Price Range | $88–$228
Nisolo collaborates with local artisans in Peru from the design to the handmade production of their leather shoes, chukka boots, and sandals for both women and men. Nisolo provides fair wages and full-time employment to their artisans and each shoe has heart put into it from every person who works at Nisolo. We love their gorgeously-designed, well-made shoes and their fast, free shipping both ways.
Based In | San Francisco & New York City
Ethics | Direct partnerships with factories
Best For | Women’s staple shoes
Product Range | Women’s loafers, sandals, boots
Price Range | $88–$235
If you’re looking to buy shoes that are long-lasting, ethically-sourced, and not marked up 8x the production price, Everlane is your one-stop shop. Their black, white, and brown shoes are investments that will be staples in your closet for years to come. Want to know where Everlane’s shoes are made? They feature all their factories on their website with an interactive map, bringing you one step closer to an ethical wardrobe. If you sign up for their site updates, you’ll receive free shipping for your first order within 24 hours.
Based In | San Francisco, CA
Ethics | B Corp, uses natural materials, gives back, uses recycled packaging, WRAP certified production facility
Best For | Sneakers made from natural materials
Product Range | Men’s, women’s, and children’s sneakers, slip-ons, and trainers
Price Range | $55–$95
Allbirds started with one simple mission: to make shoes in a better way, using natural materials. Their shoes are made from sustainable materials like FSC-Certified TENCEL™ Lyocell and ZQ Merino Wool (which ensures environmental and animal-friendly practices). With a simple pricing structure—all their men’s and women’s styles are $95—and their comfortable, lightweight designs, these shoes will be your go-to for daily wear.
6. The Root Collective
Based In | Guatemala
Ethics | Leather & textiles paired together in Guatemala
Best For | Women’s flats
Product Range | Women’s D’Orsay flats, peep toes, ballet flats, boots
Price Range | $98–$218
In a time where products can be mass-produced, The Root Collective wants you to know that everything you buy is made by someone, and they know just who that someone is. Working with shoemakers and textile-weavers in Guatemala, The Root Collective has improved the lives of locals who were in poverty or at-risk of being in gangs. As a certified B Corp, they believe ethically made shoes can change lives and start a culture of kindness. We’re suckers for flats, and we’re about to stock up on their adorably colored and patterned pairs.
Based In | Venice, CA
Ethics | One for one giving model, fair wage & equal employment
Best For | Everyday shoes
Product Range | Women's, men's and children's everyday flats, slip-ons, sandals, heels
Price Range | $39–$119
As one of the most mainstream examples of the one-for-one charitable business model, TOMS has given over 75 million pairs of shoes to children in need around the world. The shoes they donate vary by region and need, and 1/3 of the production is done locally in the communities they support—meaning sustainable, fair jobs for people who need it the most. We love TOMS for their expanding selection and, of course, their comfortable classics for the whole family.
8. Fortress Of Inca
Based In | Austin, TX
Ethics | Safe & fair wage working conditions with benefits, local sourcing, natural materials
Best For | Leather booties
Product Range | Women's boots, booties, oxfords, mules
Price Range | $210–$350
Fortress of Inca believes that the people who make their shoes are just as important as the people who buy them, and personally audit each of their factories in Peru to ensure excellent working conditions. They also source materials locally, including their byproduct leather that would otherwise be wasted. We love their durable and stylish booties, and their fresh take on the classic oxford.
Based In | France
Ethics | Ethical production, organic materials, zero waste
Best For | Running shoes
Product Range | Men’s & women’s athletic footwear
Price Range | €80–€165€
Veja is a leader in eco and ethical production for athletic shoes. Veja buys organic and ecologically friendly materials from fair trade family farms in Brazil and the amazon, respecting fair trade standards. Based in France, the brand partners with a social charity that helps the disadvantaged reintegrate into society through work. Veja tightly controls its production and only produces orders placed six months in advance. Veja ships their product worldwide in packaging made of recycled and recyclable cardboard.
10. Fuchsia Shoes
Based In | USA & Pakistan
Ethics | Artisan-made in fair wage conditions, giving global access to artisans, handcrafted from regionally-sourced materials
Best For | Ballet flats
Product Range | Women’s flats
Price Range | $80–$120
Fuchsia is our go-to for comfortable ballet flats with personality. Their handcrafted, colorful flats are made by fairly paid artisans in Pakistan who employ their traditional techniques to create something truly one-of-a-kind. Fuchsia uses raw materials that support the regional economy, and sells or recycles scraps to reduce unnecessary waste in their production. Whether you’re looking for a comfortable everyday flat to run errands in, or a stunning beaded flat to dance the night away in, Fuchsia has you covered.
11. Native Shoes
Based In | Vancouver, BC Canada
Ethics | Environmentally-friendly shoes for the family
Best For | Children’s shoes
Product Range | Men’s, women’s, & children’s boots & shoes
Price Range | $25–$95
Native Shoes was founded in Canada back in 2009, with the goal of creating “Future Classics”. They combine casual silhouette style shoes with evolving technology, creating a lightweight, innovative, and future-forward shoe for men, women, and children. Mindful of the environment, they have a low-emission manufacturing process and no animal by-products in their shoes, all packaged with recyclable materials. As far as children’s shoes go, we’ve never seen anything as playful, stylish, and futuristic all in one!
12. Alterre Shoes
Based In | New York, USA
Ethics | Fair trade, sustainable practices, gives back, offers management training to factory employees
Best For | Interchangeable shoes
Product Range | Women’s sandals, slides, heels, platforms, boots
Price Range | $150–$580
If you find yourself constantly experimenting with new shoe styles, Alterre’s interchangeable shoes are a gamechanger. Choose a versatile base you love, and then swap out the strap to create a new look depending on the occasion! Alterre’s beautiful shoes are designed in New York, and made in fair labor factories in Brazil—plus, they donate 5% of their proceeds to Restore NYC, a nonprofit organization providing long-term rehabilitation to survivors of sex-trafficking in New York City.
13. Matisse Footwear
Based In | El Segundo, CA
Ethics | Fair labor standards, regular factory audits, uses recycled materials, vegan options
Best For | Artisan-made boots & mules
Product Range | Women’s leather and vegan boots, mules, heels, flats
Price Range | $30–$195
Matisse Footwear’s artisan-made boots are a great fit if you're on the search for the perfect everyday boot. From their fair labor standards to their sustainable practices and penchant for small-scale artisanal production in family-owned factories, Matisse is making wardrobe staples the right way. We especially love their attention to details like embroidery, studs, and cutouts—plus, they have a stunning vegan collection!
14. The People's Movement
Based In | San Francisco, CA
Ethics | Eco-conscious & upcycled materials
Best For | Casual footwear
Product Range | Men’s & women’s sneakers
Price Range | $59
The People’s Movement, or MOVMT, takes repurposing plastic to a new level. They pair up-cycled plastic bags cleaned from Bali with natural and eco-conscious materials to create casual shoes and joggers. At extremely affordable prices, their clean, simplistic look is perfect for everyday wear. With over 268,000 tons of plastic debris floating around in the ocean, purchasing MOVMT shoes can help stop waste and start a movement.
Based In | Addis Adaba, Ethiopia
Ethics | Worker’s rights in Sub-Saharan Africa
Best For | Premium leather shoes & boots
Product Range | Men’s & women’s loafers, boots, chukkas
Price Range | $90–$150
Known as the world’s only Fair Trade Certified footwear manufacturing factory, Oliberté is committed supporting worker’s rights in Sub-Saharan Africa. Based out of Addis Adaba, Ethiopia, Oliberté is a sustainable lifestyle brand that employs over 70 staff, the majority of whom are women, to handcraft premium leather and rubber into shoes you’ll keep forever. With a lifetime warranty, they are committed to outstanding customer service, in addition to giving back to the community and environment. They truly do believe in trade, not just aid.
Based In | Portland, OR & Uganda
Ethics | Employment & scholarship for Ugandan women
Best For | Interchangeable sandals
Product Range | Women’s sandals and flats
Price Range | $50–$90
Sseko believes that all females deserve the right to education, and is making that happen through their product line. They employ women in Uganda, Ethiopia, and other parts of East Africa to create beautiful shoes, totes, and scarves, and use proceeds to provide scholarship and employment opportunities. Ambassadors like philanthropist and actress Sophia Bush has even created her own Sseko sandal! We are obsessed with their ribbon sandals, which can be tied in an infinite number of ways, including a tutorial on their site—unique for you, empowering for them.
17. Handmade Matters
Based In | Bogota, Colombia
Ethics | Fair trade & middleman-free
Best For | Durable boots & oxfords
Product Range | Men’s & women’s moccasins & boots
Price Range | €119–€129
Bold, bright and functional Handmade Matters was born out of the tradition for quality shoemaking in Colombia, and believes that luxury quality doesn’t need to include high markups. Instead of simply employing women artisans from disadvantaged areas around Bogota, Handmade Matters offers them microloans and flexible schedules to help set up their own workshops; they then are taught the process behind shoe production themselves in order to be self-sustainable companies. They employ over 110 artisans who work with materials sourced within Colombia to create both men and women’s shoes.