4 Vegan (not plastic) Espadrilles to Wear This Summer


I definitely have a uniform - t-shirt or tank top and jeans, forever - so I don't typically play into trends.   I'm a proponent of uniform dressing, to be sure - to me it's easy, timeless, helps to identify one's style, and generally means fewer impulse buys - but, it can get a bit boring.

So, I like to mix up my outfits with shoes.

Bright colors, textured details, varying heights - shoes are a fun way to embrace trends or just add some fun to an otherwise neutral outfit.  Purchasing high-quality, ethically and sustainably made shoes are worthy investments, as they'll last long, stand the test of time, and can usually be repaired. Some brands will slap a "vegan" label on their shoes just to appeal to a particular customer, but it certainly does not mean they're eco-friendly - if their cheap it probably means they're made from a cheap plastic.

A quintessential  summer shoe the espadrille is having a moment. They've never gone out of style, but this season it seems that just about every brand is offering their own spin on this classic shoe.

Here are four vegan-friendly  espadrilles to wear this summer.  And although they're each not 100% sustainable, they're made with materials that are better for the environment than PU.


Natural World | Embroidered Jute Platform

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With an organic cotton upper and a jute wedge sole, these espadrilles come in a variety of colors.  Based in Spain, Natural World ships their shoes in renewable and recycled packaging, reducing unnecessary waste. They have a wide selection of other vegan-friendly espadrilles, which are offered in various prints and textures.


Handmade in Spain, all of Slowers shoes are vegan and made from 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton. A layer of natural rubber is added to the jute sole for comfort and durability , so these casual espadrilles are great for walking.


Through a program called Handmade Matters, Mamahuhu works with master artisans in Colombia, who found themselves out of work as footwear production moved to Asia, establish their own workshops. By providing them with sustained purchase orders of their shoes, these artisans are able to grow their workshops, hire their own staff, and become independent businesses.   Another brand working mostly with conventional leather, Mamahuhu has several ethically produced vegan-friendly options. Made in collaboration with an artisanal workshop in Catalonia, these shoes are made from jute and natural rubber.


These cream wedges from Los Angeles based vegan-footwear brand Susi Studio are made from hemp and canvas. Focused on incorporating sustainable fabrics into their designs, Susi often uses denim, canvas, and hemp and eschews the use of virgin plastics by using faux leather made from recycled plastic bottles.

*An earlier version of this post featured a shoe by Es Par Ta and Alohas.  Upon speaking with both brands, I learned that they use leather labels in their shoes. I have removed them from this list for that reason.  A representative from Alohas told me that they're working on a vegan friendly collection for the future.

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