I’ve already written my two cents on shoes and a minimalist wardrobe. I don’t have a perfect formula, but I do have a few thoughts about comfort and quality. (You can read all about that here.)
While my current personal collection is motley mix of shoes from both conventional and ethical sources, I thought it might be nice to point out seasonal options for folks looking to grow their own collection of shoes with an eye toward sustainability and ethical production.
As always, I’m not suggesting throwing all of your shoes to the curb and filling up your closet with new ones. But should new summer sandals be something that you need, and in case you’re on the hunt for a pair that’s been thoughtfully made, here’s a list of summer shoes—dress up and casual—that I’ve come across that might fit the bill.
Bryr Clogs: It’s no secret that I love a nice pair of clogs. If I were to invest in a new pair, I’d choose one of the stunners from SF-based Bryr clogs. Their shapes are super elegant and I love the attention to detail and the colors of the leathers that they use. I think the Hannah Spanish Toe Sandal is my favorite. All of their clogs are made to order; custom orders available. Made in the USA.
Marais USA: For the vegans in the crowd, these guys have your back. I wore a pair of their faux patent-leather oxfords to my wedding going on four years ago. It was their colorful collection of slides that really caught my eye this year. Founder and designer Haley Boyd moved her production (and herself) to LA last year. (Follow her instagram account for a daily movie starlet vibe and peeks behind-the-scenes.) Made in the USA.
Mohinders: I met founder Michael Paratore in New York this spring and he sent me home with a pair of his City Slippers to try. I admit they took some getting used to. I kept flinging them off my feet at first, but they’ve since fully molded to my feet and I never want to take them off. I’ve worn them almost exclusively since coming home from France. Not dressy, definitely comfy. (Shown above.) Ethically made in India.
Nisolo: I’ve found the solution to my summer (and winter!) dress shoe woes in Nisolo. The Nashville-based company makes their shoes ethically in Peru. I purchased a pair of their Elizabeth Slides to wear to weddings this summer and they’ve been so comfortable and easy to wear. Worth noting: Their shipping and returns process is unusually friendly and efficient. Ethically made in Peru.
Proud Mary: This Charleston-based brand works with global artisans to execute modern designs using traditional methods. They’ve worked with artisans from Morocco for a number of years to produce romantic raffia sandals for summertime. This year, their strappy sandals are my favorite. Ethically made globally.
Zuzii: I first learned about these guys after admiring their very elegant baby shoes, but have since fallen for their line of shoes for grown-ups. Their lace-up sneakers and sandals look especially wonderful. All of their shoes are handmade to order; custom orders also available. Made in the USA.
Any others I should know about?
PS. I get tons of questions about the Saltwater Sandals I wear. I love them—they were one of two pairs of shoes I brought with me to France—but they don’t win any particular prizes for sustainability beyond their ability to last for really a long time. (No small feat!)