Sustainable winter shoes: 7 fair and vegan brands

Sustainable winter shoes: 7 fair and vegan brands

Sustainable winter shoes: 7 fair and vegan brands

Warm, sustainable winter shoes for women and men should protect against wind, snow and rain. But finding vegan or fair winter shoes is not easy. But there are. We show you seven manufacturers where you can get better winter shoes.

The labels have different priorities when it comes to sustainable winter shoes: Some use sustainable vegan leather or recycled PET bottles for their men's and women's winter shoes. Others obtain real leather from Germany or Central Europe, where leather is usually a by-product of food production and therefore does not cause any additional animal suffering. Manufacturer Enna even uses leather from controlled organic animal husbandry.

In our article Real leather, vegetable-tanned leather, organic leather - that's behind it you can find out more about sustainable leather.

Independent label ekn footwear: sustainable and stylish winter shoes for men and women

Before he founded the ekn label, company boss Noel Klein-Reesink worked at Hessnatur, where he learned everything about fair and ecological production . With this knowledge, he finally brought the first ekn footwear collection onto the market in 2011.

His motivation: Klein-Reesink wanted to make shoes with fair standards that had nothing to do with the outdated eco-image. At the same time, he wanted to work independently of big brands. And he definitely did that with ekn footwear.

EKN has sustainable and stylish winter shoes for men and women. The chic shoes are produced in Portugal, near Porto. The label uses vegetable-tanned leather and manufactures sneakers, low shoes and boots under fair conditions. The soles of many ekn shoes are made from recycled waste from the shoe sole industry. The laces are made from organic cotton.

The company name ekn means 'seed' or 'seed' in an old Ottoman language. Klein-Reesik likes the metaphor: "With the claim 'be the seed' we express that we ourselves can be the seed for a slightly better world." The label is supported by well-known artists such as Max Herre and Joy Denalane.

In order to maintain the quality of the shoes and to conserve resources, ekn only produces in small quantities - the shoes are all the more beautiful for this.

Buy**: directly from ekn footwear, Avocadostore, Greenality or Sneakers Unplugged.

Think! - Warm winter shoes that should make you think

From colorful to classic - at Think! there is something for everyone. Martin Koller, who comes from a 200-year-old shoemaker dynasty, did not want to accept the fact that "healthy shoes look so terribly ugly" - the company was born.

The water- and dirt-repellent leather covers Think! from Germany and Central Europe. It is tanned in Germany and Italy, the inner leather of the shoes is exclusively chrome-free, the outer leather is not in all models. Shoes made entirely of vegetable-tanned leather can be recognized by the green flower in the lining.

The company produces sustainable summer and winter shoes for men and women under fair conditions and by hand - long-standing partner companies in Bosnia, Italy, Hungary and Romania are responsible for this. In order to extend their durability, Think! shoes can be repaired by retailers if necessary.

Buy**: in various Think! stores throughout Germany, in the Think! online shop, at Otto, Deerberg or Waschbär.

Good Guys: Vegan & fair winter shoes for everyone

In 2010, the French artist and designer Marion Hanania founded the vegan shoe label Good Guys. As a long-time vegetarian, she wanted to create an ecological, stylish and high-quality alternative to leather shoes. Their vegan winter shoes are free from animal material and are often unisex models.

Hanania designs the shoes in Paris and has them manufactured in Portugal under fair conditions. The materials used for the shoes include microfibre, apple fibers and linen. The result is a lightweight, waterproof, durable and comfortable shoe that has received the "Approved Vegan" label from Peta.

Good Guys obtains the materials from Italy, Spain or Portugal. Microfiber is not ideal because it is not biodegradable as a plastic, but according to the manufacturer, the microfiber used can largely be recycled. Good Guys produces as CO2-neutrally as possible and is Oeko-Tex 100-certified, which ensures that the sustainable winter shoes are largely produced without harmful substances.

Sustainable winter shoes: 7 fair and vegan brands

Buy: Directly in the Good Guys online shop.

Enna: Warm, sustainable winter shoes made from organic leather

Since 2014, the sustainable mail order company Waschbär has been selling shoes made from vegetable-tanned organic leather. In this case, organic leather actually means organic: the leather is certified according to the Biokreis guidelines. It is tanned chrome-free by the Allgäu leather producer Ecopell.

The ecological mail-order company started in 2014 with two organic models from its own shoe brand Enna**. "At first, it wasn't important to us to make big profits, but rather to promote the production of organic leather and to do appropriate justice to the animal from which the leather comes," says Sabine Leimenstoll, buyer for Enna - Shoes at Raccoon.

The only problem with organic leather: The waste is still relatively high, because "the animals live longer than those from conventional husbandry and also spend a lot of time outdoors," says Leimenstoll. “As a result, the leather is not without scratches and scratches. The problem is that the customer wants a flawless product. But we hope that understanding for this will also grow.”

Waschbär is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation and is committed to ensuring fair working conditions not only for its own employees, but also for its partner companies. The sustainable winter shoes made from organic leather are slightly more expensive than the rest of the Enna label. "But if you think about the fact that it takes 70 to 200 steps to make a shoe like this, then you know what it's worth," says Leimenstoll.

Buy**: Enna shoes are available online directly from Waschbär

Waldviertler: Austrian quality winter shoes

In 1991, shoe manufacturer Heinrich Staudinger took over a shoe workshop founded as a social project in Schrems, Austria. The Waldviertler shoe brand was born. The shoes are still mainly produced in the Waldviertel today.

The head of the company was already selling ecological shoes before the company was founded and finally decided to set up his own shoe brand. The company GEA developed from the shoe workshop and the shoe shops. Today, GEA mainly sells Waldviertler shoes and Waldviertler bags, but also GEA furniture, natural mattresses and accessories.

The materials used for Waldviertler shoes come mainly from Europe. Most of the shoes are traditionally handcrafted in Lower Austria's Waldviertel region. In order to meet the growing demand, the label is now also working with partners in Hungary and the Czech Republic.

The sustainable winter shoes for women and men are available from around 195 euros. They practically last a lifetime; You can have them repaired at any GEA branch. The following applies to all products: long service life instead of throwaway mentality.

Buy: Shoes are available second-hand on Ebay**, new in the Waldviertler online shop, in GEA branches or ex works in Schrems, Austria.

Nae: Vegan winter shoes made from old airbags

The Portuguese label Nae only makes vegan shoes. Hence the name: "Nae" stands for "No Animal Exploitation", i.e.: "No exploitation of animals".

The vegan winter shoes are made of plant-based materials such as pineapple leather, organic cotton and cork. Some models also use recycled food containers or plastic bottles. Nae has the shoes made exclusively in Portugal.

Nae produces its sustainable summer and winter shoes for both men and women. In addition, the label also makes accessories such as wallets and belts.

Buy**: Online, for example in the Avocadostore, at Le Shop Vegan or Loveco.

Sorbas: Sustainable winter shoes from small manufacturers

In Serbia, too, the shoe trade has a tradition - and the Sorbas label wants to preserve it. For example, it works with a Serbian family that has been producing shoes for three generations. According to its own statements, the label has been able to increase the wages of the employees by 50 percent since the beginning of the cooperation and thus contribute to the continued existence of the company. The cooperation with the sandal manufacturer Stellios in Greece looks similar. Vegan cork shoes are produced in a factory in Portugal.

At Sorbas you will find many vegan winter shoes made of materials such as Pinatex or artificial leather. Some models also contain leather that is vegetable tanned - but unfortunately this does not apply to all leather shoes. Many of the models are lined with felt or textiles.

Buy**: Best directly from Sorbas or in the avocado store.

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