Most shoes are made of polluting materials and plastics that damage the environment. And in the UK, 149 million pairs of them end up in landfill each year. Unfortunately for men, women’s brands have traditionally led the way in sustainable fashion, and it can be hard to find men’s options. But we’ve done the research and found five sustainable men’s summer shoe brands. This summer, you too can be part of the push for change.
FoamLife makes vegan flip flops in the UK using repurposed materials. And while it’s not yet a truly sustainable company, it’s well on its way, and is paving the way in innovative materials. Most FoamLife flip flops have soles made from 15-30% recycled EVA foam. And its Mully collection is made from brushed, recyclable TPE foam, with toe posts made from recycled plastic bottles. Hemp canvas lined with organic cotton makes the comfortable strap. And to top it off, FoamLife also supports Surfers Not Street Children, an organisation that empowers street children and those at risk.
Tyres take thousands of years to decompose. But certified B corp, Indosole is doing something about the tyre problem by turning them into vegan flip flops and slides for men and women. It does this the old-fashioned way, without using fuel-powered machinery. And all its shoes are waterproof and have ergonomic arch support. So far Indosole has prevented over 80,000 tyres from ending up in landfill. We reckon that’s pretty good.
Sea Sense is another company making flip flops from natural materials. Its men’s range comes in an array of colours, all of them plastic-free and biodegradable. True to its name, Sea Sense works in collaboration with ocean clean-up programs all over the world. And so far it’s taken over a million plastic bottles from the ocean. Sea Sense is also great because PETA has approved its production process.
Octobre is an ethical and stylish French brand that uses responsibly sourced materials for its sandals and other shoes. While the company does use leather, it treats the leather with vegetable tannins, eliminating toxic waste. Ninety-five percent of the company’s production happens in Europe, preventing over-production and waste. And each month, Octobre donates 10% of its profits and 100% of proceeds from a specific piece, to a variety of children’s projects around the world.
Will’s Vegan Shoes
Will’s Vegan Shoes uses eco-certified microfibre and faux leather to make its PETA-approved vegan shoes. Recycled rubber soles, a carbon-neutral process, and plastic-free packaging prove this is a company that cares. And its circular economy model means you can send back your old shoes at the end of their lives to become new ones. By opening a warehouse in Europe, Will’s Vegan Shoes has reduced its carbon footprint and limited the resources it uses.
Choosing to buy from companies that use recycled materials has a huge positive impact on our planet. Producing shoes from waste means reducing use of landfills, natural resources and water. It also saves animals and reduces our reliance on CO2 and electricity.
On top of that, sustainable companies often care about the working and living conditions of their staff and communities. Opt for a pair of sustainable men’s shoes this summer and do your bit for the environment.