What Are the Best Sustainable Heel Brands for the Fashionista with a Conscience?

In recent years, there has been a significant paradigm shift in the fashion industry. Driven by increasing consumer awareness, brands are progressively transitioning towards sustainable practices. An area that has seen some of the most exciting transformation is footwear, more specifically heels. This article will take you on a journey to discover some of the best sustainable heel brands that combine style, ethics, and sustainability, without compromising on the chic-factor. We’ll explore brands that utilize recycled and vegan materials, offer a range of footwear options, and are committed to ethical practices.

1. Ethical Considerations in Footwear Choices

Navigating the world of sustainable fashion might seem like a daunting task. But once you start considering the ethical dimensions of your choices, such as the materials used and the sustainability practices of brands, it becomes a fulfilling journey. In the footwear industry, there has been a significant shift towards using recycled and vegan materials, contributing to the broader sustainability goals.

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Traditionally, heels have been made from materials like leather, which has a high environmental impact. But today, a growing number of brands are offering alternatives that are just as stylish and durable. From recycled rubber to plant-based leathers, these brands are leading the charge in ethical, sustainable fashion.

2. Brands that Embrace Recycled Materials

Recycling is a crucial element of sustainability, and in footwear, this concept takes many forms. Many brands are now using materials that would have otherwise ended up in the landfill to create stylish heels that can be worn with pride.

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One such brand is Rothy’s. This San Francisco-based brand uses recycled plastic bottles to create its woven flats that have captured the hearts of many fashionistas. Their range of heels maintains the elegance and comfort that Rothy’s is known for, while also embodying the brand’s commitment to sustainability.

Another brand that deserves mention is Veja. Known for their sneakers, they have recently launched a range of heels made from sustainable materials like recycled cotton and plastic bottles.

3. Vegan Footwear Brands Making a Statement

Going vegan is not just about what you eat. It’s also about what you wear. Many brands have recognized this and are offering footwear options that are free from animal products. Vegan leather shoes, once a fringe product, are now a mainstream fashion staple.

Beyond Skin is a UK-based brand that offers a range of stunning vegan heels. Their shoes are ethically made, using plant-based and recycled materials where possible. With every purchase, you are not only buying a beautiful pair of shoes but also supporting a business that values sustainability and animal welfare.

Bhava, a New York-based brand, is another pioneer in vegan footwear. They offer a range of stylish and comfortable heels made from innovative materials like cork and recycled microfibers.

4. The Price of Sustainable Heels

When shopping for sustainable footwear, one of the key factors to consider is the price. It’s true that in some cases, sustainable heels may come with a higher price tag. This is mainly due to the higher cost of ethical sourcing and sustainable materials. However, it’s important to remember that when you buy a pair of sustainable heels, you are investing not only in a fashion statement but also in the future of our planet.

Brands like Reformation are known for their commitment to sustainability and transparency. They offer a range of heels that are made with eco-friendly materials like chrome-free leather and jute. While their shoes are priced slightly higher than fast-fashion counterparts, they offer the added value of longevity and sustainability.

5. Where to Shop for Sustainable Heels

Knowing where to shop is just as important as knowing what to shop for. Thankfully, there are plenty of online platforms that make it easy to find and purchase sustainable heels.

One such platform is Everlane. Known for their "radical transparency," Everlane offers a range of heels made with ethical and sustainable practices. Their Day Heel, made of Italian leather, is a favorite among fashion bloggers and influencers.

If you’re based in the UK, Beyond Skin and Ethical Wares are great places to shop for vegan and ethical heels. Companies like these are proof that you can be both a fashionista and a conscious consumer, all the while making a positive impact on our planet.

6. The Wider Impact of Choosing Sustainable Heels

When you opt for sustainable heels, the benefits extend far beyond your own wardrobe. By supporting brands that prioritize ethical sourcing and sustainable materials, you are directly contributing to a more sustainable fashion industry.

These brands often have a more transparent supply chain, giving consumers insight into the journey of their shoes, from material sourcing to final product. This not only promotes accountability but also allows consumers to make more informed decisions.

Take Stella McCartney, for instance. The brand is well-known for its commitment to sustainability and cruelty-free products. Their vegan leather shoes are not only stylish but also help to reduce the footwear industry’s overall carbon footprint.

Another brand, Flamingos Life, uses recycled plastics and organic cotton in their product range. By doing so, they minimize waste and the demand for new raw materials.

7. The Future of Sustainable Heels

As consumers continue to prioritize sustainability, the future looks bright for sustainable heel brands. More and more companies are recognizing the importance of ethical practices and sustainability and are finding innovative ways to incorporate these elements into their products.

Brands like Good Guys and Fair Trade are already leading the way in creating stylish, sustainable shoes. With an expanding size range to cater to all consumers, these brands are proving that sustainability and style can go hand in hand.

But the journey is far from over. As technology advances, we can expect to see even more innovative uses of sustainable materials in the footwear industry. From biofabricated leather to shoes made from mushroom mycelium, the possibilities are endless.


As a fashionista with a conscience, choosing sustainable heels is a great way to express your style while also making a positive impact on our planet. Brands like Rothy’s, Beyond Skin, and Veja are showing that it’s possible to create beautiful, stylish heels without causing unnecessary harm to our environment.

Remember, every purchase you make is a vote for the kind of world you want to live in. So, the next time you’re shopping for a new pair of heels, consider opting for a sustainable pair. You’ll not only look good but also feel good knowing that you’re supporting a more sustainable future.

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