Vegan Winter Boots: Sustainable Options To Keep Your Feet Warm

Even though we acknowledge that today, buying durable clothes and footwear is not affordable to all, we hope this review will convince you that A: ‘buy less, buy better, use longer‘ is not just a theoretical saying, and B: you can wear stylish, high-quality vegan winter boots, and thus, avoiding the need to use any animal products, independently of your nutrition habits.

Responsible end-of-life thinking is not yet structurally embedded in the footwear industry.

However, we vigorously believe that the below 7 vegan options are on the right approach towards making slow, responsible fashion the new norm. 

It is fair to say that the first eco-conscious behavior is to search for second-hand winter shoes closeby. If you have not found the right pair to keep your feet warm this winter, then continue reading.

Thus, in this article, we want to encourage smarter, more durable fashion choices than conventional, often earth-damaging ones.

We will also talk about vegan leather and the ‘eco friendliness’ behind each fabric.

Let’s make sure cold feet never ruin happy moments again, thanks to the below brands offering top-notch vegan winter boots.

Bhava
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Bhava
  • Italian vegan shearling
  • Cushioned cork interior
  • Elegan hand made products
Alice & Whittles
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Alice & Whittles
  • Repurposed marine plastic
  • High quality textile manufacturers
  • Comfortable insoles 
Beyond Skin
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Beyond Skin
  • Generous donation program
  • Vegetable polymer coating
  • New kind of vegan luxury fashion

Bhava - USA

K2 vegan winter boots
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image by bhava.com

Materials & Packaging

The cruelty-free brand founded in 2012 only offers vegan-friendly products. ‘Thoughtful by design,’ Bhava has created ethical footwear and bags made of durable, innovative fabrics that are never derived from animal products.

Their famous winter boots are mainly detailed with Italian vegan shearling, brass hooks, an all-comfort rubber sole, and a great, removable insole. Bhava’s vegan leather does not contain aromatic amines, PCP, formaldehyde, PVC, phthalates, azo-dyes, or chrome.

Moreover, the New York fashion company uses other vegan-lover features for its footwear, such as organic cotton linings and premium recycled microfibers.

Unfortunately, we could not find any information related to eco-packaging or more thoughtful shipping practices, hence the lower rating for this category.

Social & Environmental Practices 

Founder and designer Francisca Pineda has been fully committed since the start to ethical and environmentally-conscious creations. She teaches ‘Ethical Fashion and Sustainable Design’ at FIT NYC.

Bhava’s boots are manufactured in Alicante, Spain, a country known for its generations of skilled artisans.

Partnering with the highest quality arts and crafts, together with sourcing organic, recycled, and vegan components, define the DNA of this remarkable women’s footwear brand.

The two manufacturing partners are personally vetted to ensure safe working conditions in both ateliers in Spain and Mumbai.

Each pair of vegan shoes are remarkably handcrafted using both traditional and state-of-the-art technologies.

Lastly, we wanted to add Bhava’s on our list of ethical winter boots for its repair and maintenance practices; they have a lot of experience (and handy tips!) on removing stains or gums.

In the same vein, each creation is built with repairable soles and can thus be combined with a shoe care kit.

Style – our pick

Elegant, functional with a quaint touch is how we would define Bhava’s winter boots.

We also appreciate the variety of style within the collection: from comfortable, hiking-looking K2 platforms to a pair of classic, tasteful Ginsburg.

The latter is made with faux fur and cushioned cork interior. They come with two pairs of removable soles and a new organic cotton shearling winter insole.

We particularly like the natural tonal color and the dual wear (hightop style or folded showing the faux fur).

Bhava brand canva
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Alice + Whittles - USA

Alice & whittles vegan winter boots
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image by aliceandwhittles.com

Materials & Packaging

Company-owners Sofi and Nick have reached an impressive number regarding the fabrics used in their collection: 90% of the materials used are fully traceable, durable options. – and aiming at 100% soon.

The duo’s dedication to creating footwear free of virgin leather, and with rubber sourced in sustainably managed forests, has been at the center of their search mission for more trustworthy fabrics since the beginning.

More specifically, the brand’s vegan boots are made from repurposed marine plastic for the upper part. The lining’s fabric is 100% recycled synthetic wool, and the lug sole 45% recycled and sustainably sourced rubber.

They even opted for high-performance vegan glue to assemble the uppers with the soles.

Intrigued to know more about other trustworthy vegan brands and related ethically made accessories? Match your trendy winter boots with high-quality, low waste purses and watches.

Unfortunately, we could not find any information related to eco-packaging or more thoughtful shipping practices, hence the lower rating for this category.

Social & Environmental Practices 

Alice & Whittles’ products, and vegan winter boots, in particular, are handmade in a family-owned factory in Portugal, a country well known for its high-quality textile manufacturers.

They demand quality not only for the products they create but also for the people involved in manufacturing them.

As for the brand’s charitable work, they have collaborated with Well Beings, an organization protecting the Amazons. We commend their approach to donate 100% of profits to this campaign from all recycled Purple Laces sales.

Even though we were not necessarily looking for certifications (as noted in several articles, a small-scale company cannot necessarily afford the lengthy process), we would have appreciated more transparency and details on the supply chain. Thus, a lower rating for this category.

Style – our pick

Their remarkable Weekend Boots come in 6 discreet colors. Free of any virgin plastic, these vegan winter boots will keep your feet comfortable during long and chilly walks, thanks to their traction-absorbent insoles.

Made of anti-slip lug black or beige soles, make sure to opt for one size up to allow sufficient space for a thick pair of socks.

If you are looking for other ethically made vegan options, such as rain boots, take a look at the brand’s 100% fairly traded rubber rainy day essentials.

Alice + Whittles
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Will's Vegan Store - the UK

Will's vegan winter boots
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image by wills-vegan-store.com

Materials & Packaging

Established in 2012 by founder Will Green, this cruelty-free footwear shop is, as hinted in the label, entirely focused on offering the best of vegan essentials and accessories for both men and women.

Materials-wise, the PETA-approved company uses bio-oil-based vegan leather sourced from organic cereal crops originated from Northern Europe.

Soft, breathable, water-resistant, all of Will’s vegan products are easy to wash and stain-resistant.

As for the insoles, most are made from recycled rubber in a factory in Spain.

We commend Will’s Vegan Store for its focus on sustainable packaging and an absolute no-plastic-packaging policy.

Thus, all the paper and cardboard involved in deliveries are sustainably sourced and can be recycled. They even use biodegradable document packs with a water-based adhesive.

Social & Environmental Practices 

All the winter boots – VSport models – are designed and produced in the Dolomite Hills in Italy. Additionally, the Italian factory is solar-powered up to about 70%.

The fashion brand’s faux leather is the best alternative and is part of the Ecolabel certified vegan leathers.

Moreover, its footwear meets Oeko Tex 100 and REACH regulations while being registered with the Vegan Society.

As part of the ethical clothing movement, all products are made in Italy and Portugal under European Union employment, discrimination, and health & safety law.

This ensures worker’s protection and rights such as decent and safe working hours, annual leave, equal pay, parental leave, just to name a few.

The other reason why the London-based shop has caught our attention is for operating on a strict plastic-free and Carbon Neutral supply chain. 

Thanks to their regular investment in renewable energy projects such as wind, hydro, geothermal, solar, and biomass, the famous vegan shoes brand has managed to offset its carbon emissions to zero.

In the same vein, they abide by the motto: no sales, no fast fashion, thus inciting customers to buy less and better for longer wear.

If you are interested in knowing more about slow fashion and how we as eco-customers can contribute to the change, take a look at our article here.

Style – our pick

Our preferred vegan winter boots are the waterproof  Sport Snowboots for women and the Country Boots for men, both keeping your feet warm and dry during cold times: down to -22°C / -7.6 F!

Passionate about raising the quality standards of vegan clothing and cruelty-free boots, in particular, Will Vegan Store is THE e-shop to keep on your list of favorite sustainable fashion brands, whether you are a convinced vegan or not.

Will's Vegan Store Canva
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Beyond Skin - the UK

Beyond skin vegan winter boots
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image by beyond-skin.com

Materials & Packaging

We commend the brand’s transparency for recognizing its achievements, as well as the remaining challenges it needs to solve to offer 100% sustainable vegan shoes, snow boots, and summer footwear.

On the bright side, Beyond Skin uses silk-free satins made from polyesters as well as 100% recycled faux leather lining with a vegetable polymer coating.

On the not-so-bright side, the brand opted for the less of two evils: they use synthetic leathers from cotton-backed polyurethane (PU) sourced from Italy.

Fair to say that even though PU is petroleum-based, the pollution entailed with conventional leather or another unfortunately-too-famous PVC appears far more significant.

More on this topic under the section ‘Which leather is the most environmentally friendly?

Lastly, we could not find any information related to eco-packaging or more thoughtful shipping practices, hence the lower rating for this category.

Social & Environmental Practices 

Manufactured in Spain, the UK brand ensures all its footwear is assembled in safe and decent working conditions.

Beyond Skin wanted to develop a new kind of luxury fashion, fashion that embraces craftsmanship and slow style while inspiring more eco-conscious consumption behaviors.

They strive to source all fabrics and components as locally as possible and to reduce their carbon footprint; these are the main decision drivers.

Water, and its humongous consumption associated with animal farming and leather tanning, is one of the main reasons why they are committed to only designing vegan-friendly footwear.

Lastly, Beyond Skin has pledged to donate 5% of profits to grass-roots environmental and social initiatives.

Style – our pick

The famous vegan footwear brand offers a wide range of faux leather shoes and boots, and in particular, 3 vegan – flat style- options for freezing temperatures.

We love the Elsa Camel Ankle – ugg style – winter boots: water-resistant, these vintage-inspired vegan boots can be worn with a skirt or a pair of jeans.

Moreover, it is good to point out that these boots are made in Spain and are a bit pricier than others described on this post.

Beyond Skin Canva
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Matt & Nat - Canada

Materials & Packaging

The 100% vegan brand is always on the lookout for sustainable materials such as cork, rubber, recycled nylon, and recycled plastic bottles in its bags’ lining(for example).

They want to offer their customers a top-notch ethical and eco fashion collection, thus consistently improving its composites to reduce the harm done to flora and fauna.

As for the vegan leather used, Matt & Nat puts PU as a first choice and thus limits its use of PVC whenever possible. As explained later in this review, PU is the lesser of two evils when it comes to faux ‘plastic-based leather.

Lastly, we commend the brand for its efforts on packaging used on some of its items (sunglasses and bracelets) thanks to the use of a recycled PVB pouch.

However, we would have expected a similar approach for most of its collections, together with more efforts towards thoughtful shipping practices.

Social & Environmental Practices

The brand partners with various factories, which they diligently visit on a regular basis to ensure integrity and consistent quality throughout the manufacturing process.

One of these factories operates with the SA8000 standard – one of the world’s leading social certification programs demonstrating the fair treatment of workers. Going forward, Matt & Nat target to populate that certification across its production.

Moreover, Matt & Nat repeatedly hearten its readers to upcycle unused shoes, and to donate used bags and clothes to organizations like the Dress For Success platform.

As stated for Alice+ Whittles, we would have expected more transparency and details on the supply chain, from sourcing to shipping, including efforts to reduce its environmental footprint. Thus, a lower rating for this category.

Style – our pick

Created in 1995 in Montreal, Matt & Nat’s motto is “live beautifully”. As for the denomination, the company stands for MAT(T)erial and NATure. In other words, this means “exploring the synergy between the two, the reflection of one on the other.”

Design-wise, we appreciate the timeless and durable styles combined with a desire to offer functional and resistant fashion items.

In particular, we are fans of their winter and autumn-proof rainboots. Waterproof, these boots are folded over with a faux shearling collar and a PU tab detail.

If you are looking for a different – vegan leather – boots style, the combat boots will also get you through any cold weather!

Matt & Nat facts
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Nae Vegan - Portugal

Materials & Packaging

The leather used for all Nae’s vegan boots is made from a mix of microfibers. More specifically, a blend of cotton, polyester, and nylon.

These microfibers are OEKO-TEX certified, which guarantees sustainable product manufacturing.

In addition to using faux leather, the brand’s favorite eco friendly materials to work with are cork, Pinatex, certified organic cotton, and RPET (recycled PET).

As you probably know, PET is a form of plastic and is still widely used as a material for water bottles or food containers.

However, its recyclability in most western countries makes it a good candidate for shoemaking as it reduces the consumption of natural resources.

Until plastic production is finally abolished and replaced by a more sustainable, polluting-free solution, RPET currently appears as a more earth-friendly material.

Particularly so when compared to conventional leather, which is responsible for humongous amounts of air and water pollution, to name just part of the problem (1).

Unfortunately, we could not find any information related to eco-packaging or more thoughtful shipping practices, hence the lower rating for this category.

Social & Environmental Practices 

A slow fashion advocate, Nae partners with Trofal, a family-owned Portuguese factory that has been following sustainable production models since its creation in 1903.

The factory is renowned for its Goodyear Welted standards, one of the most environmentally safe yet cumbersome ways to assemble shoes.

In other words, “this means that everything is sown in- and outside, with a cork isolation and no aggressive glue.”

It requires around 180 operations, many of which are entirely by hand. Besides the more extended timing aspect, this process puts handcraft and sustainable manufacture first. Have a look at all the exciting details here.

Freeing the oceans of plastic is one of the leading community works the brand is attached to: by partnering with the RE-MOVE project.

The other is through their collaboration with PETA: for each beautifully made-in-Portugal 100% organic shoes sold, 5 USD is donated to animal welfare.

Style – our pick

Karla’s vegan winter boots deserve a place on this list for their impeccably designed military-style and color choice.

Made of ecological microfiber OEKO-TEX certified, these black ankle boots with yellow laces are worth the detour.

Nae Vegan Canva
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Native Shoes - Canada

Materials & Packaging

The now-and-always-animal-free brand has developed a minimal waste waterproof technology, for its fine vegan winter boots called Nova Hydroknit.

As described by Native, “Weave through the galaxy in a sleek, recycled 3D knit upper and keep extra dry thanks to stain-resistant spray protection and waterproof inner membrane”.

The upper part of the winter boot is made with 50% RPET Yarn (recycled plastic) and comes with a rubber outsole.

Designed with a form fit, these winter and rain boots are simultaneously breathable and waterproof.

Lastly, we could not find any information related to eco-packaging or more thoughtful shipping practices. These observations lead us to give a lower rating for this category.

Social & Environmental Practices 

We particularly noted Native’s Remix Project, whose ambition is to offer 100% life cycled managed shoes as of 2023. Concretely, all-vegan boots and sneakers will be recycled and given a new life in the local community.

Due to the shoes’ unique composition, Native’s certified vegan collection can be reground in a versatile component that can be used for playground flooring, for example.

Native Shoes currently partners with factories in China and Vietnam to produce its innovative footwear collection.

Proud to enforce stringent ethical practices onsite, the team regularly visits the factory to guarantee safe and fair working conditions are maintained.

Additionally, we commend the vegan shoes’ brand for its zero waste efforts, particularly the production of the Slip-On Icon Jefferson 2.0.

Lastly, we would have expected more details and transparency on the sourcing of fabrics as well as the manufacturing process itself.

Style – our pick

Lightness and originality are at the core of fashion brand’s collections. While most sneakers’ vegan options are available for men, women, and kids, winter boots are unisex.

We have a soft spot for the black and white Chamonix. At a reasonable price, you’ll appreciate the lunar-style snow boots.

Made with an innovative system to reflect the heat back into the boot, these shoes are happy-winters-guaranteed.

Native Shoes Canva
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Which Leather Is The Most Environmentally Friendly?

Guy sitting by the mountain
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This article mainly focused on ethically sourced winter boots made of a variety of vegan leather, each with its benefits.

Bearing in mind everyone’s personal values, we wanted to dedicate a section on what to consider before choosing leather-made goods (whether faux leather, pleather, or animal skins).

Let’s start with the example of Beyond Skin and their use of PU for their shoes.

While research shows that PU is a great show for its ‘non-toxicity and its superior suppleness,’ this type of synthetic, (virgin) plastic-based leather hasn’t yet won a spot on the eco friendly podium of unequivocally durable leather (2).

According to various experts, the better options currently lay in plant-based leathers sourced from agricultural waste, such as apple leather or Piñatex.

Fair to say that even though some of these new fabrics still need to overcome a few challenges (to reach mass-market attraction, to name one), they pave the way to highly sustainable vegan leather in the near future.

In a nutshell, our extensive reading on most sustainable leathers (both for the planet and animal welfare) seems to converge that the answer is complex.

Key takeaways are, however, that:

  1. Vegetable-tanned and hence biodegradable leather is far more preferable than conventional leather (mainly due to toxic chemicals). Even though one could argue that real leather is only a by-product and consequence of the meat industry, be strict and demand transparent, ethically sourced leather ensuring animal welfare.

  2. Plant-based, renewable, vegan leathers have a far lesser environmental impact than petroleum-based synthetic materials like PVC. Vegan leather made of recycled materials such as PET is somewhere in the middle, even though the issue of biodegradability still remains at end-of-use.

And, as explained under Nae’s section, it does not solve the long-term dependency on plastics and the harmful effects of microplastics.

Whatever we do and buy will always have an environmental impact; however, whenever second-hand (non) vegan products do not fit, we can make the most durable choice in line with our life principles.

Ethical & Sustainable Fashion: What Are We Looking For?

It is important to us at Puratium to explain our brand choices. Like in previous articles on sustainable sneakers or ethical underwear, there are, according to us, two fundamentals axes intrinsic to slow and eco-fashion.

The company in question needs to show significant efforts regarding sustainable AND ethical practices.

Because both terms are not yet strictly defined in the industry and can be used as greenwashing, let’s take a moment to define them.

  • Sustainable: in other words, protecting the environment while contributing to economical growth. Where are the materials sourced and how? In addition to the manufacturing and shipment/packaging of a given item, which is also under scrutiny. Ideally, creating these types of products would be done with not only limited harm to the environment, but at the same time it would benefit it.

  • Ethical: any fashion item needs to be produced in respect of people and animals. The company needs to be transparent on its supply chain, as well as ensure safe factories and working conditions for all workers. Ethical fashion can also exist if not harming/tested on animals. This mainly applies to bathroom essentials and makeup, but it is important as well in the case of animal byproducts in the fashion industry.

Below are a few concrete examples of what we are looking at before selecting a brand. It is fair to say that it is still tricky to find candidates that tick all the boxes.

However, we also want to encourage smaller scale brands that are going in the right direction: these might not receive a fully green rating from us, but they are for sure worth discovering and supporting.

  • Transparency on materials used, including selection philosophy and origin. Brands that are in control of their entire supply chain is a great plus.
  • Use of recycled, recyclable or compostable packaging – promoting a low waste behavior is a the core of Puratium’s mission.
  • Efforts to reduce carbon footprint, at manufacturing or shipping levels, and/or thanks to an emphasis on circular economy.
  • Safe and decent working conditions for all workers & factory’s surroundings, including the commitment to only use non-toxic components, reduce water and electricity consumption, to cite a few.
  • Products are NEVER tested on animals, and if nonvegan components, ensure robust traceability.
  • Give back programs that do more than ‘looking good’: we want to observe a dedicated strategy to helping local communities, empower minorities, or restore biodiversity. More generally, we are looking for brands that promote diversity and inclusivity in their campaigns: being the ambassador of a positive body attitude is central to us.

Together, you, us, and the eco-conscious customers’ community, we can cast a powerful vote by refusing fast fashion.

If you could not mend your current clothes or find a second-hand option, choosing sustainable and ethical clothes is a crucial step towards demanding a better, slower fashion as the new standard.

We suggest you also take a look at our article on vegan fashion

Final Thoughts

Did you find the right vegan winter boots to keep your feet warm? We hope one of the above-detailed footwear options matches your expectations, both for its style and slow fashion features close to our heart at Puratium.

Opting for a vegan product is not only a dietary matter; it is a lifestyle that stands for animal and nature-friendly methods.

To us, you can nurture slow fashion by inspiring others and by choosing brands that have put sustainability first in their mission statement.

Like many others on our site, this article intends to shed light on the different ways you can significantly reduce your environmental impact without compromising style or quality.

Thus, as highlighted by several experts, reducing a given good’s carbon footprint mainly lies in tackling the choice of renewable fabrics and how they are manufactured/processed, as these are responsible for up to 70% of the total carbon footprint (3).

But there are meaningful actions that you can undertake at the family level: to name a few concrete examples, upcycle your old furniture and clothes, reduce single-use items, support local farmers and ethically sourced goods, opt for renewable energies to power your house, and keep your toes warm and dry thanks to sustainable vegan boots!

Resources:

  1. https://www.ethicalgallery.com.au/blogs/ethical-gallery-blog/the-environmental-impact-of-animal-leather-vs-faux-leather
  2. https://www.voguebusiness.com/technology/vegan-faux-leather-stella-mccartney-prada-versace
  3. https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/fashion/fashion-news/a30640996/vegan-leather-sustainability/
vegan winter boots
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