Do you ever need simple footwear to slip on when taking it easy at home? Or maybe something warm, apart from socks, to warm your feet up on a cold day? Slippers are extremely comfortable, versatile and there are loads of options to choose from including eco-friendly slippers made from sustainably sourced materials.
However, have you considered the impact of your footwear on the environment? In the UK, the population throws away over 300 million pairs of shoes every year2. A large percentage of these end up in landfills, thereby contributing to pollution. As you’ve guessed, your slippers may not be as innocent as they look. In this article, we’re sharing some of our best choices of eco-friendly slippers. These products are stylish, comfortable, and best of all, kind to the people and planet.
Whereas shoes make up an important part of our wardrobes, the footwear industry contributes to waste in many ways. The manufacturing process is energy-intensive and the disposal process raises questions. When the world prioritizes unsustainable production and consumption patterns, it significantly generates waste.
Moreover, the demand for fashionable items that are in line with certain trends leads to the overproduction of products. Manufacturers can produce shoes using a vast number of materials. However, some prominent ones show up more times than others. A typical shoe will most likely primarily consist of materials like leather, polyurethane, thermoplastic rubber, and ethylene-vinyl acetate. Many of these are synthetic, and even with leather, the industry is often under scrutiny for its environmental impact1.
Apart from the environmental challenge, labor practices are also a source of concern. As a result, many brands are also prioritizing ethical slippers or shoes. If you’re looking for comfortable slip-on house shoes or just something you can easily wear to relax in today, you’ll find a growing number of eco-friendly slippers on the market. Sustainable slippers contain natural materials, and many of them follow fair trade practices. Unlike conventional slippers, eco-friendly slippers have less impact on the environment throughout their life cycle and life span. From the sourcing of the raw materials in an environmentally friendly manner through ethical and eco-friendly production. And toward the end of their useful life, where they consider natural biodegradable materials.
Quick links to our picks of the best sustainable slipper brands:
There’s a common misconception that sustainable products only come in bland colors. Bure Bure is debunking this by offering a wide range of slippers to support your sustainable living journey. The brand makes its sustainable wool slippers in Lithuania. All the slippers are made from eco-friendly materials that the owner sources sustainably.
The manufacturers use natural felted wool from their sheep farm. Whether you want a natural color, solid color, or a color mix, Bure Bure offers variety to elevate your slipper collection instantly.
Furthermore, Bure Bure offers slippers for every member of the family. You can choose from styles like slides, slip-on pieces, boots, and clogs. The insulation of wool fibers in each pair of slippers helps your feet stay warm or cool, depending on the weather.
If you’re looking to buy sustainable slippers with color bursts, you might want to try Bure Bure‘s slippers collection. For a non-slip effect, the brand uses natural latex cushioned soles. It also offers slippers with a rubber or suede sole. If you have irritable skin, Bure Bure uses only organic soap for washing and preparing its wool.
Kyrgies is another brand that provides sustainable and ethical slippers appealing to all ages. When shopping, you have several styles and colors to choose from. The brand’s wool-based slippers come in various solid colors like grey, orange, and purple, all colored with low-impact dyes to reduce their environmental impact.
During processing, the manufacturers use water and natural soap to wash the felted wool. The brand’s original style, the low-back classic slippers, features felt soles. Other versions feature chrome-free leather soles, with some versions implementing arch support. Unlike some wool-based slip-on pieces, Kyrgies specifically mentions that its products are for indoor purposes. So if you want to enjoy your slippers for a long time, it’s best to follow this guideline.
Kyrgies’ ethical slippers and house shoes go through traditional felting techniques. Local artisans in Kyrgyzstan make the slippers by hand. Furthermore, this brand employs women artisans in places where they have limited opportunities. From its sustainable materials to traditional techniques and artisan support, Kyrgies is an all-around ethical brand. The brand’s slippers are ideal for easy slip-on home use, making them a perfect natural lifestyle choice.
From a certified B-Corp, you can enjoy these ethical and sustainable slippers through all the seasons. Baabuk uses an eco-friendly production process to create its signature hand-felted wool slippers. The Baabuk slippers are designed in Switzerland and handmade in the company’s factory in Nepal.
Helping to address the vast opportunities that favor men in Nepal, Baabuk employs a large number of women artisans. So, you’re not only protecting the environment but also supporting employment opportunities for women when you shop from them. Each pair of cozy Baabuk slippers is odor-resistant and will keep your feet feeling fresh. The company uses natural rubber soles rather than more commonplace plastic or synthetics.
From the process of acquiring the raw sheep wool, the company ensures that the animals are properly cared for. Baabuk sources its natural wool from New Zealand due to the eco-friendly washing process.
The procedure the farmers use for the soap and water washing process is eco-friendly. To avoid polluting the local rivers, the farmers recycle the water. This way, you’re certain that these natural wool slippers are made from sustainable materials and a process that supports zero waste.
Looking for more than one color? Baabuk offers a variety of colors for its New Zealand wool slippers.
Looking for cute and cozy house shoes or slippers to keep your feet warm? You might want to have a look at Chilote’s slippers range. The ethical and sustainable brand uses eco-friendly materials to craft its products. Rather than prioritizing producing in factories, the brand works with independent women artisans. Through these partnerships, they follow fair labor practices. Each pair of sustainable slippers goes through a slow production process before the brand achieves the final item. Chilote offers toddler slippers as well.
Chilote makes their range of adult products from salmon leather, organic leather and wool, and raw wool. Chilote’s raw wool slippers mimic the shape of the feet and reveal a thick slipper socks design. Upcycled salmon leather features elsewhere in their lines while their organic leather slippers are vegetable-tanned, a better alternative to chromium tanning.
What makes Chilote unique is that each pair of handmade slippers comes with a QR code. The purpose of the code is to allow you to track the source of your product. Chilote incorporates fair labor practices in addition to ensuring an eco-friendly production and supply chain. The ultimate result is fair trade and ethically produced cozy slippers from the sourcing down to design and supply chain.
Muffle-Up! makes fun-looking wool slippers that look like giant plush socks. This Canadian company is not afraid to create and release house styles in funky styles and color mixtures. Muffle-Up! is all about reclaiming and repurposing materials to avoid waste. The brand uses merino wool, upcycled leather, and recycled sheep wool linings.
This company designs and offers various styles to choose from, such as ankle-high slippers, demi boots, and mid-calf boots. Apart from the sustainable slippers for adults, the brand also offers baby and toddler slippers.
Each pair of Muffle-Up! sustainable slippers are locally made in Canada. The handmade slippers consist of a combination of recycled and natural materials that provide comfort. The artisans crotchet the classic slippers in a way that provides comfort to the feet.
The natural materials of the slippers ensure that your feet stay comfortable without feeling hot and icky. If you’re worried about itching, the non-itch merino wool takes care of that. To prevent overproduction, Muffle-Up! makes all its products to order. This ensures that they do not contribute to the waste we associate with the footwear industry.
Toast creates women’s slippers using natural materials and fair trade principles. This brand offers a range of sustainable slippers with hand-felted sheep’s wool, vegetable-tanned sheepskin, or jute. Toast uses natural rubber for the soles, and their natural felted wool slippers feature a suede sole. For any product that contains leather, the company uses only leather which is a by-product of the meat industry. On their site, you have the option to choose from different colors and styles like slip-on and slipper boots.
Also, you can either decide to wear your slippers within the house or outside. Toast designs its slippers to support coziness, comfort, and warmth. Once you slip your feet into these sustainable slippers, you’re sure to feel a sense of calm and relaxation and cozy feet.
Toast collaborates with various artisans worldwide while its production and supply chain follow fair trade principles. This is probably why the brand has long-lasting relationships with many of its artisans. To ensure an ethical and sustainable chain of production, Toast shares its ethical policies with its suppliers. By working closely with these suppliers, they ensure that they tackle problems that may arise firsthand. Packaging is a major waste generator; so to curb this, Toast uses biodegradable and recyclable materials. Toast offers one of the best fair trade slippers on the market. Keep your feet cozy and do a little bit for the environment by choosing their wool loungers.
Intoa Design has taken innovation to a whole new level through its slippers. This brand sources, repurposes, and transforms old pieces of denim into something new. The brand uses materials like old jeans, fair trade blankets, rugs, and other discarded clothing. This is one of the best eco-friendly slippers simply for its principle of giving old items new lives.
Intoa Design’s products are quirky and come in various styles and designs. Since they make their slippers from old materials, the brand helps divert old clothing from landfills. This significantly helps to curb the waste we associate with the clothing and fashion industry.
Although Intoa Design mainly uses recycled materials like jeans for the outer part, the brand also lines the slippers. For the inner lining, you can choose from either recycled felted wool or terry. For durability, the brand owner includes two leather patches on the sole. However, you have the option to customize your order to your taste. If you love being barefoot or just enjoy the feeling of your feet flat on the ground, these are for you. The brand’s philosophy is to transform used materials into practical, beautiful, and durable products. From recycled used clothing to pieces using recycled wool, Intoa Design is all about giving second chances.
If you’re looking for all-natural vegan slippers, you should try Rawganique’s range. The brand’s classic ‘Satie’ glue-free slippers are made from 100% organic cotton. Rawganique doesn’t use synthetic fibers for its products, and everything is chemical-free, which makes them ideal for people with sensitive skin or chemical allergies.
The initial Satie design features an elastic band, while a subsequent similar design comes without the band. This gives you the chance to select the fit you prefer. For extra padding, the brand uses various layers of organic cotton fleece inside the slippers.
Rawganique’s organic cotton slippers are natural, undyed, and unbleached. You should note that they aren’t waterproof, so be sure to keep them dry as much as possible. Apart from the cotton material, this company also uses natural materials like hemp and linen. Its products are biodegradable, natural, and eco-friendly. These all-natural cotton slippers are soft, cozy, and easy to put on.
When shopping for sustainable swaps, it’s important to consider your footwear. Your slippers may not be the first thing that comes to mind, yet all of our choices have a role in our sustainable lifestyle. Unsustainable manufacturing and consumption processes significantly affect the environment. Also, they negatively impact the people working behind the scenes to produce products for our comfort and wear.
Despite popular belief, you can be eco-friendly while owning stylish items. And the same goes when it comes to your slippers. Whether you’re looking for house shoes, winter slip-on pieces, or something you can wear outdoors, eco-friendly brands offer various options. Use this list as your guide to eco-friendly slipper shopping.
Staikos, T., Heath, R., Haworth, B., & Rahimifard, S. (2006, May). End-of-life management of shoes and the role of biodegradable materials. In Proceedings of 13th CIRP International Conference on Life Cycle Engineering (pp. 497-502)
Dover District Council. (n.d.). Shoe Recycling. Dover District Council