Image: Catherine Tough
Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
THE BEST SUSTAINABLE SLIPPERS
13 brands making cosy eco, ethical and vegan slippers
By hannah rochell
25 november 2021
You’ve probably spent more time in your slippers the last couple of years than ever before due to pandemic lockdowns, and the chances are that means you’ve worn a hole in them and you’re in the market for a new pair. But next time you’re shopping for slippers, it’s worth pausing to ponder what they are made from, and who made them. Was the worker who embroidered your slippers paid fairly? And that polyester upper might be practical, but is it recycled?
So whether it's the cold weather or simply working from home that’s making you reassess your slipper situation, we wanted to remind you that keeping your toes toasty doesn’t have to cost the Earth. Here, we’ve rounded up the best natural and recycled options for keeping your feet snug.
Wool is a natural, biodegradable material that is often felted into sheets of material, then cut and sewn into slippers. If left with all its natural qualities, wool will also keep your feet fresher than synthetic fibres, as well being super warm.
While we’re big fans of bright colours, it turns out that sheepskin looks fantastic when it's left to its own devices, too. These ALYS slippers haven’t been dyed at all and come in a mesh cotton bag that has been designed to be re-used - ideal as a vegetable bag or for your toiletries.
Baabuk’s cosy felted wool slippers are made from New Zealand wool, where the cruel practice of mulesing is banned. They’re handmade in Nepal using traditional methods and the sole is made from natural rubber. Choose from a mule style or these cute booties in a variety of colours.
Well-known for their sustainable trainers, Allbirds also makes Wool Loungers, a slip-on style that is ideal to be used as a slipper and comes with the bonus of being outdoor friendly. Made from merino wool, they also have a carbon-neutral sole made using sugarcane.
These certified Fair Trade wool slippers are given their zingy colours using eco-friendly dyes. The pure wool contains lanolin, which naturally repels odours, moisture and grime. Their double sole makes them extra comfortable, too.
This style is called Woolpops, and that pop of colour on the natural rubber sole is achieved using food colouring! They’re available in various shades of grey wool and colour pop sole options.
Many ethical slipper brands use traditional methods and artisan makers to produce their mules and booties, keeping old techniques alive and creating employment for local people.
The Small Home
This company sources all of its leathers as ethically as possible, and its sheepskin is off-cuts from Rolls Royce interiors! It has loads of styles of handmade slippers available, and these silver beauties, which have a snuggly shearling lining, are also suitable to be worn outside.
This Scottish designer uses traditional methods to make her knitwear, including these cool geometric slippers which boast a Hand Intarsia technique. They are made with British spun lambswool and lined with British sheepskin - a byproduct of the meat industry that would otherwise be considered as waste.
Kyrgies has a few different styles but we particularly love these house shoes which come in six different colours. They are handcrafted from sheets of wool felt by artisans in Kyrgyzstan and have a non-slip veg-tanned leather sole, which uses less chemicals and prevents water pollution.
We love the colours and patterns that knitwear designer Catherine Tough’s slippers are available in (see also top). They’re handmade and lined with a fluffy sheepskin for extra warmth. Why not invest in a matching hot water bottle cover for the ultimate home office accessory?
Whether they’re made from plastic bottles or wool, recycled materials are the ultimate in eco slippers. Remember to wash manmade materials in a Guppyfriend bag or similar to catch microplastics before they enter the water system.
Everlane’s ReNew slippers are made from 100% recycled nylon and polyester with a rubber sole that’s 94.2% free of virgin plastic. We love the quilted style - like a duvet for your feet! Available in cream and black.
Choose from 12 colour combinations of Mahabis Curve slippers. They’re made using recycled wool for their uppers, as well as organic wool lining and a natural rubber sole, and come in 100% recycled packaging.
Made from recycled plastic and recycled rubber, a pair of Gumbies’ Outback Slippers uses the equivalent of eight plastic bottles, saving them from landfill or polluting the ocean. They’re also suitable for vegans.
This might look like a felt upper, but it’s actually another pair of beauties made from recycled plastic bottles. These Mercredy slippers are available in LOADS of colour combinations, so there’s something for everyone.
This article was originally published in February and has been updated