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, jeans. 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As ballet flats were originally made of satin, vegan materials for flats seem like a natural choice.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 a selection of the best vegan flats for any occasion.
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 finishes and quirky cuts, as exemplified by these recycled plastic flats, below.
Price: Around $230
2. Sam Edelman
If you wear a lot of black, these sequinned Jordy flats by Sam Edelman are just the thing to wake up a staid outfit. The combination of shiny indigo, turquoise and gold embellishments is somewhat reminiscent of fish scales. But that’s as close to anything animal you’ll find about these chic vegan shoes!
Price: Around $130
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. Our favourite flats of the moment? These sweet bee-embroidered slippers.
Price: Around $125
5. Adam Tucker
Have you ever gone out for a big night in heels, and then regretted it when your feet started screaming in pain? These Kaila shoes by Adam Tucker are a total lifesaver in those situations! Made from knit fabric and memory foam, they’re easy to curl up in your handbag for a shoe swap when your tootsies just can’t take stilettos anymore!
Price: Around $70
6. NAE Vegan
This Portuguese based brand delivers internationally and is devoted to providing 100% vegan products using only the most eco-friendy materials 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. Our pick of their flat designs would be the Perla bowed pump, below, whose slightly sparkly sequins add a touch of glam to any outfit.
Price: Around $98
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, but their black flats, below, are perennial faves.
Price: Around $85
8. Katy Perry
Yes, THE Katy Perry has apparently designed these vegan shoes, allegedly in response to complaints about her previous collection (launched last year) that didn’t include any vegan options. We love these ballet flats that feature scalloped appliqués and peekaboo mesh and a flame-like design. If you’d like something a bit more dramatic (like Ms Perry herself), you’ll be happy to know that this model comes in red and orange flames, too!
Price: Around $128
If you like your flats with a bit of a height boost, you can’t go wrong with these now-classic flats by vegan icon Stella McCartney. Embellished with her trademark five pointed stars, these are easier to walk in than you’d think! Oh, and they’re eco-friendly, too – this style features soles made from Bio TPU Rubber, which is made from 49% renewable resources.
Price: Around $525
10. Matt and Nat
Your favourite bag brand is now trying to be your favourite shoe brand, too! Made from PU microfibre, their Alana flats come with an elasticised strap, allowing them to fit any foot more comfortably. This is a super classic style that adds elegance to even the most casual looks.
Price: Around $85
Josefinas is the only luxury shoe brand born with the purpose to inspire and empower women. Three years ago, three female friends launched the brand with the dream of inspiring other women to follow their own paths. Now the three female entrepreneurs are taking it further, helping other female leaders grow their businesses and supporting individual women in need in Rwanda. Since its founding, Josefinas has become popular with conscious celebrities and has become a fast favourite with vegans on Instagram.
Price: Around $180
13. HEXA Bella Donna
Poromeric leather is the secret behind Thai label HEXA’s incredible vegan shoes. It’s an innovative, breathable material that imitates the collagen structure of leather, but with non-animal materials. It’s also flexible, solvent free, and contains the minimum PU content possible. And did I mention the shoes are super-comfortable and stylish, too?
Price: Around $125
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