Sustainable slippers are not something that is common knowledge among people. The lack of awareness might be because of a lack of proper advertisements or just general knowledge, as even people who do know about these sustainable slippers do not know how to make proper use of them. Here is a detailed guide on how to pick your Eco-friendly & Ethical slippers for everyday usage.
Only a few people realise how wasteful and problematic the footwear industry is. Did you know that every year, 300 million pairs of shoes are discarded? Slippers may appear innocuous, yet they are part of the fashion industry’s immensely wasteful lifestyle. This is due to the fact that they are inexpensive and most have a short lifespan, necessitating frequent replacement. So you like your cosy slippers, but what can you do to avoid adding to the garbage pile? Purchase eco-friendly slippers.
Sustainable slippers are manufactured with the use of natural fibres like – locally sourced wool, cruelty-free alpaca fur, organic cotton, and ethical production techniques. They are manufactured by a number of companies and need more recognition.
Not only do the companies on this list provide fair wages to artisans, but many of the slippers on the list also contribute to the preservation of cultural traditions. Some of the slippers we’ve mentioned are suitable for vegans. We chose those made from recycled plastic bottles rather than virgin plastic for these.
We’ve also found ethical slippers made of wool, suede, and/or sheepskin for individuals looking for plastic-free footwear. We’ve focused on upcycling waste from other sectors where sheepskin has been employed. Here are the top 15 choices.
- 15 Best Sustainable Slippers 2022
- 1. Baabuk slippers: Ethical Sustainable Slippers
- 2. Allbirds Wool Loungers: Fair Trade Slippers
- 3. Baabushka Wool Bootie With Leather Sole: Sustainable Vegan Slippers
- 4. Betterfelt Classic Woollen Slipper: Eco-Friendly Slippers
- 5. Mahabis Curve: Sustainable Vegan Slippers
- 6. Kyoto Unisex 100% Organic Hemp Slippers: Sustainable Wool Slippers
- 7. Chilote Salmon Leather Slippers: Most Sustainable Slippers
- 8. Muffle-Up! Cloudy Day Classic Slipper: Ethical Wool Slippers
- 9. Freewaters: Sustainable Slippers For Women
- 10. Thought Reanna Bamboo Slipper Socks: Ethical Warm Slippers
- 11. Rikumo: Ethical Sustainable Slippers
- 12. Toast: Fair Trade Slippers
- 13. Kyrgies: Child Sustainable Slippers
- 14. Parachute Home: Ethical Wool Slippers
- 15. Giesswein VEITSCH: Eco Friendly Slippers
- Why To Buy Sustainable Slippers?
- What do the vast majority of people do with Ethical Slippers?
- How We Found These Sustainable & Eco-Friendly Slippers?
- Fabrics for Eco-Friendly Slippers
- How do we know these standards are met?
15 Best Sustainable Slippers 2022
1. Baabuk slippers: Ethical Sustainable Slippers
Baabuk’s sustainable high-quality shoes and felted wool slippers are all about being innovative and curious. The brand wants customers to feel good about their purchase in every way by combining comfort with sustainability and natural materials. The company was founded after the founders spent eight hours handcrafting a pair of natural wool slippers. The processing methods used by their farmers are not harmful to the environment.
They also produce their goods in a factory in Nepal. The natural fibres used in their manufacture do not compromise the soft cushioning present in other slippers. They are as soft as they can get. Wool slippers will keep you warm in winter, cool in summer and will be soft throughout.
2. Allbirds Wool Loungers: Fair Trade Slippers
The Allbird Wool Loungers will keep your feet feeling cosy and elegant. These wool loungers are made with a type of wool called Merino wool, which gives them a soft and snug texture, making them easy to wear and slip off as well. The wool is great to keep bad odours out and is easy to wash as well, as it can be simply put in a washing machine. Wool slippers are thus one of the most low-maintenance slippers.
These house shoes are available in a variety of colours and are suitable for both men and women. If you don’t like wool house shoes for any reason, Allbirds has an alternative made of eucalyptus fibres. These are likewise fashioned in the same elegant manner and come in a variety of colours.
3. Baabushka Wool Bootie With Leather Sole: Sustainable Vegan Slippers
Baabushka, a Santa Cruz-based woman-owned business, sells fair-trade, eco-friendly, and extremely warm wool slippers and booties for men, women, and children. Baabushkas are handcrafted from wool, nature’s most renewable resource, and come in five amino-free colours with leather or rubber soles (that offer arch support!). The best thing about these vegan slippers is that they are very comfortable and cosy.
Every purchase helps independent female Nepali craftspeople find high-paying professions, and a portion of the proceeds goes to Global Citizen, an international non-profit dedicated to ending extreme poverty. By purchasing these slippers you’re not only helping your feet but doing a good deed as well.
4. Betterfelt Classic Woollen Slipper: Eco-Friendly Slippers
Betterfelt is not simply popular due to its catchy motto, “You’ve never feel better!” These are hand-felted slippers that are made in Nepal by a Danish firm that pays fair trade wages. The slippers’ natural lanolin is preserved because of their washing technique. The use of lanolin ensures dirt and moisture resistance.
These slippers are warm, to begin with, and are thus recommended to be worn without socks. They will keep your feet warm but are also breathable and extremely soft and comfortable.
5. Mahabis Curve: Sustainable Vegan Slippers
Mahabis Slippers from the United Kingdom are an excellent choice for eco-friendly slippers. These beautiful slippers are made in Portugal with certified organic wool from Italy and a natural rubber sole. These slippers are also machine washable for further convenience.
The best thing about Mahabis’s slippers is their variety and availability of so many options in terms of colours and designs. They are available for both men and women and vary in their colour selection. Their sleek packaging is also made of all environmentally friendly materials.
6. Kyoto Unisex 100% Organic Hemp Slippers: Sustainable Wool Slippers
Rawaganique is known for making chemical-free cotton-linen hemp items. They do not have a huge collection of house slippers, but whatever is available is comfortable, grounded and made using sustainable materials. They make use of free labour techniques, which makes them more desirable.
These eco-friendly slippers are made entirely by hand from organic European hemp. They are free of adhesive, rubber, latex, and chemicals. They’re perfect for people who are chemically sensitive.
7. Chilote Salmon Leather Slippers: Most Sustainable Slippers
Chilote natural wool slippers have an earthy appearance. Their handcrafted slippers are made by a network of independent lady artisans, empowering Patagonia’s original tradition of craftsmanship and people. For the outsole, some designers use locally obtained organic vegetable-tanned leather or salmon leather. The slippers mould to the shape of your foot over time.
When you buy a pair from this Chilote, you’ll get a QR code that will allow you to track your slippers back to the Patagonia artisan group that made them. Each pair of Chilote house slippers comes with a self-care repair kit, allowing you to repair them rather than replace them, making them even more eco-friendly and some of the best slippers on the market. Each pair of their eco slippers is made in an environmentally responsible manner, leaving a low carbon footprint, which is critical in light of today’s climate change.
8. Muffle-Up! Cloudy Day Classic Slipper: Ethical Wool Slippers
Muffle-Up! is a Canadian company that specialises in repurposing used materials. The slippers are made from reused sheep’s fur for the linings and reclaimed leather for the soles. For added comfort, the rest of the foot covering is comprised of soft, non-itchy wool. During the manufacturing process, scraps are cast off and given to local artists.
The items are produced by hand in Ontario, Canada. Muffle-Up! has publicly stated that it respects the land, history, and people of the Algonquin territory where the items are manufactured. These slippers are cosy and comfortable. They keep your feet warm all day and your feet will feel like a baby in them.
9. Freewaters: Sustainable Slippers For Women
Freewaters is a company that creates eco-friendly slippers as well as other casual footwear including sandals and sneakers. The slippers are vegan, and the products are created without PVCs or harsh glues, with eco-friendly packaging. Instead of using plastic, these slippers employ bags manufactured from eco stone powder, making them a perfect alternative for the environmentally conscious.
Their slippers can be easily worn both indoors and outdoors. They are ideal for lazy days when you have to stay inside and can also be worn outside to run small errands. They are cosy and warm. Freewater is also indulged in benevolent acts of donating 1% of their net revenue to community-based groups ensuring that you are saving the environment as well as the society.
10. Thought Reanna Bamboo Slipper Socks: Ethical Warm Slippers
Many pairs of slippers resemble one another. There are a lot of booties and mules around. Slipper socks, on the other hand, are a touch unusual. They have a more delicate and feminine appearance, but they are just as tough as the others. The hand-drawn print makes these shoes distinct.
These slippers are made with only sustainable materials like bamboo and organic cotton. Their lining is made of polyester. These slippers are not just comfortable but also extremely low maintenance as they can be simply put to wash in a washing machine when they get dirty.
11. Rikumo: Ethical Sustainable Slippers
Sasawashi fabric is used to make Rikumo room slippers. This substance is made from a special form of Japanese paper that contains plant fibres. It’s naturally antibacterial and deodorising. Sweat and smells are absorbed. It’s a long-lasting fabric that doesn’t degrade natural resources or require excessive processing.
Rikumo collaborates with local Japanese artists and craftspeople to create simple, ecological items. Sustainable materials like FSC-certified Tencel lyocell and Merino wool are used in the brand’s shoes, ensuring environmental and animal-friendly methods. These slippers will have you walking on Cloud Nine every day, thanks to their easy pricing structure and pleasant, lightweight designs.
12. Toast: Fair Trade Slippers
Toast’s wool suede slippers are so comfortable that it’s difficult to take them off. The top is composed of wool that has been felted by hand. The upper is sewn to a suede sole by artisans. The slippers are made by a cooperative in Nepal, and the company adheres to fair-trade practices.
The company has a strong ethical stance and only works with suppliers who can adhere to ethical standards. Hemp slippers that are also functional. These all-natural slippers are precisely developed and contain no chemicals, making them an excellent choice for anyone who suffers from severe chemical allergies or skin sensitivity. The slippers are bright and beautiful, and they are inexpensive.
13. Kyrgies: Child Sustainable Slippers
Kyrgies is a company that sells ethically manufactured slippers to both children and adults. The house slippers are handcrafted in Kyrgyzstan with centuries-old Central Asian felting techniques and ethical farming practices. The sheep that produce the wool are allowed to roam freely in pastures. The process of producing slippers can take up to six weeks.
These home slippers are designed to be worn inside but can be worn outside for certain light errands. They are perfect to be worn to yoga or the gym as they provide excellent arch support. They make use of recycled felted wool or terry to make the insulated lining of the slippers. These slippers are durable as well because of their use of leather patches on the soles. Unlike most sustainable slippers, these offer a variety of styles to choose from, like slides, low rise, ankle-high etcetera. They also come in many sizes
14. Parachute Home: Ethical Wool Slippers
Parachute slippers are made with the use of organic cotton. The company also specializes in the making of sustainable beds and slippers. Their cotton and polyester slippers are made by hand in Turkey and are Oeko-Tex certified. The slippers are known to be as soft as clouds because of their use of organic cotton. This company aspires to only manufacture and sell items that do not use any hazardous or synthetic substances.
Malaria nets are also distributed to those in need. Your feet will feel like they are being massaged after wearing a pair of Parachute’s ethical slippers. As aforementioned, they use Oeko-Tex certified cotton, which makes them extremely soft and therefore preferred to be worn after a long day at work.
15. Giesswein VEITSCH: Eco Friendly Slippers
Giesswein produces a beautiful, environmentally friendly wool slipper for both men and women. 90% virgin merino wool and 10% polyamide are used to make their slippers. The slippers’ heated rubber sole allows you to walk outdoors and, best of all, they can be machine washed. Their manufacturing approach generates zero waste, compared to the industry average of 20% in the footwear sector. The slipper socks include a triple-layer, recycled polyester inner that keeps your feet warm and comfortable.
They feature a wide selection of slippers in a variety of colours. Men’s, women’s, children’s, toddlers’, and baby’s slippers are all available. You can get a pair for each member of your household.
Why To Buy Sustainable Slippers?
We were astounded to learn how wasteful and troublesome the footwear industry is after our recent coverage of ethical sneakers and eco-friendly boots. Every year, over 300 million pairs of shoes are discarded.
That’s not even taking into account the waste generated by purchasing the shoes. Consider the shipping box, then the shoe box inside, the tissue paper, poly bags, cardboard shape holders, and the rest of the accessories that come with your shoes.
What do the vast majority of people do with Ethical Slippers?
Some may be recycled, but the vast majority are discarded. While they may appear to be innocuous, slippers are merely another example of the fashion industry’s wasteful practices. Because most slippers are inexpensive, their lifespans and durability are significantly lower than those of many other shoes.
For a multitude of reasons, leather slippers are among the worst offenders, including:
- Leather takes hundreds of years to decompose, even if it’s natural.
- It either supports the greenhouse gas-emitting cattle business or, even worse, does not come from meat industry wastes, resulting in the unnecessary slaughter of nearly 1 billion animals each year.
- Chemical tanning is utilised to process leather (up to 250 chemicals are utilised!), which is extremely hazardous to both the environment and the workers who do the activity.
Wherever possible, we recommend using really sustainable vegan faux leather.
Wool is another common material used in slippers, and while the list above shows that there are ethical methods to utilise wool, there are just as many unethical methods to utilise it. Shearing sheep via mulesing, a method of extracting wool by removing the back of Merino sheep without anaesthesia, is still widespread in Australia, for example.
The argument is that the process will scar the sheep’s back. The logic is that by scarring and smoothing the sheep’s back, flies won’t be able to deposit larvae in the sheep, causing illness and death.
Putting aside the apparent motives, the entire concept is repulsive. It’s also easy for companies to pull the wool over our eyes and claim that the wool is ethical without providing any evidence.
How We Found These Sustainable & Eco-Friendly Slippers?
You might be wondering how we distinguished between legitimate brands and those that are nothing more than a wolf dressed in Merino wool (get it?). We employed sustainable and ethical fashion criteria, which we devised ourselves after significant research as we did with all of our fashion brand guides.
The following are the five major categories:
- Material: Materials should be as low-impact as possible, ideally found natively in nature and treated organically so that they can biodegrade completely to compost in the end. Continue reading to learn about slipper textiles.
- Labour practises and the supply chain: Human rights abuses are a major problem in the fashion industry, so it’s critical that ethical businesses don’t contribute to the problem. We look for supply chain transparency and third-party certifications to see if a company treats its employees appropriately (living wages, safe working environments, etc.). The most common are B-Corp and Fair Trade, but there are lots of more credible ones to learn about in our guide to ethical, sustainable fashion.
- Inclusivity: We look for diverse models and vast size ranges in most fashion pieces (such as ethical active wear), supporting a healthy body image. However, because this does not apply to footwear, we left it off the list.
- Green business practices: Any ways the company attempts to reduce their environmental impact (carbon offsets, water saving practices, etc.) (carbon offsets, water saving practices, etc).
Charitable endeavours: A business that gives back to the community and/or cultivates an empowered, caring community is a huge plus. Many of these slipper businesses are so small and niche that they haven’t participated in any charity endeavours (or at least not that they noted on their websites). We didn’t rule out these brands because there aren’t many of them in the pool currently. We have faith that this will change as they mature.
Fabrics for Eco-Friendly Slippers
Natural fabrics, grown and produced organically without the use of chemicals, are, as always, the best. The fewer components that make up various fabrics, the easier it is to appropriately dispose of them at the end of their useful life. Because they have fewer components to consider, ethical slippers (and eco-friendly socks) have a leg (or foot?) up on sneakers in this area:
- Uppers/body: Organic cotton, hemp fabric, jute, bamboo fabric, cork fabric, and linen are the best fabrics for uppers and bodies (as with any fashion item). Wool, on the other hand, is a go-to fabric for many when it comes to something expressly made to keep you warm.
- A word on wool: While we prefer vegan products (including vegan shoe labels), we’re ready to make an exception for really ethical wool (one of the few items that, when done correctly, may be cruelty-free but not vegan). Sheep require shearing on a regular basis to remain healthy, thus wool as an animal waste is not intrinsically bad. However, it’s critical that the sheep have a healthy life (free range, not caged), that they’re only sheared in the summer, and that their skin isn’t injured in the process.
How do we know these standards are met?
First and foremost, we seek Merino wool. This wool is not only finer and softer, but it also originates from Merino sheep, which are most usually found in New Zealand, where sheep outnumber humans and are raised humanely. Merino can also come from Australia, where mulesing is still legal, thus we expressly hunt for Merino from New Zealand. Merino with the ZQ badge has been confirmed to meet the highest ethical standards. The Responsible Wool Standard is another certification to look for (RWS).
- Insoles: Many slippers don’t have separate insoles, instead relying on the upper to provide full foot coverage. Separate insoles are often composed of felted Merino wool, which is a desirable insole material since it is moisture-wicking, breathable, temperature-regulating, and antimicrobial (meaning it resists odour).
- Outsoles: Natural rubber (rather than synthetic latex) is the best choice because it is both durable and biodegradable. Rubber is a sustainable resource obtained by tapping the tree’s natural latex in a safe manner (like tapping for maple syrup).
Even some supposedly ethical shoe brands sell some with leather soles (which we advocate avoiding whenever possible in the above list). The only exceptions are those that employ recycled leather rather than virgin leather, which means they use pre-existing leather scraps. This means they’re not adding to the harm to any animals (the harm has already been done), and they’re also reducing waste, ensuring that the animal’s hide isn’t wasted.
See what I mean? You may be both comfortable and environmentally conscientious at the same time! Which, to be honest, is the best news we’ve got since the ban on plastic bags! Let’s be honest: we could all use some good news right now.
We hope our list of the finest environmental friendly slippers has been helpful, whether you need something plush to keep you cool in the heat or something to protect your toes from all those unexpected desert storms occurring Stateside. Please share this post with your favourite eco-friendly homebody, and let us know if you have a favourite sustainable slipper we should mention in the comments.