Sustainable Shoes for Earth Day

Leave nothing but footprints behind this Earth Day with these sustainable shoes from some of your favorite brands!

Globally, producing apparel accounts for as much as 10% of our carbon footprint, which believe it or not, is even more than the airline industry! The garment industry also uses massive amounts of water in manufacturing, resulting in wastewater contaminated with high levels of chemicals that are harmful to the environment, the animals and plant life who inhabit the environment, and ultimately humans as well. Despite the high environmental cost to produce clothing and shoes, most items are not recycled or reused and find their way to landfills all over the world, or worse they litter our world’s oceans, waterways, and lands. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

Footwear brands are making it easier than ever to find shoes that are not only good for the planet but are good-looking too! By creating shoes from recycled materials, renewable fabrics and by recycling used products, shoe manufacturers are making sustainable footwear more accessible than ever before. By choosing to buy eco-friendly shoes, you can help generate the benefits of greener, more ethical manufacturing, while reducing the pollution we put out into the world.

What are Sustainable Shoes?

There’s no specific definition of what makes something sustainable or a single company or government body that regulates unified criteria on what makes a shoe sustainable. However, there are many footwear brands, manufacturers, and retailers who often use the terms “eco-friendly,” “sustainable,” and “green” interchangeably to describe any shoe made in such a way to minimize the environmental and ethical impact of that product.

To identify sustainable shoes there are a few characteristics to consider:

  • Made with recycled materials
  • Composed of naturally occurring, renewable fibers
  • 100% Vegan construction
  • Created with manufacturing processes that minimize carbon emissions and/or other industrial waste
  • Initiatives that offset the carbon footprint or other ecosystem impacts of the manufacturing process

Women’s Blowfish Malibu Marlin4Earth Sustainable Sneakers

Shop here: Women’s Blowfish Malibu Marlin4Earth Sustainable Sneakers

A perfect example of a sustainably made shoe would be Blowfish Malibu’s Marlin4Earth Slip-On Sneakers! These sustainable kicks feature a simple, yet stylish design that is crafted with a supportive and comfortable cushioned insole as well as with a lightweight and durable canvas upper – simply put, these kicks are the perfect fit for all your favorite outfits! Plus, these shoes are a part of Blowfish Malibu’s 4Earth eco-conscious project that promises to reduce the use of plastic waste and to use more low-waste and recycled packaging whenever possible.

Shoes Made from Recycled Materials

Ever wonder what they mean when you see that a shoe is made from recycled materials? Well, allow us to explain! Plastic water bottles are made of a recyclable material called polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a form of polyester. When recycled PET is spun into fibers and this lightweight and durable material can then be used to create sustainable fabrics – you might even be wearing recycled water bottles right now!

Teva Original Universal Outdoor Sandals

Shop here: Men’s Teva Original Universal Outdoor Sandals

One of our favorite shoes that are made from recycled materials is Teva’s Original Universal Outdoor Sandals! Both timeless and dependable, the Original Universal Outdoor Sandals will keep you moving forward in comfort and sustainability with their quick-dry webbed upper made from recycled plastic, a lightweight, cushioned footbed, and because this style is recyclable with the TevaForever recycling program! The TevaForever program accepts any style of your well-loved Teva sandals to be recycled and they’ll never see a landfill!

Eco-Friendly Sneakers from adidas

So you’re walking on recycled shoes, but are you running in them too? With adidas, you can make every step greener!

Available in several styles and sizes, everyone in the family can find the perfect fit! So, no matter if you’re hitting the gym in a pair of adidas Duramo 10 Primegreen Running Shoes, taking a stroll in the adidas Lite Racer Adapt 4.0 Primegreen Slip-On Sneakers, or heading to the playground with a fresh pair of adidas Little Kid & Big Kid Cloudfoam Pure 2.0 Primegreen Sneakers, there’s something stylish, comfortable, and eco-friendly for everyone.

Vegan Shoes and Boots

A vegan is a person who does not eat any food derived from animals and who typically does not use other animal products. To that effect, vegan shoes do not include animal products, such as leather, suede, animal fur, wool, silk, or animal-sourced shoe glues.

The best alternatives to animal products are synthetic leather and renewable materials like cork, cotton, and bamboo. By using these alternatives, you can help support cruelty-free practices and potentially reduce your carbon footprint at the same time!

Blowfish Malibu’s Fruit Vegan Slip-On Sneaker

Shop here: Blowfish Malibu’s Fruit Vegan Slip-On Sneaker

One of our favorite cruelty-free styles for this spring is Blowfish Malibu’s Fruit Vegan Slip-On Sneaker! Part of their extended Vegan Collection, these “Cool Shoes-Not-Cruel Shoes” from Blowfish Malibu® are made to be kind to your feet and to others.

BOBS B-Cute Planet Matters 113537 Sneakers

Shop here: BOBS B-Cute Planet Matters 113537 Sneakers

Another top vegan-style for this spring is BOBS B-Cute Planet Matters 113537 Sneakers! Now you can go green in total comfort and eco-friendly style with these cute kicks. The B-Cute Planet Matters sneaks are designed with sustainable materials such as recycled cotton and polyester. You can take every step knowing that these shoes are made from 100% vegan materials. They’re not just good for your feet and your look, but they’re good for the world too!

Save money and save the Earth! Browse the Shoe Carnival eco-friendly collection to find your new favorite sustainable kicks.

All items in stock as of time of publication. Originally published October 1, 2021. Updated April 15, 2022.

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