I’m a flats kind of girl. Actually, I’m a trainers kind of girl. It’s very rare that you’ll find me in anything other than my Veja sneakers or my slippers. I don’t really do ‘smart footwear’. After my university placement year at a big tech corporation I distinctly remember vowing to work somewhere where it was acceptable to wear Vans to work. So I ended up working for myself!
In the UK it was pretty easy to get away with wearing trainers during the summer as, well, English weather. Need I say more? Here in Toulouse it’s another story, and I got totally caught off guard last year when the heatwave arrived. The same as my swimwear situation, I really don’t have a whole load of sandals. My go to is a pair of black slip-ons from Forever 21 that I bought during my Chicago internship back in 2015. They were about $10 and they’re still going strong 5 years later. There’s nothing wrong with them, so I’m not chucking them out!
In the run up to this summer I’ve decided it’s time to treat myself to a new pair, but like all things I buy, I want to make sure it’s not an impulse purchase and that I weigh up all options before I commit. I want these to stay with me for the long haul!
Here are some of my favourite sustainable sandals:
Certified B-Corp and ethical powerhouse Toms have definitely stepped up their sandal game this summer! I’ve had most options in my shopping basket at one point or another, but I’ve narrowed it down to the Viviana Sandals because 1) they’ll go with most things in my wardrobe and 2) they look super comfy. They’re also 100% vegan.
Kavat are a new brand to me but this EU Ecolabel shoe brand has some really lovely styles! They use eco-friendly leather and offer a repair service to extend the life of their shoes.
Again, another newbie on my radar but German brand EKN are not to go unnoticed! Their sandals are made from vegan and recycled suede and natural cork. Every single part of the shoe is handmade and organic and they use zero harmful chemicals in their manufacturing process.
Flip flops became the hottest fashion trend last summer as influencers and bloggers rushed to wear their Havaianas with maxi skirts and dresses, and I’m not complaining! I just wish they would make a more sustainable choice, like these from Ecoalf which are handmade in Spain from recycled tyres.
Another great flip flop option is Waves, who make their shoes from 100% ethically sourced Sri Lankan natural rubber. They’re also 100% biodegradable, vegan and recyclable. 100% cool!
What sandals will you be wearing this summer?