Vegan Sneakers For All: Eco-conscious Brands You Can Trust

Sneakers are the ultimate go-to shoes for many of us. They’re versatile, easy to put on, and perfect for quick, casual errands days. They’ve even perfect with a colorful, elegant summer dress!

However, they’re also not that great when it comes to animal welfare.

Apart from the obvious fabrics (leather, wool) involved in the process, your favorite pair of sneaks might be held together by animal bones as adhesive. Not a very pretty picture, but it is the truth in most mainstream sneakers today. Additionally, as often pointed out on Puratium, buying vegan products does not necessarily come with the guarantee that animal and people well being were taken into account. And the logic applies to nature too.

The great news is that eco-conscious, vegan sneakers are no longer difficult to find! While they used to be far and few in between, there are now many sustainable brands that offer top-notch quality vegan shoes. The price might be higher than conventionally produced shoes, but the added cost pays itself back in more than just money.

Here are some of our favorite vegan brands for sneakers; we will help you decipher the brand’s production and supply chain, materials, as well as its packaging-related efforts.

Thousand Fell
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Thousand Fell
  • Recycled materials
  • Recyclable sneakers
  • Use of food waste for production
Nothing New
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Nothing New
  • GRS certification
  • Return exchange program
  • Carbon neutral shipping & delivery
Etiko
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Etiko
  • All vegan footwear
  • Natural fair trade certified
  • Human rights activists

Risore Future - Italy

Risore Future is a vegan company that focuses on using resources geared towards the future. They act not just with profit in mind but with a concern for the future affairs of the world, as most of us should do.

They aim to use only animal-free and eco friendly materials to create shoes and accessories that are sustainable, vegan, and without a doubt super stylish.

Our Sneaker Pick

Unlike some of the brands we featured on this list, this company has a pretty colorful set of vegan sneakers, and thus one of the reasons why we shortlisted them here at Puratium.

If you’re a fan of chunky sneakers and peach tones, you will love Luna Peach. It is a sporty, chunky shoe that exudes good vibes and fun.

Made primarily of hemp, this pair of vegan sneakers are completely vegan. It’s a combination of cream and saturated peachy tones that perfectly complement each other.

This is a vegan shoe for those of you that love streetwear and use it as the main inspiration for your fashion style. It’s energetic, youthful, plus it gives you a height boost while staying snug and comfortable.

If you’re not a fan of chunky shoes, Athena Raw Hemp will be perfect for you. We couldn’t resist including this in the list as the neutral color and build make it the right combination of style and versatility.

Materials and Packaging

The main material for the upper is hemp. Really, hemp is the star of the show when it comes to Risore’s materials.

After all, hemp is breathable, comfortable, water-resistant, and an incredibly versatile plant textile. Hemp is great for wearing during any season.

More importantly, growing hemp does not require the use of toxic chemicals like pesticides and herbicides. Plus, it’s durable and is up to three times more tear-resistant than cotton. And if one thing is clear, it’s that durability adds to sustainability.

However, the peach layers are made of microfiber. Not the most sustainable material since it’s a blend of polyester and polyurethane.

Inside the upper is a cotton lining that has aloe vera and activated carbon. This will help you repel odor and keep your feet fresh throughout wearing them. Comfortable and functional at the same time.

The insole and outsole are made of natural rubber. The insole is specifically designed for ergonomic use and is an added comfort.

Sustainability and Ethics

At its core, Risore Future is concerned about the future of the planet.

Apart from using sustainable materials like hemp, they also take steps to ensure that their coloring process is eco friendly and up to the tightest standards. Dyeing can be a very damaging part of the production process, so ensuring safety during this step is particularly crucial.

However, we could not find information on the brand’s factory conditions or where they produce their shoes. Though their store is located in Italy, it’s very common for brands to outsource labor to reduce the price of production.

If you want a company that has a more transparent supply chain, you might want to check the other ones on this list.

Nothing New - USA

Nothing new vegan sneakers
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image by nothingnew.com

Making sure that sneakers look good and do good, Nothing New is a sustainable vegan brand that utilizes post-consumer recycled plastic in making their shoes.

They are committed to making strides towards a better planet and doing what they can to contribute to making positive impacts in local communities.

Our Sneaker Pick

Their shoe collection consists of mostly earthy and neutral tones with some splashes of color. Their palette is perfect for those who want all-around sneakers that can be paired with nearly any outfit.

Our personal pick from their range is their Low Top Sneakers in Field Tan x Off White.

The neutral color makes it perfect for many ensembles. You can use this pair to tone down a particularly colorful outfit or pair it with other earthy tones in a monochrome fashion.

Unfortunately, this shoe is currently only available in men’s sizes. However, their women’s low tops also have a variety of colors you can choose from! We personally like Sky Blue x Off White.

If colors aren’t your thing, their sneakers also come in black and white.

Materials and Packaging

Nothing New utilizes what they call Better Canvas™ as the main fabric for their shoe uppers. This material is made up of post-consumer recycled plastic with a Global Recycle Standard (GRS) certification.

They also use recycled fishing nets in their heel counters. This prevents fishing nets from being improperly disposed of in the ocean. You can check out a full roster of materials on their page here -that’s the type of transparency we are always expecting!

While using recycled materials is good, don’t let it mislead you. There is absolutely no guarantee that the plastic in these shoes won’t eventually end up in landfills or oceans AGAIN. In reality, recycled plastic just isn’t the best vegan fabric. We tackle this important debate over vegan fashion here.

But, there’s good news; one way to lessen the impact on the environment is for the product to belong to a closed-loop system. Fortunately, Nothing New has a program where their customers can return shoes they no longer use in exchange for $20 store credits.

The shoes also come in recycled packaging, plus shipment and delivery are carbon neutral.

Sustainability and Ethics

From what we’ve already said about this brand, we can already see that they care a lot about sustainability. Their Virtuous Circle program, which we’ve mentioned above, is a great way for them to take responsibility for their products and become, overall, more sustainable.

Plus, they’re carbon neutral. This means that they offset their carbon footprint through projects like reforestation and wind farming.

The shoes themselves are made in a factory in Sichuan, China. While this might sound like a red flag, the brand has conducted multiple visits and audits to ensure that they’re a good fit.

They also extend their help to the community by providing job opportunities in local communities.

Nae - Portugal

The brand name Nae stands for “No Animal Exploitation,” and they have truly followed through with their promise. This footwear brand is completely vegan and cruelty-free and has always been since it began in 2008.

Based in Portugal, this shoe brand brings to the table ethical and quality vegan footwear. Proving that fashion doesn’t have to come at a high ethical price.

Our Sneaker Pick

Nae has quite a wide and diverse selection of sneaker designs. From chunky sneakers to running shoes, you won’t run out of choices with their shoe range.

But our favorite goes to Basic White Piñatex vegan sneakers. We’ve covered this material a lot in our articles, and we love how Piñatex is changing the way we view leather. Instead of using animal skin, as traditional leather does, why not use plant-based waste?

Though the color is technically white, this pair comes out to be more on the cream side of the color spectrum. This is likely due to the color limitations of pineapple leather.

Even so, it’s an item that we would highly recommend if you want vegan shoes that don’t use real leather.

Nae recommends that buyers regularly use polish for this shoe to help it retain its original look and color. It’s a bit high maintenance, but it clearly helps to commit to the make-it-last goal dear to our heart at Puratium.

It is also available in black.

Materials and Packaging

The main body of the sneakers is made of pineapple leather. Pineapple leather, in turn, is made from a mix of pineapple leaf fibers and PLA fibers.

The PLA fibers in the textile make it not fully biodegradable, unfortunately. But Piñatex is consistently looking for better ways to become a more eco-friendly leather option. You can read more about different vegan leather options here.

In addition to that, this vegan sneaker is lined with microfiber and has a rubber outsole. We couldn’t find more information on where they source their rubber, so that’s something we’d like to see improved in the future.

If you aren’t a fan of pineapple leather’s texture, Nae also makes vegan shoes made from microfiber leather.

Sustainability and Ethics

Sustainability is one of the core values of Nae. They are committed to an eco friendly production process both in their factories and how they choose their suppliers.

We see this promise manifested in their selection of all vegan, cruelty-free materials. You can read more about their materials here.

Nae operates under a slow fashion model. Meaning, their products are built to last but come at a higher price than fast fashion items.

With that in mind, they care for the well-being and safety of their workers. The company works with six factories all over Portugal and Spain, all of which are operated under ethical practices.

Thousand Fell - New York

The name Thousand Fell has a unique ring to it. The brand’s name actually comes from the dream of creating thousands of sustainable and eco friendly textiles.

Designed in New York and made in Brazil, these sneakers are made for durability and recyclability. All of their shoes are made sustainably and in the best interests of the future.

Our Sneaker Pick

Thousand Fell has a pretty basic shoe collection. Most of their shoes are white with a pop of color on the back end of the shoe. While basic doesn’t really match everyone’s style, we think it’s always good to have a versatile pair of sneakers on hand.

Their lace-up sneakers in Starstruck Yellow are worth a look. This pair of sneakers is part of a new collection: Popdrop, featuring warm tones of red, yellow, and orange.

These vegan sneakers are water and stain-resistant, so you can wear them relatively risk-free. However, water-resistant isn’t the same as waterproof, so keep the distinction in mind.

More importantly, they are guaranteed highly breathable and repel odor, so you can keep your feet feeling fresh even after wearing them for hours.

Materials and Packaging

Thousand Fell’s vegan sneakers are made predominantly from recycled materials like plastic bottles.

They use recycled plastic bottles to make their uppers. And as we’ve previously established, recycled doesn’t always mean the best choice for the environment. However, we shortlisted this brand because of its closed-loop system that we will describe later on.

The insole is made of recycled yoga mats, so you’re resting your feet on a plush and comfortable surface suited for all-day support.

Apart from using recycled plastic bottles, they also utilize food waste in production. Making for sustainable, vegan, and eco friendly fashion.

Some components are coconut husk, aloe vera, palm leaf fibers, and sugar cane. We love that they’re staying true to their word and making innovative, vegan sneakers contributing to a brighter fashion future.

Sustainability and Ethics

These vegan sneakers are completely recyclable. And one of the values we love most from this company is their dedication to a circular economy.

There are many vegan sneaker brands that produce sustainably but don’t take responsibility for what they produce. To us, brands that have take-back programs are great examples of added producer responsibility.

Thus, we appreciate these brands’ ambition to eliminate waste in the first place by creating highly durable and long-lasting products and then design an efficient post-use recycling system.

The premium for sustainable materials and ethical practices is a small price to pay for the good you are doing for the planet and its people.

With a fun layout and easy to navigate user interface, you’re sure to have a good shopping experience.

Ethletic - Germany

From a sustainable soccer ball company in the late 90s, Ethletic now produces a range of shoes made with fair trade practices and complete ethical concern for its workers.

They are PETA-approved vegan and manufacture vegan sneakers, trainers, and casuals that are great for you, the people making your shoes, and the environment.

Our Sneaker Pick

Ethletic has a pretty wide range of vegan sneakers you can choose from. Their designs will suit those who have an adventurous style and those who prefer muted, neutral vibes as well.

Out of all their vegan sneakers, our personal pick has to be the Fair Sneaker Hiro II in Just White. It’s a pair of high-top vegan sneakers that comes in a monochrome white color.

It isn’t very adventurous or bold, but it’s great if you want high tops that are versatile. But if you want to explore more colors and patterns, Ethletic also offers plenty of other vegan sneakers. The Hiro II is also available in other colors.

They also have colorful trainers, like this one in Kaleidoscope Sunset. In any case, you won’t run out of options when looking for vegan shoes.

Materials and Packaging

Ethletic is very transparent about the materials they use in their vegan shoes. Not only in where they were sourced but also in how they ensure sustainability and ethics throughout the process.

Not all vegan sneaker brands are this transparent with their supply chain, so it’s a plus for their team for making a true effort.

The shoes’ upper is made from canvas, which in turn is made from organic cotton. As promised, their organic cotton is fair trade. The workers are paid a guaranteed price plus a fair trade premium for education and other projects.

During the process of turning cotton into textile, the workers are also well-compensated, and everything must adhere to fair trade standards.

The sole is made up of FSC certified rubber. As we’ve previously mentioned, rubber is a difficult material to say whether it is sustainably sourced. But certifications help a lot to ensure that your shoes aren’t contributing to deforestation.

There’s a lot more that goes into your vegan sneakers than you know about. Each pair consists of many parts that we don’t consider at all. But Ethletic does. And where they can, they replace all components with more sustainable and eco friendly ones.

For a more in-depth look into how this brand makes its vegan sneakers, here’s their detailed production process.

Sustainability and Ethics

From what we’ve said about them, it’s pretty clear that this company is one of those vegan sneaker brands that actually follow through with their promises.

Thanks to their use of fair trade organic cotton and FSC certified rubber, we see their effort into becoming a more sustainable company.

Their ethics towards their workers is impeccable as well. All the vegan shoes in their collection are made by a factory in Pakistan.

One of the best parts of this brand is that you have the option to personally tip the workers! To us, that’s sounds amazing. You get to help out directly while also getting a pair of durable, vegan shoes.

Etiko - Australia

Vegan Sneakers from Etiko
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Image by Etiko.com.au

Etiko is a Fair Trade, B certified, and vegan apparel brand based in Australia. They are committed to “wear no evil” by making their products ethically and sustainably.

Their operations are rooted in conscious living; actively operating in a manner that does not harm the environment, animals, or people.

Our Sneaker Pick

Etiko’s collection is a pretty standard set of sneakers. They have high tops as well as low-top sneakers in varying colors. They also have slip ons if that’s what you’re looking for.

Personally, we really like their low-cut sneaker in black and white. It’s the classic black and white shoe that’s great for casual wear. If you’re looking for a simple vegan sneaker, that you can trust for the years to come, this one is definitely a good pick.

It’s a canvas sneaker that has added arch support so you can use it comfortably for longer periods of time. The style and color are available both for men and women.

A close runner-up is their low-cut vegan sneaker in olive. Check it out if you aren’t really a fan of black and white colors.

Materials and Packaging

The main material used for the shoe uppers is organic cotton. Plant-based materials always rank high on our list, but it’s important to make one particular point.

We love that they use organic cotton as opposed to conventional cotton. Conventional cotton production is resource-intensive and has many environmental drawbacks.

They use natural rubber for the soles of the sneakers. Their rubber is naturally tapped from rubber trees in Sri Lanka.

Natural rubber production is a leading cause of deforestation in Southeast Asia, so transparency is important in this regard. We are happy to report that the rubber used in these shoes is FSC certified, guaranteeing the highest standards for forest and environmental consideration.

If you want a full rundown on their suppliers, they provide a supplier code of conduct with robust environmental and ethical requirements.

Sustainability and Ethics

As we’ve mentioned, cotton and rubber are both quite controversial materials. Despite that, Etiko has done an excellent job of making sure their shoes are eco friendly.

They only use organic cotton that is fair trade certified, ensuring that workers are paid decent wages and are under good working conditions. In addition to that, their rubber components are a mixture of FSC certified and recycled rubber.

Etiko estimates that, through using organic cotton, they have lessened their water consumption by 91% and energy use by 62%.

On top of all that, they are also working their way towards becoming a carbon-neutral company.

Native Shoes - Canada

This shoe company has a beautiful mantra and philosophy of living lightly. They use this mindset to guide their process creation and make eco friendly vegan shoes.

They believe that they can contribute to making the world a better place through practicing kindness and stepping towards positive change, and you can too!

Our Sneaker Pick

Native shoes has plenty of vegan items in their selection. They also have a handful of sneaker designs.

But, our favorite has to be the Nova Hydroknit in Jiffy Black. It’s an all-black shoe that’s made of a stretchable knit upper.

It is a slip-on shoe made of waterproof material. It’s also lightweight and formfitting, so you can wear it comfortably for however long you need. These shoes are also designed with a contoured sole for a better grip.

The fabric is made for optimum breathability, so even the wrapping nature of the shoes won’t be a problem.

If you want a more colorful pair of vegan sneakers, they also have the Hydroknit in Chameleon pink x Pigeon Gray. The pink and gray color combo makes for a soft, dreamy color palette that’s great for matching with neutral colors or even patterns if you’re feeling adventurous.

We also really like that their selection includes shoes for kids! They just made it easier to find ethical footwear for your entire family.

Materials and Packaging

The stretchy upper of this pair of sneakers is made of 50% recycled PET yarn. While using recycled materials has its benefits, it’s not the perfect fabric.

But, the company has worked with what they have. The Native Shoes Remix Project is a take-back program that enables buyers to send back their shoes for recycling. The company will then used the recycled parts for a variety of purposes.

The best part is that they aim to be 100% life cycle managed by 2023. That’s quite a tall order, and we are extremely excited to see them make good on this promise.

The upper fabric is sprayed with a waterproof formulation, but there is an additional waterproof membrane inside that increases water protection.

The sole is a combination of rubber and Dynalite.

The brand has never used any animal-derived components in their shoes, and they are PETA-approved vegan.

Sustainability and Ethics

Sustainability-wise, Native Shoes mostly contributes by offering a recycling initiative. Otherwise, the materials they use to make their shoes are quite conventional.

Nevertheless, we can still recommend getting a pair of Native Shoes, especially for those looking for a good waterproof vegan sneaker that goes up to the ankle (perfect for rainy days).

The company makes its shoes in China and Vietnam and imposes strong ethical measures within the factories to ensure good working conditions and proper wages.

Overall, it’s a pretty solid shoe company. We concede that it isn’t the most sustainable shoe, though. The uppers are made from plastic, so it’s challenging to dispose of them reliably.

If you want more suggestions on more sustainable shoewear, check out our separate article on sustainable sneakers.

Vessi - Canada

Started in 2017 by a group of three friends, Vessi is one of the leading brands in providing quality, vegan sneakers.

Their sneakers are waterproof and can be worn in any weather, making them all-around shoes that’ll have you ready for anything, any time, and any place.

Our Sneaker Pick

There are three main choices in this brand’s collection. But the one that caught our eye the most is their Weekend vegan sneaker. Specifically, the Weekend in Oak Brown.

It has everything you’ll want in a shoe. It looks great, is comfortable, functional, and it’s also waterproof. Many vegan sneaker brands produce shoes that require a lot of maintenance and care. But the Weekend is something you can wear whenever.

Due to its breathable and lightweight nature, wearing this pair of sneakers will feel like wearing socks, but without the sticky feeling.

We love this design since it’s extremely wearable. You can choose to dress it up and down as you like. The shade is also a beautiful neutral color that you can match with virtually anything.

Materials and Packaging

Vessi is 100% vegan, or as they like to call it, “creature-free.” None of their shoes make use of animal products. Many sneaker brands actually use animal products, especially in glue, so it’s always important to make sure the shoes are 100% vegan.

Their uppers are made from polyester while the waterproof membrane is made from polyurethane. Meanwhile, the outsole is made of rubber.

The materials, though vegan, are not the best this list can offer. But these shoes are made to last, so if you do decide to buy a pair from this shoe brand, make sure to care for your shoes and they’ll last you a long time.

Their shoe packaging is also made of recyclable materials and contains no plastic. If you can repurpose the container, then that’s even better!

And just a quick reminder, as much as possible, try to purchase items that are near you to limit the carbon footprint of shipping.

Sustainability and Ethics

At Vessi, they believe that great shoes don’t have to come at a high environmental price. In their manufacturing process, they have managed to reduce water usage by 30%, energy consumption by 600%, and their trim waste by 97%, all compared to conventional practices.

One comment that we do have is that there’s little information on where the brand manufactures its shoes. All they disclose is that they’re manufactured in Asia.

The brand also has what they call a “Community Fund,” which they use to support various projects and movements. Over the years, they have donated more than half a million dollars and have given away 3,000 pairs of Vessis.

Final Thoughts

As you’ve seen from the brands above, looking for vegan sneakers is no longer as challenging as it used to be. Not only are brands more friendly to animals, they are also actively becoming more sustainable and eco friendly as time goes on.

We hope to see this trend flourish and continue within the footwear industry. And the best part is that anyone can become part of it!

We also suggest you take a look at our article on sustainable sneakers, where we talk about sustainable sneakers, but that may not necessarily be vegan. No matter where you are in your sustainability journey(whether vegan or not) there is always a way you can help out. 

By supporting brands that have an ethos of sustainability and care, you’re also contributing to a better environment.

If vegan fashion is a no-brainer for you, have a look at similar articles on vegan sandals and vegan wallets.

Nothing new vegan sneakers
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