The Sustainable Style Edit: Planet-Friendly Footwear
By Talia Collective
Vegan leather. 100% cruelty-free. Zero waste. Supporting local artisans. Preserving traditional craftsmanship…
…are just some of the buzzwords you can expect to find in this guide to the very best sustainable footwear available on the market.
These playful trainers are handmade from sustainable and recycled materials only, which include buttery-soft corn leather for the outers, plastic bottles from the Mediterranean for the laces and lining, recycled soft cotton insoles, and toe puffs & counter stiffeners from recycled wood chip! Cool, comfy, zero-waste and 100% vegan & cruelty-free, they are a must-have for any eco-conscious wardrobe.
A pair of timeless and versatile friulane slip-ons, perfect for a chic at home look or to add a pop of colour and nonchalant style to your everyday wear. Each pair is made in Spain and inspired by the classic slippers worn by Venetian Gondoliers. Crafted from 100% aged linen and recycled bike tire soles, they come with a commitment to support dedicated local artisans and their age-old production techniques.
These ultra-chic mules are a wardrobe must-have.
They’re made from traditional Aso Oke weave (100% cotton) and rust-coloured genuine leather sourced as a by-product from the meat industry, and come with a wide upper strap that molds perfectly to the shape of your foot plus a cotton toe strap, which softens beautifully with time. They’re 100% locally crafted and sourced by artisans in Lagos
Handmade in Spain from the finest leather, this pair has a square toe, elasticised ankle strap with a buckle closure for a supportive fit, and a memory foam insole for extra comfort. The tanneries that ESSĒN collaborates with work with wastewater recover plants in order to recycle and reuse the water and minimize waste, whilst all leather is a by-product of the meat industry, which would otherwise go to waste.
The Lorcan trainers come with a sleek, handmade design, an embossed grey leather side strip, sand nubuck leather toe, tongue and heel, grey cotton laces and a cushioned footbed for maximum comfort. The soles are made from 60% natural rubber whilst the remainder is repurposed from car tires.
Each pair comes with a recycled shoe bag made from PET (recycled plastic bottles) and recycled cotton from clothing.
Designed for everyday wear, these comfortable ballet flats are cut, sewn and crafted by hand from supple Italian leather sourced as a by-product of the meat industry, with a shape defined by the natural curve of the foot.
They come with memory foam padding for extra comfort, a squared toe and a flattering shape.
An all-time classic pair of black leather combat boots for everyday wear. Handcrafted in Portugal from by-product, LWG-certified leather, this slim-fitting lace-up style is lined and features a statement metal back zipper for ease of wear. They also come with a memory foam padded insole for extra comfort, grounded by a practical chunky rubber sole for added grip and durability. The company also partners with TRBE to carbon compensate and support energy efficiency, forestry and clean energy projects.
The Engel Trainers come with a sleek, handmade design with a premium pebbled white leather upper, a contrasting black nubuck leather tab, white cotton laces, a 60% natural tree rubber outsole (with the remaining percentage repurposed from car tires) and a cushioned footbed for maximum comfort. 100% of the leather used is by-product of the meat industry which, along with the canvases, laces, footbeds, shoeboxes and shoe bags, are sourced within two-hours of the designer’s atelier in Medellin, Colombia.
A pair of practical yet stylish sandals for a perfect spring/summer look.
Handmade in Portugal from luxurious dark by-product leather that softens beautifully with wear, the comfortable cushioned footbed provides support while the toe loop and adjustable buckled strap will keep your feet secure.
This modern interpretation of the all-time classic loafer features a timeless silhouette and contemporary detailing.
They are carefully crafted in Portugal from smooth Italian by-product leather and come with a modest stacked heel, a lightly cushioned insole for added comfort, and a durable rubber outsole.
These over-the-knee boots will be the envy of all: showy but still elegant, sophisticated yet playful. Handmade by artisans in Lagos, Nigeria, each pair are crafted from classic, sturdy Aso Oke weave – a staple fabric of the native West African Yoruba people – and completely lined with black goatskin by-product leather. They are made to order with weave designs cut in different sections and placed at different angles when creating the product to reduce waste, meaning that no two products will ever be identical.
Portuguese-made with premium Italian leather, this reimagined classic features a cushioned footbed, a leather lining and insole (sourced as by-product of the meat industry), a durable rubber outsole, smooth curved lines with a structured almond toe, black waxed lacing and a stacked heel with metal inlay.
A percentage of each sale goes to one of three charities involved with either cleaning the sea, supporting Syrian refugees and helping women build their future.
This modern, knotted, low heel mule brings joy and colour to any outfit. They’re made from leather leftover from the meat industry and come with a thick insole for extra comfort and a 4-inch block wooden heel, for ease and stability when walking.
95% of materials are locally sourced and all products are 100% made by local artisans.
ESSEN’s Perfect Pumps are a modern take on a classic style that will go with just about anything in your wardrobe. This timeless design is handmade from supple Nappa leather and features a low curved vamp that elongates the leg and a classic pointed toe. The lightweight, flared block heel has been carefully engineered to follow the natural curve of your foot, making the shoe comfortable for all day wear.
These trainers are made from vegan ‘corn leather’, crafted using polymers extracted from grains. The lining is made from an innovative material extracted from tree pulp, which is silky soft and ensures dryness and freshness all day long. The insoles, which feature tiny black flocks, are made from recycled rubber and are highly resistant and cushioned to ensure maximum comfort. The exterior of the trainers is made from recycled plastic bottles and is soft whilst simultaneously durable and waterproof.
These sleek ankle boots are handmade in Portugal from supple leather leftover from the meat industry and come with elasticised side panels and a padded insole for optimum comfort and pull-on ease. Featuring an almond toe, a heel with rubber outsole for durability, a cows’ leather insole and mesh lining, these boots are perfect for everyday wear.
The mule’s popularity shows no sign of waning and we’re particular fans of Shekudo’s Ilamoye Mule, made from traditional Nigerian Aso-Oke cloth and goat skin leather left over from the meat industry.
Made by local artisans in Lagos, Nigeria, they celebrate the traditional wear of the Yoruba people – the tribe of the country’s southwest region – with part of the profits going to support an organisation for at-risk women in Nigeria.
These trainers feature vegan leather, ‘corn leather’, which is made using polymers extracted from grains. The lining is made from and innovative material made from tree pulp, which is silky soft and ensures dryness and freshness all day long. The insoles, which feature tiny black flocks, are made from recycled rubber and are highly resistant and cushioned to ensure maximum comfort. The exterior of the trainers, which is made from recycled plastic bottles, is soft to the touch and light to the eyes and ensure the trainers are durable and waterproof for maximum resistance.
A sublime strap heel that completes to perfection any day or night look. Available in both red and black, they’re handcrafted by artisans in Nigeria from leftover leather or by-product of the local meat industry with a handcrafted, wood wrapped, 3-inch heel, also in leather.
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