From smelling the scent of the salty sea breeze to having sunkissed skin, the allure of the summer season is irresistible.
With the weather getting warmer, everyone’s getting summer-ready with their outfits, particularly their footwear. People are starting to wear their flip-flops, espadrilles, loafers, and sandals.
A summer wardrobe won’t be complete with a pair of flip-flops, but summer sandals are just as good to have. Like other kinds of warm-weather footwear, sandals are stylish and breathable, making them ideal for wearing when you’re going outdoors during the summer. Sandals are also convenient and easy to slip on your feet. Plus, they can keep your feet comfortable and cool when commuting during the summer.
If you don’t own a pair of sandals yet, choose ones that are good for you and the planet. Of course, it’s good to pick sandals that suit your taste and preferences, but it’s always better to choose ones that are also sustainable and ethical.
Go for eco-conscious footwear brands like Indosole and Eating the Goober that offer stylish vegan sandals. Sustainable brands like Nisolo, Christy Dawn, and ABLE are also excellent options to check out if you’re searching for fair trade and eco-friendly summer footwear.
In this article, we’ve curated a list of the best ethically made and eco-friendly footwear brands that are perfect for warm weather. Here are 20 of the best sustainable and fair trade sandals that you’ll want to wear this summer season:
- 1 1. Nisolo
- 2 2. Eating the Goober
- 3 3. ABLE
- 4 4. Indosole
- 5 5. Native Shoes
- 6 6. Handmade Love
- 7 7. Beyond Skin
- 8 8. Rawganique
- 9 9. Christy Dawn
- 10 10. NAE
- 11 11. Sseko Designs
- 12 Shop at Sseko Designs here.
- 13 12. Verdura
- 14 13. Matisse
- 15 14. Salt and Umber
- 16 15. D’ARÇÉ
- 17 16. Darzah
- 18 17. Olukai
- 19 18. Proud Mary Footwear
- 20 19. Laadi Designs
- 21 20. Swahili Coast
Available in a wide range of sizes, Nisolo’s summer footwear is sustainable as much as they are stylish. This brand offers mules, boots, oxfords, and sandals ethically made by local artisans in Peru, Mexico, and Kenya. In addition, Nisolo’s iconic airy sandals and are also made through eco-friendly processes that maintain 0% net carbon emissions.
Shop at Nisolo here.
2. Eating the Goober
From classic sandals to fancy sliders, Eating the Goober has a vast collection of cruelty-free sandals for your every need. This Athens-based brand creates sandals from recycled tires, repurposed vegan fabric, cork, and burlap sacks. Eating the Goober also practices safe working conditions and gives fair wages to their craftsmen.
Shop at Eating The Goober here.
If you’re searching for leather sandals, look no further than ABLE’s footwear collection. This women-led brand offers quality sandals that female artisans ethically craft in Peru. ABLE proudly uses a leather material that’s a by-product of the meat industry to reduce waste. In addition, this brand only uses recyclable materials for shipping and delivery.
Shop at ABLE here.
By turning discarded tires into durable rubber sandals, Indosole makes the footwear industry more sustainable, one sole at a time. This certified B corp sources discarded rubber tires from landfills in Indonesia and sustainably processed them into stylish sandals. This eco-conscious brand truly lives out its infamous tagline of making “soles with a soul”.
Shop at Indosole here.
5. Native Shoes
Price: $$ – $$$
Native Shoes is a cruelty-free brand that’s known for its incredibly light sandals. Their sandals are made of ethylene-vinyl-acetate (EVA) material, making their footwear lightweight, shock-absorbent, and hand-washable. In addition, through their “Remix Project™”, Native Shoes accepts worn-out Native Shoes for recycling. They also practice safe working conditions and uphold fair wages.
Shop at Native Shoes here.
6. Handmade Love
If you’re looking for affordable eco-friendly sandals, Handmade Love will be your new favourite. This Etsy-based footwear label offers sandals, slippers, and slides for as low as $25. What’s great about this brand is that their sandals are made of 100% natural straw and bamboo materials handwoven in a cute cross-stitch pattern.
Shop at Handmade Love here.
7. Beyond Skin
When it comes to cruelty-free and vegan sandals, Beyond Skin might just be your new go-to brand. This PETA-approved footwear label creates its trademark strappy sandals using 100% recycled faux leather and other leather alternatives. Beyond Skin also coats its sandals with a plant polymer finish and ships them in eco-friendly packaging.
Shop at Beyond Skin here.
Rawganique believes in making footwear as natural as possible, and so their sandal collections are designed to be compostable and chemical-free. This brand’s sandals are made with 100% organic hemp fibres, eco-dyes, and rubber from upcycled tires. Their raw materials are mainly sourced from the US and Europe, ensuring adherence to fair trade standards.
Shop at Rawganiqu here.
9. Christy Dawn
Christy Dawn is a sustainable footwear label that uses upcycled leather and deadstock fabric to create its vintage-inspired sandals collection. Each pair of eco-friendly sandals from this American footwear brand are handcrafted by artisans in Los Angeles. In addition, Christy Dawn is also a fair trade brand with a minimal carbon footprint.
Shop at Christy Dawn here.
NAE is a Portuguese footwear brand that offers 100% vegan and PETA-approved sandals. Their name stands for “No Animal Exploitation”, and they stay true to it by using materials such as vegan leather, Piñatex ®, recycled plastic bottles and organic cotton. For every purchase of their cruelty-free footwear, a portion of it goes to PETA.
Shop at NAE here.
11. Sseko Designs
Sseko Designs is another sustainable brand to remember when it comes to fair trade sandals. This brand offers slides and sandals ethically crafted by women artisans in Uganda, Peru, Ethiopia, and India. Plus, Sseko Designs is a verified member of the Fair Trade Federation and provides fair wages to all its workers.
Shop at Sseko Designs here.
A discarded fishing net is considered useless, but Verdura is a sustainable footwear label that gives it a second life. Handcrafted in Tuscany by famed shoemaker Andrea Verdura, this brand’s sandals are made mainly from discarded fishing nets and natural materials. Their unisex sandals are breathable and light, making them ideal for the summer.
Shop at Verdura here.
Price: $$ – $$$
Matisse strives to produce high-quality sandals that are vegan-friendly and adhere to fair trade practices. This LA-based footwear label offers a contemporary collection of wedge and sandals made from repurposed textiles and recycled leather. Matisse’s factories are also always audited to ensure that their workers are given fair compensation and safe labour conditions.
Shop at Matisse here.
14. Salt and Umber
Sustainability is at Salt and Umber’s core, and so it aims to create quality sandals ethically handcrafted for eco-conscious consumers. This woman-owned footwear label uses vegetable-tanned leather and recycled thermoplastic urethane outsoles that are acquired from a tanner Gold-rated by the Leather Working Group (LWG). Plus, they use recycled materials such as their old shoe boxes for their product packaging.
Shop at Salt and Umber here.
If you’re looking for dressier summer sandals, you’ll like D’ARÇÉ’s sustainable footwear collection. This Australian brand offers luxury sandals that are handmade by indigenous folk using sustainably sourced vegetable-tanned kangaroo leather. D’ARÇÉ ensures that no kangaroos are specifically killed for leather as they are only caught in the wild during Australia’s population control harvests.
Shop at D’ARÇÉ here.
Darzah is a Palestinian footwear brand that specialises in ethically making sandals with Palestine’s iconic Tatreez embroidery. In addition, this non-profit brand offers sandals and slides that are made with locally sourced leather and rubber. Darzah is also certified by the Fair Trade Federation and primarily focuses on empowering women artisans from Palestine by paying them fair wages and supporting their communities.
Shop at Darzah here.
Like flip-flops, sandals are best worn during summer, so Olukai creates leather sandals specially made for the beach. This certified B Corp creates sophisticated leather sandals through fair trade and environmentally-friendly practices. For every pair of Olukai sandals sold, a portion of the proceeds goes to the Ama Olukai Foundation – a foundation committed to preserving Hawaii’s cultural heritage.
Shop at Olukai here.
18. Proud Mary Footwear
Proud Mary Footwear is a brand that offers luxury sandals ethically handcrafted by female artisans in Morocco. They directly work with a cooperative of women artisans who use Raffia fibres locally sourced from Moroccan palms. Making a single pair of sandals from this brand takes 1-2 days of work for the artisans, who are given fair wages and safe work.
Shop at Proud Mary Footwear here.
19. Laadi Designs
Laadi Designs is a fair trade footwear label that offers unique sandals that are perfect for summer. This brand’s sandals are ethically handcrafted by artisans from Mexico via traditional weaving and hand-dyeing methods, resulting in vibrant colours and eye-catching designs.
Shop at Laadi Designs here.
20. Swahili Coast
Swahili Coast is a Tanzanian fair trade brand that creates artisan-made sandals using 100% natural Tanzanian leather. This footwear label partners with fairly paid crafters in East Africa who work in safe environments to make its colourful beach-ready sandals.
Shop at Swahili Coast here.
As you can see, many sustainable footwear labels offer stylish and quality sandals that are good for you and the environment. Whatever your lifestyle, needs, and style preferences may be, these brands indeed have something for you and everyone.