Ethically-Made Shoes Worth It?

Since having my ethical clothing awakening six months back, I’ve been on the hunt for humanely-made shoes. It’s been a lot easier to be ethical with my clothing choices. I rarely shop now, and when I do, I thrift. But I was stuck when it came to shoes. Especially if I wanted a specific type of shoe. Looking for the perfect black boot is hard enough without thinking about who or what went into the making of them. Consciousness can be so pesky (don’t tell the Dalai Lama I said so).

H&M fedora โ€ข vintage dress via Ramona West โ€ข Maians shoes

For the summer (this is me being optimistic about Scottish weather), I wanted a pair of canvas lace-ups. After much googling I found these Spanish plimsolls by a brand called Maians. Each pair is handmade using regionally sourced material and environmentally friendly vulcanized rubber. Woohoo! And I found them on sale (30%) at Shopbop. Woohoo again!

The major downside? They aren’t cheap. Even on sale they are $72.80. You can find a pair of faux Keds or cheapie plimsolls here at H&M for about $10. That’s a whole lotta moola you could save. I know shopping ethically costs more, and I usually think it’s totally worth it (paying someone a living wage — yup 100% worth it), but do these zapatos really have to be $100 to be ethical? Me thinks, non. I could be wrong. Maybe I don’t know how much it costs to have a job and live in Barcelona. A living wage there is probably not cheap, and much harder now that Spain is being battered by the recession.

So, as you can see, I’m still hemming-and-hawing my way through all my ethical dilemmas. Do you guys have any great sources for ethically-made shoes?

p.s. Maians is not a sponsor. These are 100% my own thoughts/words/opinions/dilemmas.


Dear Cath,

Whatchu think? I got these because I really wanted some easy-breasy shoes for my summer travels (to climes much more sunny and warm). The other snafu is that they will need some breaking in. They aren’t lined on the inside (again, makes you wonder about the price) and the vulcanize rubber rubs my toes where it meets the canvas.

Miss you muchoooo!!!



11 thoughts on “Ethically-Made Shoes Worth It?”

  1. Hi Lar!
    I was going to ask about whether or not they were comfy. Maybe you should get some of those little socks that people wear under ballet flats, but they always poke out. Isn’t it funny how flats always seem more uncomfortable than heels?!
    I love the look of them though – and your dress and hat. Is it warm enough for you to wear that outfit outside?!
    miss you too! xoxo, cath

  2. Hehehe! I didn’t mention in the post, but I thought it was warm enough with a little jacket. The moment Matt and I stepped outside, the wind and rain picked up and I ran back upstairs and threw on a sweater (plus jacket) and wellies — and I was still cold ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. love that dress!!! gorgeous color!! you guys put together great outfits!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, you totally make my day brighter (literally!) when I’m sitting in my freezing cube avoiding work. So thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I’m so frugal but I think sometimes you have to pay more for what you want. Now, the shoes don’t have lining? I would say that’s a tad too high. We did a post a while back on Jeff Garner, who makes sustainable clothing. He does a lot of shows in London and his clothes aren’t terribly pricey. I do like the look of the shoes, although it would have been a hard sale for my frugal (you know what!)I love the bright dress and hat–along with your funny expression ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Adore the whole outfit and the great spring/summer colors!!! You look fabulous! Reading your post on ethical clothing has made me wonder and think about the stuff that I own! Thanks for opening my eyes.

  6. I lurve the new kicks, Lar! They totes look cute with the dress and the fedora! I’ve totally been getting better about consuming ethically thanks to your inspiration! Mostly thrifted stuffs, but hey, that works too, right? ALSO, I started juicing just this past weekend. I finally drank liquid kale, and strangely enough, I LOVED it.

  7. SOoooo cute! That is definitely a downside of ethical shopping: the expense. But I suppose if you really get a hold on yourself and don’t shop very often, it all kind of evens out. Your summer canvas shoes are extra adorable.

  8. Hi! It is quite worrying that one can not buy a pair of simple plimsolles that are made locally! Thankyou for this post I will investigate getting a pair. My husband and I have spent this summer wearing espadrilles made in France. They lasted the summer (a few times got very wet), but they weren’t expensive and same price as those made in China! But if felt so nice and exquisite having a pair of shoes from Europe! Check out Prodiso espadrilles. Great stuff! Good luck and stay ethical!

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