It’s a small selection, but one worth noting!
I’ve been a big fan of walking sandals for a good few years now, and I was delighted to discover a few weeks ago that my go-to brand for this style, Teva, now makes all of its fabric straps from recycled materials. Given that it’s such a ubiquitous style, this is brilliant news – the more market leaders that start to embrace sustainable practices, the better. While I stand by my belief that most of us need to slow down the pace of our shopping habits for the sake of people and the planet, if all companies used recycled and eco-friendly materials as standard, it would put the responsibility back where it should be: onto the manufacturers of the products we buy.
Anyway, I won’t be buying a new pair because mine from a few years ago are still going strong, even though, I can’t lie, I have spent the last couple of weeks talking myself out of it because I LOVE velcro hikers. But if you’re looking to invest in this classic (and incredibly comfy) style, I thought I would round up some of the best sustainable sandals around at the moment. Spoiler: there aren’t many I’m afraid – we’re not exactly spoilt for choice when it comes to recycled sandals! I will also add that there was a pair I LOVED from adidas that was labelled as being made from some recycled content, but didn’t state what or how much and when I contacted them to find out, they didn’t know. So I haven’t included them. But the ones I have found are really nice…
These practical sandals were invented when a white water rafting instructor got fed up with losing his flip-flops down the river and improvised with some velcro watch straps to keep them on. True story! They’re a comfortable, stylish, go-with-everything shoe, so I’m thrilled that the brand has taken a 360 approach to sustainability, making ALL of their straps from recycled materials rather than just bringing out a small eco range – every pair saves the equivalent of four plastic bottles from going to landfill. My favourites are these block colour classics.
These are the shoes I’ve needed a strong willpower to resist in recent weeks! Available in five bright colour options, including a fabulous golden brown (pictured, top), they’re made from 100% recycled materials (except the hardwear) including a recycled rubber sole. I love their minimal design; you could easily dress them up for a posh do, especially in the black or white option.
This brand is annoyingly difficult to get hold of in the UK (and even on its own European website, which doesn’t stock this style!) but I’ve found a couple of stockists that have a few pairs and I love them so much I just had to feature them. They have a cork sole, which is not only extremely comfortable, it’s really sustainable too, since it’s harvested from the tree while it’s still alive and this process can only be done around once every eight years. The brand only uses natural and recycled materials. Around £60 – try Tin Fish Shoes or London Store.
Prada at Vestiaire
Not strictly recycled, but choosing a pre-loved pair is also a great option. Vestiaire Collective has a huge selection of Prada sporty sandals – I suspect a job lot of press gifts were given out a few years ago! – so if you’re after a designer pair this should be your first port of call. Just filter to sandals and Prada and have a browse.
READ MORE: THE BEST SUSTAINABLE SWIMWEAR