Eco Friendly Shoe SOURCE.

I am often asked, “What is Eco-Friendly,” “What are Vegan Shoes,” “What makes green shoes “green”?”  I’ve sourced it to 5 Things that make Eco Friendly Shoes:  Materials, Manufacturing, Social Responsibility, Design and Consciousness.

1. Materials

Eco friendly shoes differ greatly in content. Vegan shoes are animal-free, meaning all materials used contain no animal byproducts. Most vegan shoes have a synthetic microfiber which looks like leather. Cruelty-free uses animal byproducts such as wool, alpaca and cashmere that are harvested in a human manner. Eco Friendly designers use materials from organic plants, like bamboo, hemp, cork, organic cotton, silk, sasawashi, that are grown in pesticide-free environments. Recycled content such as carpet padding, clothes, plastic, and rubber are also creatively used to produce eco friendly shoes. As seen here, designer, Arti Upadhyay, has used all vegan materials for her Neuaura Shoes Shiner shoe.

Neuaura Shiner

Neuaura Shiner

If you haven’t heard of Melissa Shoes, I have no doubt you soon will.  Melissa Shoes is another innovative company using recycled plastic and some really neat technology. I will be featuring some of their amazing shoes in future posts.

2. Manufacturing

The manufacturing process is probably the most important element that differentiates “eco friendly shoes.” The use of non toxic chemicals and solvent free adhesives alleviate strains on the environment. Some facilities are even powered by solar or wind energy. Many implement conservation and waste reduction practices that are put in place and as part of the work culture. Designers featured in Eco Shoe Source posts take proactive steps to minimize the impact on the environment during the all phases of shoe production.   Eco friendly designers are impacting local communities in developing countries by providing opportunities for fair living wages and decent working conditions.  Neuaura Shoes are manufactured in a factory in Brazil that received the Green Seal in 2008 in recognition for its compliance with Brazilian environmental laws.

3. Social Responsibility

I’m sure it’s hard for us to fathom that some would pose as caring about the environment purely for profitable reasons. What I’ve found is social responsibility is what compels many eco shoe designers to Go Green. You will be impressed by their commitment to sustainable practices from conception to production. Kailia Footwear is an eco friendly company that has successfully merged the concepts of eco, ethical and social responsibility as part of its operations and core mission.  Charmone,  Neuaura, Melissa and Kailia and their Do-Ni line are just some designers that donate to some of the same organizations that we support to either protect animals, the environment and/or women’s issues.

4. Design

One of the most impressive aspects that we eco fashionistas expect is exceptional styling of shoes. It’s often the aesthetic that appeals to us first.  Going Green doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style, selections or comfort. Often when I tell people I’m wearing eco shoes, they’re amazed!
“Whaaat! Those are eco,” is often the refrain. Celebrities are joining the field of eco designers as eco friendly shoes become more mainstream. Most notably is the success of
Stella McCartney and recently Natalie Portman’s collaboration with Te Casan.  We welcome them to the movement and the publicity they bring.  Chunky heels, boots, platforms, strappy sandals, flats, pumps, peep toe–there’s a style for every taste.

Cydwoq Vegetable Tanned Leather

Cydwoq Vegetable Tanned Leather

5. Consciousness

The beauty of the Eco fashion and Go Green! movement is there are differing shades of green.  If you rather buy eco friendly shoes than recycle, that’s a valuable contribution to the environment and perfectly acceptable.  As you see, the efforts that goes into bringing eco friendly shoes to market is quite prodigious.

Stella McCartney Spring 2009

Stella McCartney Spring 2009

Yes, the shoe industry as a whole still has some work to do, but we all do. The great news is that there are many emerging eco friendly designers offering fashionable eco friendly options.  Going Green is attainable for all and any effort is valuable.  The point is to DO SOMETHING.  Since I started  Eco Shoe Source, I learn more everyday and am encouraged by the challenge to help make the world we live in  better place.

{February 17, 2009}   Eco Carnival!

Carnival can best be summed up as a celebration of life! Its traditions are as varied as the places across the world that it is observed like in New Orleans, Rio, Trinidad and Tobago and Venice. I found it quite interesting that Carnival, derived from phrases such as \”putting away meat\”, and \”farewell to flesh\” and thus I thought it very appropriate to share beautiful animal-friendly and ethically designed shoes with you in this post.

I was thrilled to discover Neuaura! The Kiwi Glisten sandal is perfect for mashing it up to sounds of the steel drums, samba, and soca music. This animal friendly sandal is from the Neuaura Spring 2009 collection. Arti Upadhyay, is an ethical designer, animal activist and visionary behind the brand. Neuaura donates 10% of their turnover online sales to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and Animal Welfare Institute. I\’m absolutely in love with Neuaura, selection, philosophy and commitment to consciously designing fashionable shoes.



Enjoy the revelry of carnival in these delightful pumps. Kailia Footwear, an Italian footwear company, offers Bella, a pump that comes in luxurious microfiber and and intricately hand-embroidered designs. The Bella pump goes beyond just being a nice shoe. Kailia has captured the essence creating a beautiful silhouette; You’ll love the way Bella frames the feminine curves and nicely elongate your legs.

Kailia Embroidered Pump

Kailia Embroidered Pump

Carnival is a celebration deeply rooted bringing people together in a joyful environment. Kick up your eco-heels and, as they say in Louisiana, Laissez Les Bons Temps Roule (Let the Good Times Roll)!

{February 1, 2009}   Super Bowl Go Green Black & Gold

There are times when an eco-fashionista will kick off her heels for a pair of comfortable sneaks or athletic footwear. Keeping with the Mega Sports theme of one of the biggest weekends in sports, I thought I would source some eco-friendly sporty shoes. Luckily I found some that are functional and stylish.

In addition to rooting for the environment, I am also cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl 43. The Steelers organization happens to have the largest female fan base among NFL teams. As one of their loyal followers, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to find an eco way to show my support in this post.

nbhb-304-w-lPangea is a great place for ethical, sustainable, vegan footwear. Their aim is “to offer a comprehensive selection of high-quality, completely cruelty-free vegan (non-animal-derived) products.” New Balance is a tried an true sports brand and these Women’s Hybrid Running Shoes are great for training at the gym or walking in the neighborhood. Check them out on Pangea’s site. You’ll be pleasantly impressed by their vast selection of shoes, accessories and pet items to name a few.

These great hikers were found on Vegan Essentials. Perfect for us girls who want to enjoy nature. The Kiowa Hiker offers stability and support for hours of comfort.


Earth Flight Mary Jane inspired shoes are just too cute. Don’t be fooled by the cuteness. These are serious athletic shoes and feature the unique Kalso-Lite sole for flexibility.
They come in 5 fashionable colors, Black, Grey, Baltic Blue, Bay Leaf and Khaki. Available at the Shoe Store for $98 and currently shipping is being offered free.

Meanwhile I’ll be kicking back during the Super Bowl at home in my comfy eco-flip-flops. ff-cabo-san-lucas-14087-17981I’ll also be sporting my #43 Jersey for my favorite player, Troy Polamalu and waving my Terrible Towel hoping that #43 can help the Pittsburgh Steelers set a record in Super Bowl 43 by winning 6 titles. Go Steelers!

{January 24, 2009}   InaugurGREENtion!

Yes, CHANGE has come to the United States White House. President Barack Obama has taken office as the 44th President of the United States. President Obama’s election is full of symbolism. I too, like 52% of my fellow Americans and millions across the world have been caught up in the emotion, and anticipation of the hope for the change that is to come.

While President Obama campaigned, I listened closely for his positions on the environment. It is with great anticipation that I look forward to his administration acting “boldly” as he stated on the campaign trail. It is understandable that the domestic economy is a priority, but the environment, protecting it, must stay in the forefront as it is an important global issue.

Patriotism can be fashionable in these fabulous Red Gladiator Sandals by Charmone. I have come to love Charmone with each new collection. Their sexy, sustainable shoes fit the eco-fashion profile to a T. Charmone never compromises on style or compassion in their construction. The Cherry print detailing and strong platform heel is not understated and evokes Gloabal Power.$179

Mink has called this special pump Cow. Of course, wearing them, you’ll look anything but. These delicate white canvas pumps are great for an evening with Heads of State. Mink has creatively put a faux cow fur inner lining keeping with their custom for whimsy and hand-crafted designs. This shoe is available by special order only.
These enviro-friendly commanding navy pumps are from Olsen Haus. 100% vegan and perfect for the conservative eco-nista. I love the large scale croc design on these comfortable ankle strap pumps. Olsen Haus “Business Unusual” approach is to continually seek “affordable and innovative methods that lessen the impact of our products”. A great investment at $215!

I consider myself an eco-fashionista who is both patriotic and passionate about the environment. I stand ready in my eco-friendly shoes to do my part!


{January 20, 2009}   Greening In The New Year!

I, like many of my fellow eco-fashionista are dealing with the time-honored tradition of how to bring in the New Year with style. I firmly believe that setting the right tone for the coming year starts on day one. So as I click and thumb through my e-catalogs, I’ve resolved that my choice of 2009 attire will always be fashionably conscious.

I have narrowed down a list of several great eco-finds. So regardless of if you’re attending an upscale private party, an explosive outdoor celebration, reflective spiritual observance or low key celebration with family and friends, these selections are sure to work well.

Charmoné is a great place to start for gorgeous feminine shoes.
This fabulous and flirty velvet d’orsay sandal with satin ruffles will work well with a simple slip dress. In Bordeaux or Black. Charmoné shoes are Vegan, Eco-Friendly and Sweatshop-Free. Check them out at

Now to hang out with family friends in the comfort of home. This pair from Pikolinos evokes style, comfort and conscientious.
Pikolinos has been awarded a certification for its environmentally friendly production of its shoes. They strive to use all-natural leathers, free of chemical treating, with natural and biodegradable soles.

This pair was made for dancing, toasting and making resolutions. catalog_cock1Designer, Mink perfectly pairs sophistication and whimsy with I love the chains that dangle at the ankle.

Cock is a bright cherry satin T-strap with a titanium spike heel. The peep-toe is adorned with brass-studded hardware.

34178_in_dl4 “For auld lang syne”. Stella McCartney once again makes an eco-statement. I found these thigh-high boots at These sustainable wedges are simply hot!

Happy New Year!


{November 29, 2008}   Cozy Vegan Booties

Hello World! For my first post I wanted to share some adorable vegan booties I came across while looking for great deals. My first stop was one of my favorite eco-concious designers, Stella McCartney. stella_mccartney_bootie1 Stella McCarntney has masterfully combined vegan and styling in this hot little number. This bootie is sure to become a staple in your winter wardrobe and can be paired perfectly with your faithful hemp turtlenecks. It comes in black and is currently on special at an affordable green $539.

I also discovered Linneah, a cozy slingback bootie, at Cri de Coeur, another eco-responsible European shoe maker. Check out their 2008 Fall/Winter line, which features a great selection of fashionable booties and boots. cdc-linneah



et cetera