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When it comes to finding new shoes to fill your closet, finding something stylish and comfortable is likely the main goal. But shouldn't their impact on the earth matter just as much? Here is a roundup of the best eco-friendly and environmentally-conscious shoes.

While flipping over a pair of shoes as you shop can tell you about the size of their literal footprint, discovering their carbon footprint isn't always as easy. That's because transparency, for many brands, remains less of a priority.

When it comes to finding new shoes to fill your closet, finding something stylish and comfortable is likely the main goal. But shouldn’t their impact on the earth matter just as much? Here is a roundup of the best eco-friendly and environmentally-conscious shoes.

Our picks for top eco-friendly shoes

While flipping over a pair of shoes as you shop can tell you about the size of their literal footprint, discovering their carbon footprint isn’t always as easy. That’s because transparency, for many brands, remains less of a priority.

As a result, shoppers don’t always have the clearest vision of how some shoe companies operate—including how and where they source their materials, and who actually puts them together. It’s important to understand that the very practices that led to the mass production of so many classic brands are less than stellar for the environment and the people that actually make them.

How we chose the best shoes for the environment

To create our list of the best eco-friendly shoes, we compared brands on a number of factors. These included:

  • Sustainable materials – Does the brand use recycled or sustainable materials to make their shoes? We looked for brands that utilize post-consumer recycled materials, like fibers from plastic water bottles or recycled paper, in their shoes and packaging. We also considered their sourcing of naturally-derived materials, like sugar cane, castor beans, cork, and wool.
  • Transparency – How much does the brand tell you about its manufacturing process and materials? We checked out each brand’s website to confirm their commitment to the environment and to make sure they weren’t just green-washing their products.
  • Ethical standards – Where does the brand manufacture their shoes and do they ensure fair labor practices? In addition to the environmental impact of a brand’s shoes, we also looked at how they treat their people. We specifically looked for brand transparency and commitments around creating healthy and safe working conditions in factories, and that employees earn fair wages, as well as B-Corp certification.
  • Giving back – We wanted to prioritize brands that do more than just make money. We looked for eco-friendly shoe brands that partnered with non-profits to give back, including projects like Soles4Souls, LifeWorks, and reforestation initiatives.

Discover five of our favorite eco-friendly shoe brands that you simply can’t go wrong with. Whether you’re in need of new sneakers, boots, flats, or heels, they’ve got you covered.

SUAVS – The Zilker

SUAVS

SUAVS makes comfortable, breathable, and sustainable shoes with uppers made of post-consumer recycled water bottles. They put the environment first and use only the safest materials that are better for the earth and you. SUAVS makes a point to give back and donates all extra footwear to organizations such as LifeWorks.

Why buy: Planning a vacation? Look no further. SUAVS shoes are known for being lightweight and flexible, allowing for easy packing and all-day wear. Their shoes have been featured in Buzzfeed, Conde Nast, Business Insider, PRNewsWire, and more for being a travel-friendly shoe.

Buy

On Running – Cyclon

On Running

Switzerland-based shoe brand On Running is beloved for its performance-based shoes that offer optimal performance without harming the earth in the process. The brand prides itself on sustainability, ethical sourcing, and transparency. They’ve even partnered with the ScienceBasedTargets initiative to ensure they lower their emissions to a level that will support the limiting of average global temperature raising to 1.5°C (34.7°F) above pre-industrial levels.

Why buy: The Cyclon is a revolutionary zero-waste shoe. The sleek shoe is made with sustainable production efforts from castor beans and it’s fully recyclable. The caveat? You can’t own them. Instead, they’re available via subscription to ensure that you recycle them back to the brand. By creating this production process, the brand is able to capitalize on circularity, effectively keeping materials out of landfills.

Buy

Cariuma – OCA High All Camel Suede

Cariuma

If you’re a sucker for smooth-as-butter leather sneakers, Cariuma is the choice for you. Namely, the brand’s OCA High Off-White Premium Leather high-top sneakers. Of course, the Rio de Janeiro-based shoe brand offers more than just leather, they sell canvas and suede silhouettes, too. The company is also committed to sustainability, planting two trees in the Brazilian rainforest for every pair of shoes sold.

Why buy: All of the materials used in Cariuma’s shoe-making process are sourced sustainably and responsibly, from the leather and suede uppers and recycled plastic used in the brand’s shoelaces, labels, and laces to the Bluesign-certified dye chemicals (which are non-harmful) and recyclable packaging. As a result of their rigorous eco-conscious efforts, the brand has earned seven sustainability certifications.

Buy

Allbirds – Women's Tree Dashers

Allbirds

Known as Silicon Valley’s most-beloved shoe, Allbirds are renowned for their versatile wool runners that are minimalist, sustainably-sourced, and cozy as can be. The brand is entirely carbon neutral. This means that they measure their carbon emissions each year, reduce their impact by using recycled materials, and offset whatever’s left over by taxing themselves and putting that money toward projects that neutralize their footprint.

Why buy: These Tree Runners are made from FSC-certified eucalyptus trees, a castor bean insole, and a carbon-negative sugarcane midsole. While Allbirds shoes end up being carbon neutral, the company does provide their initial carbon footprint score. These running shoes come in at 9.0 kg CO2e.

Buy

Womsh – Vegan Wave White Rose

Womsh

Sustainability meets trendy fashion with Italian shoe brand Womsh (short for Word of Mouth Shoes). The celebrity-favorite sneakers are known for their chunky silhouettes overlaid with bold designs and text. Beyond their truly picture-worthy style, the shoes are created with sustainability at the helm.

Why buy: In addition to creating a fully vegan collection, as well as shoes that are fully recyclable, and producing their shoes in factories that use 90 percent clean energy, Womsh has teamed up with LifeGate to offset its carbon emissions. They do so by planting trees in areas that have been deforested. Since 2014, they’ve planted and protected over 118,403 square feet of forest per year. Talk about impact.

Buy

Beyond Skin Nova Cognac Faux Leather Vegan Knee High Boots

Beyond Skin

Sneakers aren’t the only option when it comes to eco-friendly shoes. Since its inception in 2001, Beyond Skin has been committed to providing the world with luxury vegan footwear in the form of vintage-inspired sandals, mules, loafers, heels, boots, and more. All of the silhouettes are designed in England and brought to life in Spain using luxury Italian fabrics. By creating their products locally—as opposed to sourcing all over the world—they’re able to reduce their carbon footprint. What’s more, they use recycled materials in many of their designs, which makes them even more eco-friendly.

Why buy: In addition to paying mind to the materials used, Beyond Skin works very closely with their factories in Spain to ensure their workers are never exploited in the process of production. It is their mission to stand far apart from fast fashion, offering silhouettes that can withstand the test of time—both in terms of wear and classic styles—and practices that benefit the earth and its people.

Buy

Why choose eco-friendly shoes and products?

Eco-conscious and eco-friendly are used to describe products made with the earth in mind. In order to create eco-conscious products, a company must commit to sustainable manufacturing practices, the use of sustainable materials, and how much energy is used to create each product. This includes a commitment to use less water and fewer (or, better yet, zero) chemicals in production, along with paying mind to the amount of carbon emissions created as a result of production, the types of fibers that are used, and the quality of life offered to the workers creating the items. In other words, creating eco-friendly items—shoes, included—is a more involved process than is used for most mass-produced goods.

As a result, many earth-friendly brands are marked at a higher price due to the higher level of care dedicated to bringing them to life. The beauty is, however, when more care is devoted to the production process, the higher the quality ends up being. So, while a higher price tag may make you wince, knowing that the items will last much longer and will make less of an impact on the environment is definitely worth it.

Rebecca R. Norris is a writer in the DC metro area. She covers a number of topics in the sustainable beauty, wellness, and style industries. A graduate of George Mason University, the Virginia native is a lover of lists, Stevie Nicks, dark chocolate Sprinkles cupcakes, and the Oxford comma.

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As dozens of earth-conscious clothing and accessory brands launch, dresses, shirts, pants, and shoes aren't the only products available with an eco-conscious spin—now, earth-friendly bedding is on the rise, too. Below, we've detailed the best organic sheets, pillows, blankets and comforters. Discover all the most sustainable bedding brands the market has to offer, as well as some personal recommendations to consider when shopping.

Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

As dozens of earth-conscious clothing and accessory brands launch, dresses, shirts, pants, and shoes aren’t the only products available with an eco-conscious spin—now, earth-friendly bedding is on the rise, too. Below, we’ve detailed the best organic sheets, pillows, blankets and comforters. Discover all the most sustainable bedding brands the market has to offer, as well as some personal recommendations to consider when shopping.

Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Avocado

Avocado

Los Angeles bedding brand Avocado might be best known for its mattresses, but let’s be clear: Its bedding is equally as comfort-inducing. In addition to being a Certified B Corporation—which means it balances its purposeful devotion to the earth with its profit—Avocado makes all of its products with top-of-the-line sustainable materials. This brand tops our list of organic mattress companies, too.

No matter what you buy from Avocado, customers can expect the highest quality and care. Each product is made with GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) organic certified latex, GOTS organic certified wool, GOTS organic certified cotton, and/or GOTS organic certified kapok fiber. Which is to say, the company’s offerings are incredibly natural.

But that’s not all. Avocado not only focuses on what it put into its bedding, but into the world, too. For that reason, the company fully offsets 100% of its carbon emissions. Avocado donates 90% of returned products to nonprofits as well. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. To learn more about Avocado’s mission, check out the company’s sustainability page or read our Avocado mattress review.

Author’s Pick: Avocado’s Organic Superfine Suvin Sheets are made with GOTS Organic certified Indian Suvin Cotton, meaning the sourcing and production of the product have been evaluated by a third-party. Certifications always make it easier to find brands that go the extra mile to source sustainable materials.

Buy

Cariloha

“Soft, cool, clean, and green”—that’s the motto of bamboo-centric brand Cariloha. While the Utah-based brand offers everything from apparel and bath towels to bed frames and mattresses, today we’re here to hone in on its bedding. All Cariloha bedding (and products, for that matter) are made from bamboo from the green hills of the Sichuan Province in China, where the brand’s 24,600,000 square-meter, sustainably run bamboo farm is located.

The brand is fully transparent about its farm-to-bed process, ensuring sustainable practices every step of the way. It’s because of that and the grade-A quality and standards of the products that Cariloha is certifiably clean and green, with certifications from OEKO-TEX, GOTS, Organic Blended Content Standard, Fair Trade, and CertiPur-US.

As if that’s not enough to convince you to check out the supremely-soft bedding, know that Cariloha has earned recognition from the Green Business Awards, winning in 2020 for providing customers top-notch sustainable bedding and lifestyle offerings, and Eco-Excellence Awards, winning the Friendly Fashion category in 2020. In other words, the brand is well worth your attention.

Author’s Pick: As someone who has spent her fair share of time snoozing in high-end hotel beds (perks of the job!), I can wholeheartedly say that the Resort Bamboo Bed Sheets are the softest, most luxurious bedding I’ve ever slept on. Every time I hop into bed, I think to myself just how insanely comfortable they are. I cannot recommend them enough as some of the best organic sheets on the market. Plus, have you seen the blush color? It’s gorgeous.

Buy

Buffy

Known for being “the world’s best hypoallergenic, earth-friendly” comforter brand, Buffy has made a name for itself in the sustainable bedding marketplace. Since the success of its comforter—which is said to be fluffier than a marshmallow—the brand has delved into organic sheets, duvets and pillows, too, all of which are made with the brand’s signature eucalyptus (which is OEKO-Tex certified).

Eucalyptus is known for being an especially sustainable product thanks to the fact that it requires significantly less water to grow. In addition to eucalyptus, Buffy relies on recycled plastic and soft hemp to bring its products to life. The brand also uses GRS (Global Recycling Standard) polyester, again staying true to its earth-friendly mission to #KeepEarthComfy.

While the materials Buffy uses are notable, to say the least, the company’s other sustainable practices are just as worthy of our attention. For starters, the brand offsets all its CO2 emissions generated from freight and customer shipments. Additionally, knowing that the return process makes for even more emissions, Buffy allows customers to donate their returns to cut back on the unnecessary emissions.

As inspiring as Buffy’s mission is, the brand aims to do even better. On its site, shoppers can find Buffy’s plan to become even greener by 2021, 2025, and 2030.

Author’s Pick: Fair warning: Buffy’s comforters are so soft you may very well struggle to get out of bed in the morning. That said, they make for the perfect cozy companion for a day in bed.

Buy

​Sheets & Giggles

The name alone is noteworthy, no? Silliness aside, Sheets & Giggles knows what’s up when it comes to high-quality, eco-conscious sheets. Like Buffy, it uses eucalyptus to bring its super-soft product offerings to life.

Each Sheets & Giggles product is OEKO-TEX 100 certified, FKT Certified (firmly cementing their hypoallergenic nature), and Higg Index Certified (meaning they’re fully sustainable from production to the time they wear out). All of the brand’s products are vegan, which is another reason they’re high on our list of the best organic sheets.

The takeaway? Sheets & Giggles offers quality bedding—including sheets, pillowcases, duvets, throw blankets, and comforters—that customers can rely on, while also adding a touch of entertainment to all of its product copy.

Author’s Pick: The Eucalyptus Lyocell Sheets are straight up dreamy. They’re softer than any plain cotton sheet I’ve tried and they’re intuitively labeled to show users where each corner actually goes, speeding up the bed-changing process as a result.

Buy

Bearaby

Bearaby

Say hello to the weighted blanket brand that, well, made weighted blankets trendy. Part of what led to Bearaby’s popularity is not only the stylish chunky weave of its blankets, but also the very materials that go into making them.

While each of Bearaby’s blankets is made with sustainable and/or organic materials—and are Oeko-Tex 100 certified, which cements customer confidence in the utmost product safety—the Cotton Napper stands out the most. The smooth blanket—which perpetually feels like the cool side of the pillow—is made with 100% organic, BCI (Better Cotton Initiative)-, GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard)-, and Fair Trade-certified, sustainably farmed cotton.

Materials aside, Bearaby puts extra focus into sustainability by donating to One Tree Planted every time a Napper is sold. What’s more, it donates for every Napper sold to NAMI (The National Alliance of Mental Illness). Given weighted blankets’ therapeutic effect on anxiety and depression, Bearaby holds NAMI close to its core.

Author’s Pick: While the Bearaby Cotton Napper is a dream for folks who get hot in the middle of the night, the Velvet Napper is nothing short of divine for cold winter nights. The ultra-soft finish gives it a luxe look and cozy feel that you’ll want to wrap yourself up in all day long.

Buy

Rebecca R. Norris is a full-time freelance writer living in the DC metro area. She writes for a variety of publications, covering everything from beauty and wellness to style and news. She is a graduate of George Mason University. There, she earned her B.A. in Media: Production, Consumption, and Critique, along with a minor in Electronic Journalism. The Virginia native is a lover of lists, Stevie Nicks, dark chocolate Sprinkles cupcakes, and the Oxford comma.

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When it comes to natural shampoo and other hair care products, it's important to understand that the term "all-natural" is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. As such, many brands get away with claiming that their products are "natural" or "organic" without actually living up to the name. Because of this, unless you're a chemist or ingredient wiz, it can be difficult to decipher which products are, in fact, on the more natural side. Thankfully, the Environmental Working Group is here to help.

Enter: Skin Deep, the EWG's database of cosmetic products ranging from makeup and skincare to haircare, fragrance, and nail care. The database rates each product in its directory from one to 10, with one being the lowest concern for hazardous ingredients and 10 being the highest.

When it comes to natural shampoo and other hair care products, it’s important to understand that the term “all-natural” is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. As such, many brands get away with claiming that their products are “natural” or “organic” without actually living up to the name. Because of this, unless you’re a chemist or ingredient wiz, it can be difficult to decipher which products are, in fact, on the more natural side. Thankfully, the Environmental Working Group is here to help.


Enter: Skin Deep, the EWG’s database of cosmetic products ranging from makeup and skincare to haircare, fragrance, and nail care. The database rates each product in its directory from one to 10, with one being the lowest concern for hazardous ingredients and 10 being the highest.

While anything under five is worth considering for eco-conscious shoppers, the EWG takes it a step further and has created their own verification indicating that the product meets the strictest criteria in regard to transparency and overall health. This makes it a prime source to find natural shampoo, deodorant, makeup and more.

As a general rule of thumb, the biggest ingredients to steer clear of when looking for all-natural cosmetics are silicones, parabens, phthalates, sulfates and formaldehyde, just to name a few.

With all this in mind, we did a little fact-checking on the beauty industry’s top-selling brands. Ahead, discover the five natural shampoo brands that get the best ratings—from EWG and myself, a beauty veteran with eight years in the industry.

Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Briogeo Natural Shampoo

Briogeo stands out for many reasons. First and foremost, the NYC-based brand’s natural shampoo and hair care line doesn’t sacrifice results for cheap formulation. Each product is 90 to 100 percent naturally derived and free of harsh sulfates (SLS/SLES), silicones, parabens, phthalates, diethanolamine (DEA) and synthetic color, not to mention certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny.

Additionally, it’s a Black-owned and operated brand, with Nancy Twine at its helm. Thanks to Nancy’s eye for diversity and simplicity, the brand caters to all hair types and focuses on curating easy-to-follow two-, three-, and four-step routines.

Skin Deep Rating: Most Briogeo products fall between three and five on the scale, with a couple of outliers at one and six.

Must-Try Product: Be Gentle, Be Kind Banana + Coconut Nourishing Superfood Shampoo

Buy

Avalon Organics Natural Shampoo

Founded out of respect for the earth, Avalon Organics prides itself on providing top-quality natural shampoo, conditioner and more to conscious consumers. It’s Leaping Bunny certified, as well as certified to NSF/ANSI 305 standards, which establishes that the products that claim to use organic and natural ingredients actually do. Plus, it’s one of the most reasonably priced products on our list of the best natural shampoos.

Skin Deep Rating: Many of the brand’s products are EWG Verified—meaning they’re the best of the best. There are a few, however, in the three to five range.

Must-Try Product: Avalon Organics Nourishing Lavender Natural Shampoo

Buy

SheaMoisture Natural Shampoo

Here we have another Black-owned beauty brand that holds itself to the highest standards: SheaMoisture. The cruelty-free, certified B Corporation—meaning it considers its impact not only on consumers, but the earth and its employees as well—formulates all of its natural shampoo and hair care products without parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, petroleum and formaldehyde.

They’re applauded for their truly natural offerings, all ingredients of which are listed on the company’s website. What’s more, they’ve broken their haircare offerings down by hair type, catering to 12 different textures, and use Fair Trade certified shea butter.

Skin Deep Rating: The majority of Shea Moisture products fall within the one to four range.

Must-Try Product: SheaMoisture Curl and Shine Coconut Shampoo

Buy

Herbal Essences Natural Shampoo

This one might shock you considering many drugstore hair care brands are anything but natural. With that in mind, however, Herbal Essences worked tirelessly to introduce its Bio:renew collection. Made with real botanicals and endorsed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the new lineup is formulated without sulfates, parabens and colorants, making it a worthy choice for those looking to go au naturel without breaking the bank.

Skin Deep Rating: Most of the Bio:renew products fall under five on the scale, and some have even earned the coveted EWG verification (including the must-try product below).

Must-Try Product: Herbal Essences Bio:renew Potent Aloe + Hemp Frizz Control Shampoo and Conditioner

Buy

Ethique Natural Shampoo Bar

If you’re looking for a sustainable natural shampoo that doesn’t come in a plastic container, consider Ethique solid shampoo bars. These bars take a little getting used to when you first make the switch from wet shampoo, but after a few washes, you’ll be a pro at lathering up sans plastic.

Ethique is a certified B Corp that donates 20 percent of its profits to charity as well as plants a tree for every online order it receives. Its products have been certified cruelty-free by PETA and a few other international certification organizations, and they actually work: The natural shampoo bars have received thousands of positive reviews from verified customers.

Skin Deep Rating: All Ethique products are rated one to four.

Must-Try Product: Ethique Eco-Friendly Solid Shampoo for Normal Hair

Buy

Rebecca R. Norris is a full-time freelance writer living in the DC metro area. She writes for a variety of publications, covering everything from beauty and wellness to style and news. She is a graduate of George Mason University. There, she earned her B.A. in Media: Production, Consumption, and Critique, along with a minor in Electronic Journalism. The Virginia native is a lover of lists, Stevie Nicks, dark chocolate Sprinkles cupcakes, and the Oxford comma.

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