Summer is swiftly approaching, and with it, our imminent doom. Just kidding. But seriously, is there anything better than fashion-forward summer shoes that also happen to be good for our planet? Take these from street to beach or anywhere in between, and feel free to brag a little bit if you want. After all, you are helping the environment.
This Chicago brand (that’s made in the USA!) offers fully customizable footwear, and, spoiler alert: It’s vegan. You’d never guess just by looking at it, though — the company uses a proprietary blend of vegan leathers and suedes. The base of the shoe is made from sustainably sourced cherry, walnut, or maple wood and also features arch support and padding. In 72 color combinations.
The ludicrously hip brand Allbirds has branched into adorable summer footwear. We love the look of these slip-on loungers in the limited edition Kauri Cloud color, and we love them even more for their breathability — a must during sweaty August. The shoe material is made out of eucalyptus tree fiber, which is naturally derived and renewable.
The perfect party slip-on, these black mules will complement everything from your favorite jeans to a simple summer dress. Based in New York City, these colorful shoes are made with jute fiber, a renewable alternative to traditional leather or wooden soles.
Arguably the king of conscious footwear, TOMS provides a pair of shoes to a child in need with every pair purchased. Besides being adorable, these slip-on sandals are vegan, to boot. The off-white upper is made of natural hemp and the bottom features a cushioned comfort insole. These demand to be worn at the beach ASAP.
Marais Slide, Pink, $225
Marais is a brand proudly made in the USA, which means although these shoes are genuine suede, you’re still cutting down on your emissions by choosing to purchase shoes that doesn’t need to be shipped across an ocean. Marais shoes come in a range of gorgeous colors, so peep them all for yourself, but we’re partial to these pretty pink slides.
These clean, simplistic sneakers are begging to be paired with your favorite jeans. The company, which is based in San Francisco, uses a combination of upcycled plastic bags removed from the islands of Bali as well as natural and eco-conscious materials to create all of their shoes. These Marcos sneakers feature waxed organic cotton canvas uppers and organic cotton laces.
Coclico Oasis Sandal, $365
The perfect summer slip-on, featuring clean lines and a cool baby-blue color. These sandals (like the rest of Coclico’s shoes) are produced in a family-run factory that pays living wages, uses recycled materials, and offsets its carbon emissions. Materials are sourced from Spain, where the factory is located, and designers in New York, where the company is based, are constantly thinking of new ways to care for the earth. These shoes are an investment, but the minimalistic aesthetic means they’ll never go out of style.
More from Make It Better:
- 7 Eco-Friendly Fashion Brands to Shop Now
- 8 of the Coolest Ways Chicago Has Gone Green
- Shop the Runway: Launch Fashion Show Raises Funds for PAWS Chicago [Video]
Jessica Suss is a native Chicagoan residing in Washington, D.C. She is currently getting her master’s degree in secondary English education at the University of Maryland. She enjoys petting other people’s dogs and is faithful to Lou Malnati’s alone. Jessica is also a supporter of MAZON and No Kid Hungry.