By Holly Litchfield
As any girl knows, ballet slippers are one of the most classic designs around. Made a wardrobe staple by none other than (trained dancer herself) Audrey Hepburn, a pair of flats look elegant with slim cigarette pants, summer dresses, and of course, shorts. They’re also a handbag essential: keep a pair in your tote to swap for heels when your feet just can’t take any more abuse!
As ballet flats were originally made of satin, vegan materials for flats seem like a natural choice. Here, we’ve sourced 9 eco-friendly brands that offer stylish vegan flats for all occasions.
1. Sydney Brown
American born Sydney Brown was passionate about creating a brand that would stand out for manufacturing luxury products that are produced in an environmentally friendly way. The eco-friendly materials used in her collections range from reclaimed wood to coconut insoles and prove just how sustainable materials such as these, paired with the vision of the right designer, can be incredibly stylish. With Japan being her main source of inspiration, Brown’s flats come in luxurious earthy tones and quirky designs.
Fancy a fancy flat? This Brazilian brand specialises in flirty, feminine footwear, like these cut-out pumps. Always using the most sustainable leather substitutes around, Vizzano can be bought online and delivered anywhere in the world.
3. Beyond Skin
‘Put a guilt free spring in your step and be the change you wish to see in the world’
That’s the mantra of ethical footwear label Beyond Skin. 100% vegan and not a single trace of animal product are used in the making of their shoes, so you can be sure to look good with a crystal clear conscience! They source their PU from Italy and are confident that it still provides all of the glamour of leather, but without causing harm to our environment, or animals, of course.
Fancy a ballet pump with your initials on them? Or maybe made from the fabric of your favourite jeans, now practically in rags? Shoes of Prey is for you! The animal-friendly company was founded in 2009 and specialises in creating unique designs for consumers–including a vegans, of course. The label has a huge range of vegan range of materials, allowing style-led vegan enthusiasts to design the shoe of their dreams!
Founded in 2009 by Alicia Lai, Bourgeois Boheme was London’s first Vegan footwear and accessories brand to open a retail outlet. Its BoBo designs are quintessentially British and inspired by London living. In fact, their current collection features an illustration of a very British badger–a creature sometimes even seen in the streets of London! A percentage of sales of this ballerina shoe goes to the charity Team Badger, which aims at stopping the culling of badgers in the UK.
Novacas (taken from the Spanish and Portuguese for “no cows”) is devoted to providing 100% vegan products using only the best synthetic microfibers available and no trace of any toxic fabrics such as PVC. The brand is also confident that its produce is manufactured in worker-friendly factories in accordance with the labour standards set by the European Union. Novacas flats designs are professional and modest and would look great paired with eco-friendly denim crops.
Founded in 2009, Noah provides exclusively handcrafted Italian footwear produced in guaranteed worker friendly conditions. Like every vegan brand mentioned above, Noah also uses the materials proven to have less of an impact on our environment, like PU and natural rubber. The quality of the footwear is unmistakable and the collection can be described as conservative and stylish. Perfect for office wear and day-to-day life, Noah offers a range of flats with plenty of fashionable styles to choose from.
Mink is a renowned vegan shoe line launched in 2004 by Rebecca Mink, a former model and celebrity stylist. The brand is recognized worldwide, with its shoes worn by some of the most famous women in the fashion industry. Ironically, mink shoes are manufactured in the very factories that produce for ‘unethical brands’ such as Dolce and Gabbana, Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin, but Mink is made without using the same toxic materials that result in damaging our environment. Sustainable materials such as bamboo, cork and vegetable resins are contributing ingredients to these glamorous designs.
Working with Adidas, vegan fashion maven Stella McCartney produced these gorgeous, sporty flats. Far lower to the ground than her famous platform flats, these are easier to wear, and way less trendy, ensuring you’ll be able to wear these for decades without your footwear ever seeming ‘so last year’.
10. Coral 8
Founded by vegan advocate Allison Kary, Coral 8 is an affordable shoe brand that oozes eco chic designs. All Coral 8 shoes are produced using the highest quality man-made materials, incorporating as much organic and biodegradable fabric as possible. The brand is committed to offering sustainable collections that derive entirely from animal-free content, manufactured in a family owned, ethical factory. Coral 8 attracts eco conscious, career women worldwide – boasting stylish and on trend shoe designs that are sure get the office talking!