Whether you’re a long-time lover of slippers, looking to complete your minimalist wardrobe shopping, or are just getting into the slipper game, there’s no better option than to reach for eco-friendly and ethical slippers from lovely brands like the ones featured in this article.
So, along with a list of some of the best brands to shop from, I’ll also share with you just what to look out for when shopping for ethical and environmentally friendly slippers so that you can make the best choice for yourself.
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How to choose the best ethical slippers
Where materials are concerned, soft leather, felt, plastic, and rubber are the top contenders when it comes to slippers. Some are composed of a combination of materials to make the cover (the upper part), the lining, the insole, and the sole of the slipper, while others are designed more simply.
Whatever the case maybe it's super important to consider what materials our slippers are made from, where they are sourced, who makes them, and what the brand we choose to buy from values and invests in.
1. What kinds of fabrics/materials are used for ethical slippers?
Just as we would for any ethical shoe brand, let’s start with fabrics and materials. When it comes to slippers, natural fibers and materials are best. This includes fabrics and materials like ethically sourced, organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, or anything that is biodegradable and reduces the footprint associated with sourcing and manufacturing the product.
With that, slippers made out of recycled materials are also great because they help divert waste from landfills (and/or ecosystems) while reducing the need for virgin materials. That includes virgin fossil fuel, but also things like fur and leather to name a few.
Where possible, consider opting for slippers that are made with natural fabrics and materials that can be composted or otherwise responsibly discarded. When considering biodegradable materials, remember that some fabrics like leather may not be compostable at home due to the amount of time it takes to degrade.
2. How is the fabric/material sourced?
Next, consider how the materials for your slippers are sourced and who makes them. Also referred to as ethical sourcing, here we consider the practices used to make the materials used in our slippers, who grows or sources those materials, who assembles the final products, and the conditions under which these people work. Look out for fair wages, safe working conditions, and certifications like Fair Trade.
The objective is always to ensure minimal harm to the planet and its inhabitants which usually means no toxic chemical usage and high standards for animal welfare where applicable. Things like ethical wool, vegan leather, and ethically sourced plant fibers are great options.
I was able to find slippers made out of upcycled materials including leather, but also of natural materials like cotton and wool, complete with certifications to back up their sustainable and ethical claims, indicating little to no chemical use during production.
3. What is the brand's Corporate Responsibility?
At The Eco Hub, we also want to shop with businesses that are really committed to making a difference when it comes to ethics across their entire company. This usually means looking at sustainable business practices like plastic-free packaging, social and environmental initiatives, or certifications like the B-Corp.
You can use these criteria to shop for everything from sustainable outdoor clothing to vegan sandals, eco-friendly boots, fair trade blankets, and eco-friendly towels.
Eco friendly ethical slippers to love
If this is all a bit much (which I totally understand!), have no fear because I’ve carefully vetted several brands to help simplify your search for some of the best eco-friendly slippers on the market:
Founded by Thomas Glerup out of a development project in Nepal, current owners Jakob Lykke and Liz Wirth continue the Betterfelt legacy, offering wool felt products that are a fusion of Danish design and Nepali craftsmanship.
Their selection of high-quality, fair trade slippers is available in several styles and lovely colors for adults and kids alike. They carry several options for ethical and environmentally friendly slippers that can be worn inside, outside, or anywhere you seek comfort.
They also offer products for the home, including a very cozy-looking hand-felted cat cave made of 100% natural wool!
Betterfelt’s Materials and fabrics
Betterfelt’s designs are made of 100% pure, natural, and uncarbonized wool featuring either a leather sole or a rubber sole.
Betterfelt’s Ethical Sourcing
Betterfelt is a certified Fair Trade importer committed to a fair outcome for all of its employees across the entire value chain.
Where Fair Trade generally means higher production costs, Betterfelt opts for being careful with other costs and is willing to accept lower profit margins rather than passing on the costs to consumers through higher prices.
To ensure their business is operating fairly and sustainably, Betterfelt also owns its production facility together with their Nepali partner, Sabina Matangi. There, employees receive paid holidays, paid maternity leave, and other benefits like cash grants to fund their children’s education.
Betterfelt’s Corporate Responsibility
For over a decade, Betterfelt has been creating sustainable employment in Nepal.
Baabuk specializes in products made from wool. Following a long tradition of using felted footwear to withstand temperatures as low as -40C, Baabuk’s founders took a hint from the Russian Czars to create updated wool footwear with respect to their artisanal origin.
Find a variety of slippers including slip-ins, low-cut, and high-top options, as well as shoes including sneakers, ballerinas, and more. Sizes range from US 5-12 in women, and US 7-14 in men.
Baabuk's Materials and Fabric
Baabuk’s slippers are made from wool as you might have suspected – also featuring a natural crepe rubber sole, and an inner sole made from both natural cotton and wool.
Baabuk's Ethical Sourcing
The wool for their slippers is all sourced from New Zealand where their farmers use eco-friendly water and soap washing processes making sure to recycle the wastewater so it does not go on to contaminate surrounding waterways. This wool is not certified mulesing-free but the wool used for their sneakers is, and it comes from Portugal.
Slippers are manufactured in Nepal, which Baabuk chose as the manufacturing hub for their slippers based on the country’s long history of working with wool. Workers are ensured safe and ethical working conditions, a salary 25% of the national average, favoring women employees since men have more job opportunities in Nepal.
Baabuk's Corporate Responsibility
Baabuk is B-corp certified which speaks to their social and environmental standards and works to protect various breeds of sheep native to Switzerland where the company is based.
Founded by off-grid island homesteaders, Rawganique makes a wide selection of organic cotton, linen, and hemp eco products from start to finish. All of their products are made in the USA & EU with no dioxin, BPA, PVC, formaldehyde, GMO, or PFAs. Along with their eco-friendly PJs and eco-friendly socks, you will also find a wide selection of vegan, leather-free, and animal-friendly slippers.
Rawganique’s Fabric and material
All of their slippers are made of hemp, linen, or organic cotton and many are glue-free, dye-free and made of all-natural rubber soles.
Rawganique’s Ethical sourcing
All of Rawganique’s slippers are handmade at their atelier in Europe by long-term shoe artisans They ensure that all of their products are made under safe and fair working conditions.
Rawganique’s Corporate Responsibility
A small-scale manufacturer, Rawganique grows, weaves, knits and sews all of the clothing, bed, bath & home products they offer in-house. They are committed to providing the purest chemical-free, cruelty-free, and most environmentally friendly products possible.
Born out of the spirit of wonder, Allbirds is a New Zealand-American company that prides itself on providing the world's most comfortable shoes, flats, and clothing made with natural materials like merino wool and eucalyptus fiber. Along with their well-reputed selection of sustainable sneakers, they also offer some ’Loungers,’ which are slip-on made with breezy eucalyptus fibers or wool.
Allbirds Fabric and material
Their loungers are made of breathable eucalyptus tree fibers or ZQ Merino wool. The insoles are made of layered castor bean oil and ZQ Merino wool as well.
Allbirds Ethical sourcing
To make their 'Loungers', Allbirds uses responsibly sourced eucalyptus tree fiber from FSC® Certified forests, which are then manufactured in Shenzhen, China, and Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. Their wool options are made in Busan, South Korea using ZQ Merino wool to ensure high standards of farming, land management, and animal welfare.
Allbirds Corporate Responsibility
Allbirds have prioritized reducing their environmental impact from the very beginning. Now a certified B-Corp, they are consistently working to reduce their environmental impact through numerous initiatives.
With that, their Tree and Wool Loungers are completely carbon neutral thanks to sustainable practices like choosing natural materials and buying carbon emission offsets. Their packaging is also made from 90% recycled cardboard.
Featured on Made Trade, one of my favorite Amazon alternatives, Krygies offers a great selection of eco friendly slippers in various styles and colors. With help from the best wool felters in the world — women artisans in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan — Kyrgies wool slippers keep your feet at the perfect temperature year-round. Their selection includes eco-friendly slippers for both men and women.
Kyrgies’ Fabric and material
Kyrgies slippers are made of felted wool and all-natural, vegetable-tanned leather that is tanned without chrome or chromium. For color, their wool is dyed using food coloring.
Kyrgies’ Ethical sourcing
Kyrgies ensure that all of the artisans who produce their handmade slippers are paid a living wage. The factory where they are made is also a women-run factory, and their slippers are handcrafted from mulesing-free wool felt grown on small, family-run farms. The sheep who provide this wool are kept in open pastures from spring to autumn and moved to the yards of Kyrgyz villagers during the winter months.
Kyrgies’ Corporate Responsibility
Kyrgies is a 1% For The Planet member and Climate Neutral Certified.
With their family business in its third generation, Markus and Johannes Giesswein has been dealing with wool since childhood and have made it their business to use the positive basic properties of wool anew to create unique products.
Using only select handpicked wool qualities according to high ethical and ecological standards, their selection of products includes a wide array of slippers for men and women, with lots of adorable options for children as well.
Giesswein’s Fabric and material
GIESSWEIN’S slippers are made from natural quality crossbred wool and natural rubber.
Giesswein’s Ethical sourcing
All of GIESSWEIN’S wool products are made at their local GIESSWEIN wool manufacturing facility in Austria where they ensure 0% material waste, up to 90% recycled water in production, and 100% use of renewable raw materials.
Product development, fabric manufacturing, and product shipment are carried out in Austria. And the assembly of the individual parts for their shoes such as fabric, soles, and accessories is done in Vietnam or China. To ensure fair working conditions and high standards, their managing director visits the factories personally twice a year.
GIESSWEIN only uses high-quality merino wool from small farmers who have been awarded the mulesing-free certificate and who meet their criteria with regard to animal welfare and quality.
Giesswein’s Corporate Responsibility
GIESSWEIN was the first in Austria to introduce a water recycling system at their factory as part of their commitment to recycling wherever possible. They also refrain from using any chemicals in the fulling process, which enables them to recycle and reuse 90% of the water they consume.
All wool leftovers from their processes are recycled and turned into new products as part of their Zero Waste Policy. Since 2017, they’ve also successfully moved away from using crude oil to operate their machines, using renewable raw materials instead.
One of our favorite BIPOC-owned companies, Manitobah Mukluks’ vision is to build a vibrant, global brand that makes a significant impact in Indigenous communities. Named after a mukluk, one of the original winter boots of Canada (known for generations as the warmest winter boot in the world), Manitobah Mukluks offers a wide selection of winter boots, moccasins, accessories, and slippers for men, women, and kids.
Manitobah Mukluks’ Fabric and material
Their slippers are made from a variety of materials including fleece, suede, rabbit fur, tipi Vibram, and natural rubber.
Manitobah Mukluks’ Ethical sourcing
To compete on the global market, some of their items are produced internationally; however many of their signature products are made at their headquarters in Winnipeg, Canada. To shop accordingly, simply filter their products using the drop-down menu on their mukluk or moccasin pages and select Made in Canada to view that collection.
As an Indigenous-owned company, Manitobah ensures that it shares its success with the communities and individuals they work with. As such, every Manitobah purchase supports an Indigenous-owned business operating in Canada.
Manitobah Mukluks’ Corporate Responsibility
Manitobah prides itself on keeping traditions alive while celebrating shared values and history, and actively building new visions of the future by reinvesting its time and capital to contribute to Indigenous successes.
Also one of our favorite ethical fashion brands, Thought is committed to crafting sustainable clothing from natural fabrics, using considered design and responsible sourcing, while fostering change. With a mission to live more thoughtfully, they hope to inspire you to do so too with their collection of thoughtfully crafted products including the Hattie Bamboo Printed Slipper, which makes a great option for eco friendly house slippers.
Thought’s Fabric and material
Their slipper sock is made of viscose derived from bamboo, organic cotton, elastane jersey, and recycled polyester.
Thought’s Ethical sourcing
Thought is committed to achieving high ethical social standards, ensuring working conditions reach the standards set by the International Labour Organisation. They are also members of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), a leading alliance of companies, trade unions, and NGOs that promote respect for workers’ rights around the globe.
Thought also takes every step possible to show great care to the people involved in making their clothing by building lasting relationships, regularly visiting and checking in with their factories, and ensuring that all their suppliers and their supply chains commit to their Environmental Policy.
Thought’s Corporate Responsibility
With sustainability as a core value, Thought recognizes its responsibilities toward the environment, ecosystems, and local communities. To that end, 98% of their packaging is recyclable and 95% of their collection is PETA approved.
They only use 100% biodegradable garments bags, organic cotton labels, vegan glue, are 100% sea freight, and use absolutely no plastic in their packaging. They also upcycle leftover fabric at the source to reduce waste and create new products.
With quality and conscience in mind, Muffle-Up!’s products are thoughtfully constructed, using reclaimed leather and fur and the very best of everything else. Also featured as one of our favorite affordable ethical brands, they offer a great selection of quality handmade merino wool slippers for adults, children and babies too, as well as other unique accessories like reclaimed fur pillows.
Muffle Up’s Fabric and material
All of their slippers are made with reclaimed leather soles, repurposed sheep's fur lining, and Merino wool yarn.
Muffle Up’s Ethical sourcing
Muffle Up’s handmade and eco-friendly products are fabricated on unceded traditional Algonquin territory in the town of Perth, Ontario.
Muffle Up’s Corporate responsibility
To make their products, Muffle-Up! upcycles both fur and leather, giving new life to out-of-date materials while taking a conscious and respectful approach to using materials derived from animals.
Founded by Ariel Kaye, a design enthusiast and a super consumer of home goods, Parachute provides high quality, affordable, and easy to shop for home products, starting with impeccable bedding. They’ve expanded their collection to include towels, robes, home decor, and of course, great eco friendly slippers. This includes their Classic Turkish Cotton Slipper and their Waffle Bootie perfect for the cold winter months.
Parachute’s Fabric and material
For its slippers, Parachute uses Turkish cotton.
Parachute’s Ethical sourcing
Parachute ensures that its manufacturers craft their home essentials using only the finest materials. The Turkish cotton they use is sourced from the Aegean region. They are also Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified which means that their products are made without any harmful chemicals or synthetics.
Parachute’s Corporate responsibility
Parachute’s products arrive at your doorstep packaged in a reusable pouch made from the same fine fabric used to make their products or in a beautiful laundry bag.
A final word on shopping for eco friendly ethical slippers
Caring for the planet and its inhabitants should not mean having to forgo our simple little pleasures, even when they carry big human and environmental implications. Whether you’re looking for eco friendly men's slippers or some warm slippers for the winter, I hope these criteria and brands will help you find what you are looking for without compromising your needs.
If you happen to be looking for any other sustainable living essentials be sure to check out our Brand Directory featuring lots of my favorite trusted brands.
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