If you’re like us, one of your favorite things to do these days is watching the best style influencers put together outfits. When sustainability is top of mind, you’ll often find that ethical fashion accessories such as fair trade shoes are a challenge to introduce to your capsule wardrobe.

However, when it comes to finding fair trade, sustainable brands, including boots, dress shoes, sneakers, vegan sneakers and other fair trade footwear, the number of shopping options are significantly increasing. We’ve made life a little easier for those of you who are committed to buying fair trade products. This list of the 30 best fair trade shoe brands for women promises to inspire sustainability while taking your style to the next level.

What Is Fair Trade?

Fair trade is a concept that primarily addresses the challenge of paying producers a fair wage for the products that they grow, make, or create. The fair trade movement focuses on getting producers in developing countries suitable wages for items that they sell to develop nations. However, it also supports cottage-industry creators in developed nations who sell their goods all around the world.

Why Is Fair Trade Important to Workers and the Environment?

When producers of fair trade shoes know that they can get fair wages for the items that they produce, they can afford to improve the quality of their goods. For instance, some fair trade shoe brands offer organic goods, which are free of toxic chemicals that hurt the environment and workers. Others can be more conscious about including sustainable materials into their product lines. Purchasing fair trade shoes allows you to support ethical fashion producers from all over the world with living wages that encourage greater sustainability at the grassroots level.


The 30 Best Fair Trade Shoe Brands for Women


Boots and Pumps


1. Nomasei

Nomasei Fair Trade Boots

Company Description: Paule Tenaillon and Marine Braquet left haute couture fashion house Chloe to start one of the world’s most wearable sustainable shoe brands.

Company Headquarters: Paris

Manufacturing Location: Italy

Labor Practices: While Nomasei practices conservation of natural resources, it doesn’t skimp when it comes to people. The company is committed to providing a safe work environment and living wages for the 40 artisan shoemakers at its factory in Tuscany.

Shoe Materials: Nomasei uses metal-free leather to create its footwear. This means no toxic metals such as chromium 3 or 6 is used during the tanning process.

2. Beyond Skin

Beyond Skin Faux Leather Vegan Knee High Boots

Company Description: Beyond Skin is one of the fair trade shoe brands on this list that features only premium vegan shoes. The company seeks to slow down the fast-fashion trend and bring discriminating shoppers’ focus back to timeless design, sustainable materials, and expert craftsmanship.

Company Headquarters: UK

Manufacturing Location: Spain

Labor Practices: Beyond Skin partners with makers in Spain who produce the luxury vegan shoes in small batches and in safe factories. The company has kept growth in check since its debut in 2001, which allows it to maintain close relationships with its Spanish factories. This equates to greater supply chain transparency and fair wages.

Shoe Materials: Many vegan shoe brands attempt to make eco friendly shoes as well. Beyond Skin is no exception. Instead of PVC, it uses cotton-backed polyurethane, which is gentler on the environment. Beyond Skin also uses recycled rubber to make its shoe soles.

3. Sézane

Sezane Fair Trade Shoes for WOmen

Company Description: Morgane Sézalory started Sézane in 2013 with the idea of making sustainable shoes that are elegant, stylish, and accessible to all women.

Company Headquarters: France

Manufacturing Location: Italy and Portugal

Labor Practices: Morgane chooses suppliers that produce shoes in modern facilities, which ensures a safer work environment.

Shoe Materials: Sézane shoes are made of organic cotton, vegetable-tanned leather, and recycled polyester.

4. Mavette

Mavette Fair Trade Boots

Company Description: Mavette beautifully marries fashion and function with its footwear designs that feature patent-pending Comfort Technology.

Company Headquarters: Philadelphia

Manufacturing Location: Italy

Labor Practices: Mavette partners with skilled artisans in Italy to offer its customers hand-stitched creations on demand. This eliminates overproduction and helps Mavette to provide living wages to its artisan shoe makers.

Shoe Materials: Mavette uses ethically sourced leathers that are byproducts of the food industry to make its shoes.

5. Nisolo

Nisolo Fair Trade Shoes for Women

Company Description: Nisolo offers sustainable footwear that comes in boots, flats, and sandals.

Company Headquarters: Nashville

Manufacturing Location: Trujillo, Peru

Labor Practices: Nisolo uses WageIndicator Foundation to determine the living wage in Peru. It pays 100% of its producers a living wage.

Shoe Materials: Nisolo makes its boots, flats, and sandals from vegetable-tanned leather, rubber, and memory foam. The leather is Leather Working Group certified.

6. Fortress Of Inca

Fortress of Inca Fair Trade Shoes

Company Description: Fortress of Inca makes sustainable footwear that comes in classic, timeless styles.

Company Headquarters: Austin

Manufacturing Location: Peru

Labor Practices: Fortress of Inca partners with small, family-owned and operated shoemakers across Peru to deliver its shoes to the world. When looking for fair trade shoe brands, you’ll find Fortress of Inca an absolute winner. It pays its artisan shoemakers well over the living wage rate in Peru.

Shoe Materials: Premium leather

7. Zou Xou

Zou Xou Fair Trade Flats for WOmen

Company Description: Zou Xou was founded by Katherine Theobald in 2015 to bring classic artistry to the sustainable footwear space.

Company Headquarters: New York City

Manufacturing Location: Buenos Aires

Labor Practices: Zou Xou employs shoemakers in its Buenos Aires factory who set their own hours and negotiate their own wages.

Shoe Materials: Sustainability is at the heart of shoemaking at Zou Xou. Its goal is to reduce waste and energy consumption as it produces its premium leather shoes.

8. Matisse

Matisse Fair Trade Western Boots for Women

Company Description: Matisse is a fair trade footwear brand that combines premium materials and superior craftsmanship to produce shoes that are inspired by the beauty and utility of nature.

Company Headquarters: Los Angeles

Manufacturing Location: Matisse shoes are made in family-owned and operated factories around the world.

Labor Practices: Matisse uses third-party auditors to make sure that it’s artisan shoemakers are earning living wages under safe and sanitary work conditions.

Shoe Materials: Matisse uses regenerated leathers, non-animal glue, and vegetable-based dyes to make its shoes.

9. Green Shoes

Green Shoes UK Fair Trade Boot

Company Description: Ethical fashion isn’t new to Green Shoes. The UK company has been making footwear from sustainable materials since 1981. What makes it a leader in ethical fashion footwear? The brand’s shoes are made in small batches, which means no large-scale factories that overly pollute the environment. Its long-wearing, sustainable dress shoes are fully repairable. Just send the shoes back to Green Shoes to be resoled, and you can do your part to reduce landfill waste. The brand offers ethically-sourced leather shoes, but it’s also one of the UK’s well-known vegan shoe brands.

Company Headquarters: Devon, UK

Manufacturing Location: Devon, UK

Labor Practices: Select skilled artisans make the shoes in a safe environment for fair wages.

Shoe Materials: Green Shoes makes its products from sustainable materials such as industry-waste leather. This type of leather is what’s leftover from other manufacturers. As one of the world’s vegan shoe brands, Green Shoes uses vegan microfiber to make many of its products.


Flats, Mules, and Sandals


10. Rothy’s

Rothy's Fair Trade Flats for Women

Company Description: Rothy’s is one of the most innovative of fair trade shoe brands on this list. The company uses the latest technology to make its stylish shoes out of unexpected materials.

Company Headquarters: San Francisco

Manufacturing Location: Dongguan, China

Labor Practices: Rothy’s owns and operates its own factory in China, which ensures that it keeps close tabs on living wages and safe work conditions for its skilled shoemakers.

Shoe Materials: You’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that Rothy’s uses recycled, single-use plastic water bottles, algae-based foam, and renewable rubber to make its sustainable shoes.

11. RAFA

RAFA Fair Trade Sandals for Women

Company Description: RAFA brings a touch of luxury to sustainable shoe brands with a select collection of boots, mules, and pumps.

Company Headquarters: Los Angeles

Manufacturing Location: Los Angeles

Labor Practices: RAFA employs over 20 second- and third-generation shoe maker artisans in its small Los Angeles factory. It pays its shoe makers fair wages and provides a safe work environment for them.
Shoe Materials. RAFA is one of California’s premier vegan shoe brands. It uses reclaimed plastic to make many of its faux suede shoes.

12. BHAVA

Bhava Fair Trade Sandals

Company Description: From heel to hikers, BHAVA is one of the fair trade shoe brands that has it all.

Company Headquarters: New York City

Manufacturing Location: Alicante, Spain

Labor Practices: Francisco Pineda founded BHAVA in 2012 and personally vets manufacturing partners to ensure fair wages and safe work conditions at its factory.

Shoe Materials: BHAVA is one of America’s vegan shoe brands that uses sustainable materials such as cork and organic cotton in its vegan leather shoes.

13. Chelsea Paris

Chelsea Paris Fair Trade Mule Shoes

Company Description: Chelsea Paris offers fair trade footwear that displays the founder’s African heritage and her love for European craftsmanship.

Company Headquarters: London

Manufacturing Location: Italy and Portugal

Labor Practices: Chelsea Paris is one of the UK’s sustainable shoe brands that focuses on fair wages and the use of non-toxic materials during shoe manufacturing.

Shoe Materials: Chelsea Paris makes fair trade shoes using vegetable-tanned and metal-free leather.

14. The Root Collective

The Root Collective Fair Trade Flats for Women

Company Description: The Root Collective puts a unique entrepreneurial spin on the fair trade footwear sector with its flats, boots, heels, and sandals.

Company Headquarters: Raleigh, North Carolina

Manufacturing Location: Guatemala City and Pastores, Antigua

Labor Practices: Unlike most sustainable shoe brands, The Root Collective doesn’t employ factory workers. It partners with independent shoemakers in small communities to produce its shoes. These local business owners earn between 50% and 400% above local living wage rates.

Shoe Materials: The Root Collective uses leather, handwoven textiles, and rubber to make its shoes.


Sneakers


15. Baabuk

Company Description: Baabuk is one of Europe’s ethical sneaker brands that has earned the B-Corp certification designation.

Company Headquarters: Switzerland

Manufacturing Location: Nepal and Portugal

Labor Practices: Baabuk is one of the world’s ethical sneaker brands that takes its social responsibilities seriously. It purposely chose to have shoe makers in Nepal make its eco friendly shoes in order to have an impact on the local economy. It provides safe working conditions and wages that are 25% higher than the national average.

Shoe Materials: Baabuk uses ethically sourced wool from New Zealand and Portugal to make its sneakers.

16. BANGS

Company Description: BANGS is one of America’s sustainable shoe brands that was inspired in Asia and is made in Asia.

Company Headquarters: U.S.A.

Manufacturing Location: China

Labor Practices: BANGS partners with a factory in Asia that enforces lawful work hours, living wages, and well-deserved breaks that include a 1.5 hour lunch.

Shoe Materials: BANGS produces fair trade footwear that’s made from 100% vegan materials.

17. ABLE

Company Description: ABLE makes a variety of fair trade shoes that includes ethical walking shoes and sneakers that come in designs from cheetah prints to high tops.

Company Headquarters: Nashville

Manufacturing Location: Factories around the world

Labor Practices: ABLE is committed to improving the lives of women around the world with fair wages. Its domestic and international factories pay living wages that the company publishes on its website.

Shoe Materials: ABLE uses leathers that are by-products of the food industry to make its eco friendly shoes. Its partner tanneries recycle water that they use during the manufacturing process.

18. Thousand Fell

Company Description: Thousand Fell produces ethical sneakers with end-of-life in mind. The brand’s 100% vegan shoes are recyclable, which reduces landfill wastes.

Company Headquarters: New York City

Manufacturing Location: Franca, Brazil

Labor Practices: Thousand Fell partners with a family-owned factory in Brazil that keeps inventory low. This reduces waste and allows the company to pay better wages.

Shoe Materials: Thousand Fell uses recycled bottles, rubber, and food waste products such as coconut husks to make its eco friendly shoes.

19. Alice + Whittles

Company Description: Alice + Whittles is one of Canada’s ethical sneaker brands that focuses on outdoor sustainable footwear.

Company Headquarters: Toronto

Manufacturing Location: Portugal

Labor Practices: Alice + Whittles works with family-owned factories to provide sanitary work conditions, reasonable work hours, and fair wages.

Shoe Materials: Alice + Whittles uses fair trade rubber, recycled plastics, and recycled leather to make it sustainable footwear.

20. Novesta

Company Description: Novesta has been producing sustainable shoes since the 1930s.

Company Headquarters: Slovakia

Manufacturing Location: Slovakia

Labor Practices: Novesta focuses on producing quality footwear and sustaining a great quality of life for its shoemakers in its original 1939 production facility.

Shoe Materials: Novesta uses cotton, rubber, and many other vegan materials to manufacture its signature shoes.

21. Coclico

Company Description: Coclico makes fair trade footwear that embodies luxury, minimalism, and comfort.

Company Headquarters: New York

Manufacturing Location: Spain

Labor Practices: Coclico’s eco friendly shoes are handcrafted in Spain by makers who are paid living wages.

Shoe Materials: Coclico’s shoes are made of Italian nubuck leather and rubber.

22. Everlane

Company Description: Everlane makes sustainable shoes that go beyond fast-fashion trends and that make a difference in communities around the world.

Company Headquarters: San Francisco

Manufacturing Location: Brazil, Spain, Italy, Los Angeles, and other factories around the world

Labor Practices: When it comes to ethical sneaker brands, Everlane goes above and beyond the call of duty. It ensures that its partnered domestic and international factories are truly ethical by requiring a third-party audit that assesses factory work conditions and wages.

Shoe Materials: Everlane makes its shoes from ethically-sourced leather and organic cotton.

23. United by Blue

Company Description: United by Blue makes ethical walking shoes and sneakers that embody the outdoor adventure lifestyle.

Company Headquarters: Philadelphia

Manufacturing Location: Turkey, China, and Vietnam

Labor Practices: United by Blue only partners with shoe factories that can prove their fair trade status via third-party certifications.

Shoe Materials: United by Blue uses leather that’s certified by Leather Working Group, and many of its eco friendly shoes are 100% vegan.

24. Gorman

Company Description: Gorman is one of Australia’s most notable ethical sneaker brands. It produces stylish and ethical walking shoes and sneakers that are made with social responsibility in mind.

Company Headquarters: Melbourne, Australia

Manufacturing Location: Porto Alegre, Brazil

Labor Practices: Gorman goes the extra mile to make sure that its factory shoe makers in Brazil have safe working conditions, fair wages, and reasonable work hours.

Shoe Materials: Gorman uses leathers that are by-products of the food industry as well as vegan leathers.

25. Jibs

Company Description: Jibs makes sustainable shoes that can take you from a casual day at the office to your next travel adventure.

Company Headquarters: Miami

Manufacturing Location: Brazil

Labor Practices: Jibs was founded by Natalie Kathleen in 2015. Ms. Kathleen partners with a Brazilian friend’s family shoe factory to make her company’s fair trade shoes.

Shoe Materials: Like many sustainable shoe brands, Jibs uses leathers that are ethically sourced.

26. Juta

Company Description: Juta Shoes makes ethical walking shoes that transform fast fashion into fair fashion.

Company Headquarters: UK

Manufacturing Location: London

Labor Practices: Juta’s fair trade shoes are made in the UK by underserved communities of women. The company prepares the women with training to build their skills and then releases them to earn a living wage in the heart of London.

Shoe Materials: Juta is also one of the UK’s most sustainable shoe brands. It makes its shoes from upcycled leathers and recycled vegan materials.

27. Freewaters

Company Description: Freewaters makes ethical walking shoes and recreational footwear that are packed with attitude.

Company Headquarters: California

Manufacturing Location: International factories

Labor Practices: Freewaters carefully selects manufacturers that strictly comply with its code of conduct relating to wages and work conditions.

Shoe Materials: The brand’s sustainable shoes contain ethically sourced leather, some vegan materials, and no PVC.

28. Suggies

Company Description: Suggies makes ethical walking shoes that don’t trade off comfort for style.

Company Headquarters: California

Manufacturing Location: California

Labor Practices: When it comes to producing its eco friendly shoes, Suggies takes a hands-on approach to fair trade. The company partners with a local shoe factory in California to make sure that it can keep an eye on working conditions, wages, and overall worker treatment.

Shoe Materials: Suggies uses leathers that are by-products of the meat industry to construct its shoes.

29. Giesswein

Company Description: Are you a runner who is having trouble finding ethical running shoe brands? Giesswein may be just the brand to get your heart racing with its fair trade running shoes.

Company Headquarters: Germany

Manufacturing Location: Germany

Labor Practices: Unlike other ethical running shoe brands, Giesswein produces its fair trade running shoes in house.

Shoe Materials: Giesswein’s fair trade running shoes feature wool fabrics that are designed to keep your feet warmer than fair trade running shoes that are produced by other ethical running shoe brands. The natural moisture-wicking and antibacterial properties of the wool make this material a great choice for your next pair of fair trade running shoes.

While other ethical running shoe brands stop at great materials, Giesswein makes running shoes that waste less water during production.

30. Cariuma

Company Description: Cariuma makes high-performance skate shoes with heart.

Company Headquarters: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Manufacturing Location: Unknown

Labor Practices: Cariuma partners with like-minded workshops that value factory workers and ensure that they earn living wages in a safe work environment.

Shoe Materials: Some of the premium materials that Cariuma uses to make its skate shoes include bamboo, natural rubber, organic cotton, and cork.

Mamahuhu (inactive)

Mamahuhu Fair Trade Shoes for Women

Company Description: Mamahuhu was founded by entrepreneurs Carolina Rodriguez and Luis Moreno specifically to bring fair trade options to struggling leather shoe makers in Columbia.

Company Headquarters: Columbia

Manufacturing Location: Over 120 small workshops throughout Colombia

Labor Practices: Artisans work in small shops. Their products are priced to give them fair wages even in the wake of the trend toward cheap shoes that are made in sweatshops around the world.

Shoe Materials: While leather doesn’t usually come to mind when one thinks of sustainability, Mamahuhu uses leather that’s a by-product of Colombia’s large beef industry. The leather is also tanned in an eco-friendly way, and it’s eco-certified.

Conclusion

The brands on this list produce ethical fashion accessories that look good on the feet but feel even better on the heart.