Eco Friendly Shoe SOURCE.

I’ve been conducting a poll over the last couple weeks asking people how they plan to commemorate Mother’s Day.  Responders include people with large families with several siblings, only children, people whose mothers’ live a distance and some whose mothers are deceased. The common thread among these individuals is that their Mother’s played a very significant role in the shaping of their lives.   They view Mother’s Day as an special opportunity to give back to their Mom’s.  For me, on Mother’s day, I too reflect on my own unique experiences with my Mother and mother figures who played and continue to play significant roles  in shaping me into the woman I am.Little Girl ShoesMy mother and these other women are strong, spiritual and sassy.  My mother unwittingly, helped mold me into the earth loving shoe diva that I am.  As a young girl, with narrow feet, it was a challenge for her to find shoes that fit me.  We shopped at specialty shoe stores that were beautifully laid out with a variety lovely shoes.  I have very vivid memories of Saturday “shoe outings” to specialty shoe stores to find the perfect shoe with the perfect fit. I recall feeling special.   My delight was barely containable when the salesperson brought boxes of shoes for me to try on.  I felt as if  I was being catered to as the shoes I carefully slipped my foot into shoes.  It was such a glorious experience!

In this post, I’ve sourced shoe eco friendly shoes that pay special homage to Mother Earth in their sustainability, use of recycled materials, and custom-oriented designs.  These shoes are as fresh as a Mother’s Day bouquet.

The Hetty Rose shoe experience likens to my childhood. What I feel is special about Hetty Rose is the client participates in choosing the style and fabric for their hand made shoes. Hetty Rose, located in the UK is eco because all shoes are not only made of recycled fabrics, but exquisite vintage Japanese kimono fabrics. What better gift for Mom than a pair of shoes made specifically to fit her? You can create your own special shoe memory with Hetty Rose shoe. I encourage you to visit the site; while there you can view a short film on the making of their shoes. It’s a fascinating process.

Handmade Shoes by Hetty Rose

Handmade Shoes by Hetty Rose

Another company known for its luxurious custom vegan shoes is Mink. I’ve features some Mink shoes before. Mink is known for their vegan friendly high fashion shoes and creative use of eco friendly materials such as cork, denim, linen, faux fur, as well as animal friendly substitutes. Being in Beverly Hills, I’m sure is a constant source of inspiration for shoe designer, Rebecca Brough. I love the witty names chosen for their styles, like Orangutan. This Oranguntan shoe is from the Resort Collection. Mink shoes are extremely unique and are offered in a very limited production.

Mink Orangutan Wedge Custom Shoe from Resort Collection

Mink Orangutan Wedge Custom Shoe from Resort Collection

Anther shoe design house that aptly represents mother earth is Terra Plana. In keeping with the individuality, these Melito pumps are made from recycled Pakistani quilts. Again in keeping with the theme, each pair in this style family is unique.

Terra Plana Melito Pump-Recycled Quilt

Terra Plana Melito Pump-Recycled Quilt

Happy Mother’s Day to all who are Mother’s, Mother Figures and love Mother Earth!


Payless ShoeSource announce plans to launch the first-ever affordable green footwear line due in stores early next year and that it has signed an agreement with Summer Rayne Oakes, Discovery Network’s Planet Green fashion and beauty expert and author of Style, Naturally: The Savvy Shopping Guide to Sustainable Fashion & Beauty (Chronicle Books, February 2009), to serve as the green footwear brand’s Eco Consultant.

Payless ShoeSource Zoe & Zac

Payless ShoeSource Zoe & Zac

Payless ShoeSource also announced the immediate availability of its new Zoe & Zac brand, which offers “fresh green fashion”(TM) with a full collection of shoes, handbags, jewelry and socks for under $30 an item — making it the first-ever affordable line of green footwear and accessories.  The Zoe & Zac products are green because they are made from eco-friendly components and materials such as organic cottons and linen, natural hemp, recycled rubber outsoles, eco-friendly-EVA cushioning, and water-based glues for the shoes. Natural materials like dyed Tagua and Acai nuts are incorporated into the jewelry. The product packaging is eco-smart as well, utilizing 100 percent recycled shoe boxes and soy-based inks for the printing.

About Summer Rayne Oakes

Summer Rayne Oakes is a model-activist and spokesperson, resident expert, and youngest board of advisors for Planet Green, Discovery Network’s new eco- lifestyle channel. The Cornell University graduate and environmental scholar has received media accolades including Vanity Fair naming her a Global Citizen, Outside naming her one of the Top Environmental Activists, Cosmopolitan naming her Fun, Fearless Female of 2007, and CNN’s Nicole Lapin nominating her as a “Young Person Who Rocks.” Through her work as a consultant Summer Rayne advises companies and organizations, and works on sustainable development and environmental programs in the U.S. and abroad. In February 2009, she’ll release her first book, Style, Naturally: The Savvy Shopping Guide to Sustainable Fashion & Beauty published by Chronicle Books.

SOURCE Payless ShoeSource, Inc.

This is a big step for Payless ShoeSource, a moderate price shoe retailer, joining the eco fashion footwear market. High end retailers have paved the way by offering successful fashionable lines for several years.  Payless’ announced eco collaborations will certainly make purchasing eco friendly shoes more widely accessible, which is ultimately a benefit for eco conscious consumers and the environment regardless of the price point.


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 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!


et cetera