Textiles | Shoes

Soft Star Shoes

Handmade shoes for infants, kids and adults since 1984. And because each pair is handmade, you can customize your shoes with choices of colors. “We make minimal shoes for happy, healthy feet! Every one of our shoes is handcrafted at our Oregon, USA workshop… We are careful to source non-toxic materials for our shoes, including leather colored with food-grade dye and non-toxic adhesives… we use only leathers which meet high safety standards both for our customers, and for the environment. As our little ones like to occasionally chew on their shoes, it is important to us they are as chemical-free as possible. Many shoes today (99.9%) are imported from countries using formaldehyde tanning methods. Not only is this chemical a potential irritant to your skin and absorbable transdermally, but it poisons ground water downstream from tanneries, and causes well-documented health issues with tannery employees. Almost all or our leather is sourced from USA tanneries to ensure that strict regulations are adhered to. When the leather is not available from USA tanneries, it is sometimes sourced from approved tanneries in Italy, Brazil, South Korea or Germany which meet labor and environmental standards set by our supplier. We are proud to also offer Ecopell vegetable tanned leather from Germany, which we import due to their extremely high standards for quality and sustainable practices, arguably the best in the world.” Soles are made out of natural rubber, durable suede, or a tough leather. Their shop is run from 100% solar or wind energy.

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Oralba

One-of-a-kind shoes, handcrafted using all natural materials: Jute fibers, 100% cotton fabrics, and handmade natural cotton cording. “Oralba’s Shoes products are entirely hand made with bio-friendly, recyclable materials, featuring comfort and unique classic designs and styles that never go out of style. The simplicity and versatility of our shoes make them unique in the market. The designer hand selects the most exquisite fabrics to use as uppers of the shoes to create unique handmade footwear. Each pair is hand-crafted and features a classic style that is easy to match with varying fashions.”

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Better Shoes Foundation

This site is a list of “sustainable” and “vegan” shoe brands. “we thought it would be appropriate to reference the new wave of brands that seem to have built sustainable practices from the ground up.” The list is quite long (and I assume is updated) so I thought I would put this list here while I go through it and look for the brands that are nontoxic. If you explore this list and find any shoes you think are toxic free, please tell me which they are in the comments. A world map shows the scattered show production locations.

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Z Shoes

OK here we are…”Every Z Shoe starts with a comfortable sole made from 100% organic, fair trade, sustainably-harvested Amazonian Sharinga rubber…No plastic or synthetic fibers here. Z Shoes are made from 100% organic, fair trade sustainably-harvested cotton from the Solo y San Miguel regions of Peru…Even the beautiful coral and navy blue options available in the Z Shoes line up come from 100% organic plant dyes sourced from in the Amazon…Z Shoes is proud to offer the world’s finest line of fair trade and organic shoes. ”

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Ozark Rope Sandals

“The sandals are made from durable, colorfast polypropylene rope. Water does not hurt them because they are melted together instead of glued. They have excellent traction when wet, and they are machine washable. They last for several years. We guarantee the sandals for a year, and many customers are able to wear theirs for many years. They are lightweight, cool, and they bend easily. The ropes are soft and comfortable on your feet, and the heel-strap holds them on securely.” A full range of sizes and colors for men and women.

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Soludos

Traditional cotton/jute espadrilles with natural rubber (latex) soles in up-to-date styling: tennis shoes, slippers, sandals. Also some suede uppers, some linen linings. Lots of colors, some decorated. Flats and wedge heels. Women and men. Read comments for advice about ordering the correct size.

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Mephisto Shoes

I’ve been wearing Mephisto sandals almost every day for I don’t know how long. At least 15 years. I just buy the same Helena sandals over and over. They are the only shoes I can walk any distance in and never have my feet hurt or get tired. Finally I found some information about the materials. They are handcrafted in France and Portugal. The leathers are highest quality and have “natural tanning.” The soles are natural rubber obtained from latex. I’ve never had any problems of toxic exposure from any pair of Mephitis shoes I’ve purchased.

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Po-Zu Shoes

These amazing shoes are made from organic cotton, wool, coconut husks, natural latex, cork, and leather. “All our materials come from naturally renewable sources and are responsibly harvested. They contain no pesticides, bleaches or toxic dyes and are locally sourced wherever possible. We use organic cotton in our shoes and all our leather is chromium-free. You can read about our materials in more detail here.” Every shoe has a complete materials description (click on the “materials” tab on each product page). Great styles! This company is based in the UK. I don’t usually recommend websites out of the country, but I’ve never seen anything like these shoes! You can even have them custom-make shoes to your own design specifications.

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GlenKaren Premium Shoe Care Products

Top quality, all-natural shoe care products created by a man who loved to polish his expensive business shoes, and his wife, who hated the chemical smell. The compromise was a complete line of shoe care products made from only four natural ingredients: food grade orange terpenes (d-limonene), organic extra-virgin coconut oil, wax (beeswax and carnauba wax) and pigments (earth and ocher). Great explanations on this site about the product, ingredients, how to use it. Obviously made by someone who knows and loves what’s needed to maintain and enjoy good shoes.

Listen to my interview with GlenKaren Premium Shoe Care Products Co-Founder Glen Tippets.

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DuPre General Store

All natural and nontoxic shoe polish for leather shoes, made with beeswax (protects), carnauba wax (gives shine), olive oil (nourishes), castor oil (antifungal), coconut oil (nourishes), orange essential oil (cleans) and mineral earth pigment (colors).

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Rawganique

A large selection of hemp shoes and sandals for men, women, and children. Also hemp socks. "Our hemp products are, of course, sustainably made with no sweatshop, child, or underwaged labor involved at any step of the cultivation or manufacturing process — this is something which we have taken pride in from the very beginning."

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