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8 Ethical And Stylish Sneakers You Will Be Proud To Rock In The New Year

[Credit: Veja Shoes]
Forget the impractical stilettos in Sex and The City- a true New Yorker invests in sensible walking shoes that will stand up to the daily grind. 
Footwear is often the last piece of the puzzle for someone transitioning to ethical fashion, so I've compiled a list of stylish sneakers that you will be proud to rock in the new year. Bear in mind the cost per wear formula and choose to buy better so that you can look and feel better, and your purchase pays for itself over the long run.

Dubbed "the world's most ethical sneaker brand", it is fitting that VEJA's V-10 would top the list. The upper B mesh is made from recycled plastic bottles and the inner sole from recycled cotton, and the logo and sole made from sustainably-sourced wild rubber. This decade-old French brand combines fair trade and ecology with fashion, relying solely on word-of-mouth to reach their customers and providing a high level of transparency in material sourcing and production.
2. NAE Sneaker in Basic White (€99.00) 
Don't underestimate this classic white sneaker design- the upper is a unique fabric called Piñatex™ made from pineapple leaf fibres (yes, pineapple!), and the lining is a breathable and anti-allergy ecological microfibre. Nae is a Portugese brand with a focus on environmental sustainability and works with alternative materials to leather. 
This lightweight and supportive sneaker is on trend for both work and play, with a wide range of colors to choose from. Kelsø Earth is the namesake footwear brand created by Danish yoga instructor Anna Kelsø, with her signature footbed that features multi-density latex cushioning, reinforced arch support and an over-padded heel. Beside taking Earth Conscious steps, she also partners with a non-profit to plant a tree with every order. 
4. Pozu Brisk Natural in Pink (€95.00
The Pozu Brisk ticks all the right boxes- with an upper and lining made from organic cotton canvas and a footbed made from OEKO-TEX certified microfibre and a breathable foot mattress of coconut husk and natural latex that will mould to your foot shape and provides good insulation. Po-zu stems from the Japanese word for 'pause' and is a nod to slow fashion and living, and they are commited to the highest standard of ethical manufacturing and honoring the work of tradition artisans. 
The wildly-popular Montreal-based brand Matt & Nat is known for their chic and functional vegan handbags, so you can imagine the excitement when they recently added footwear to their product lineup. The Bonadventure is a sleek design that features a PU upper and lining made from recycled plastic bottle and a chunky rubber sole. 
I love the attention to detail in this hand-crafted design, with a beautifully polished waterproof PU upper and a contrasting grey and white rubber sole, redefining the perception of what leather-free footwear has to look like. Bourgeois Boheme is a independent British footwear brand that produces luxury designs from the finest eco-friendly Italian vegan leather, and they make vegan look sexy.
7. Sawa Dr Bess in Indigo (€65.00
Channel major vintage vibes with these funky tennis sneakers, with an upper made from suede and traditional African loincloth and a quality sole that reveals a map of Africa. Sawa is an activist brand started in response to the challenge of manufacturing in Africa, employing a work force of 150 with an even split of men and women and was recently listed by Vogue as one of 8 African brands starting a fashion revolution.
Developed by an Ironman triathlete turned social entrepreneur Brendan Brazier in collaboration with The People's Movement, the Brazier is a high-performance classic running shoe made from Ekocycle, a durable material made from post-consumer Coca Cola plastic bottles. The People's Movement was born out of a desire for clean design and a clean environment, and they create eco-hip footwear that stands for the reduction of single-use plastic. 
If you are curious to see how big-name shoe brands like Nike, Reebok, Adidas and Puma match up, check out the Ethical Ranking on GoodShoppingGuide.com!

All prices in this post are correct at time of printing.


  1. I've been looking for big ethical kicks - size 13-14. Thanks for the list, I will take a look.

    1. Hey Patrick! Thanks for dropping by and hope you are well- I think Veja may be your best bet! :)

  2. Tricia,
    These shoes are so cool. Do you personally own any? How do they feel as you make your way around the city?

    1. I actually don't but I've been looking for a pair so that's why I spend hours researching! I am definitely going to invest in VEJA next- heard many great things from friends who own them ;)

  3. What a great selection! Hi Annette; both my husband and I own The Brisk sneakers from po-zu and I can tell you they are super comfy :)

  4. Thannks, Ali! Good to know.

  5. Great tips! I've definitely been looking for conscious sneaker options and I love the Matt & Nat ones! :)

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  7. I have vegan sneakers too from Leafy Souls and I appreciate every vegan creation so much. Thank you for sharing this source.


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