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Slip into style this season with a pair of sustainable and ethical sandals from one of these conscious brands.

This sustainable sandal guide has any type of footwear you need for warmer weather! Think eco-friendly vegan sandals, recycled and natural rubber flip flops, fair trade slides, and ethical walking sandals.

What Are (More) Sustainable Sandals?

Oof. The word “sustainable” is a bit of a loaded term that comes with a lot of confusion and difference of opinions! I actually try to stay away from using the word sustainable when it comes to products, since pretty much no product is sustainable, even if it was made with some lower impact and eco-minded processes. But that’s the language most people use, and I want this content to be accessible and discoverable.

With that said, here are some sustainability criterion you’ll want to look for when it comes to footwear like sandals:

Quality and Materials

Footwear is probably the hardest category in fashion to find eco-friendly materials for, because shoes require considerable functionality and durability. Virtually no footwear right now is recyclable (with the exception of a few brands). So durability is even more important for shoes than clothing when it comes to sustainability.

Buying less (which usually requires buying more durable, longer-lasting goods) is a key part of sustainability. This is why I’ve included vegetable-tanned leather sandals, despite some very valid concerns about the sustainability of leather. Good quality leather is long-lasting, durable, and importantly, more repairable.

I have also included plant-based vegan leather alternatives. Most of these do still contain a percentage of synthetic materials. I am a vegetarian myself so buying leather doesn’t quite sit right with me, and I do like to see more alternatives coming to the market since “vegan leather” right now typically means pleather (i.e. plastic). In addition to being made with fossil fuels, many plastic vegan leather items I own haven’t lasted. They’ve simply shedded off after a year or two of wear! Disappointing to say the least.

Personally, I prioritize upcycled leather and secondhand leather so I can get the best of both worlds with durability, sustainability, and animal welfare. However, you might feel uncomfortable buying used shoes, and I totally understand that!

Ethical Production

Way too often, we see workers left out of the sustainability equation. But safe conditions and fair wages are absolutely necessary in a truly sustainable fashion future. People are part of the planet too! So you’ll see next to the Conscious Qualities section by each brand, I’ve added which brands are going above and beyond to ensure supply chain transparency and fair production.

Other Sustainable Practices

Some other sustainability-minded supply chain practices might include:

  • Use of renewable energy at manufacturing facilities and throughout the supply chain
  • Take-back and resale program
  • Repairability of products
  • Recycled and biodegradable packaging

Where to Find Sustainable and Ethical Sandals

Without further ado, let’s get onto the brand list! Each brand features a description, a breakdown of their sustainability highlights (called “Conscious Qualities), and a price range key, so you have an idea of which brands fit your budget for your ethical and eco-friendly sandals.

One note on the budget front: don’t forget to consider cost per wear! This is the total cost divided by the number of times you wear an item. If you’re buying a quality pair of sandals that’ll be your go-to shoes for many summers to come, you could be wearing them 300+ times!

Price Range Key: $ = Under $100 | $$ = $100 – $200 | $$$ = $200+

This article features affiliates and partners. As always, we only feature brands that meet high standards for sustainability that we love — and that we think you’ll love too!

1. Nisolo

Nisolo is a B-Corporation is an ethical shoe brand committed to paying living wages across their supply chain. The brand also launched a Sustainability Facts Label, modeled after the nutrition facts label for food products. And Nisolo has shoe reclamation + donation program. NIsolo’s shoes are made from high-quality Leather Working Group-certified leather.

Conscious Qualities: Pays Living Wages, Shoe Reclamation and Donations

Price Range: $ – $$

Check Out Nisolo

beige sustainable slip-on sandals from Nisolo

2. Christy Dawn

Christy Dawn creates swoon-worthy sustainable clothing and accessories — including their elegant recycled leather sandals. The brand’s signature sandal is designed for functionality and versatility. Simple enough to wear for casual outings while elevated enough to rock to weddings and other special occasions.

Conscious Qualities: Recycled Leather, Ethical Production

Price Range: $$

Check Out Christy Dawn

black sustainable sandals from Christy Dawn

3. 1 People

1 People has sustainable flat sandals as well as block open-toe heels. Their chic sandals are crafted with Global Organic Textile Standard-certified dyed Piñatex® (pineapple leather) or VEGEA (grape leather) for their uppers and Global Recycled Standard-certified Eco Suede for the linings. The block heels are made from Tung Oil-treated and responsibly-harvested teak wood. Even the 1 People logo plate is made from recycled brass!

Conscious Qualities: Vegan, Recycled & Natural Materials, Supply Chain Transparency

Price Range: $$-$$$

Check Out 1 People

black vegan sustainable slides from 1 People

4. Good Guys

Looking for a sustainable alternative to Birkenstocks? Look no further than Good Guys! This vegan brand has buckled slide-ons and cross strap sandals made with materials like Appleskin (a vegan leather alternative made partially from apple waste), cork, and even linings made with corn. The sustainable slides are made by artisans in Spain and are skillfully crafted with arch support too.

Conscious Qualities: Vegan, Recycled & Natural Materials, Artisan-Made in Spain

Price Range: $$

Check Out Good Guys

sustainable Birkenstocks style sandals from Good Guys Don't Wear Leather

5. Rothy’s

The shoe brand that made waves with their ultra comfy recycled flats has a gorgeous selection of sandals, too.

Rothy’s uses recycled plastic bottles for their footwear. While I’m typically not a fan of using recycled plastic in fashion, it can make sense in footwear which necessitates durability (and shoes aren’t as prone to releasing microplastics compared with commonly washed textiles).

Conscious Qualities: Vegan, Recycled Materials, TRUE Platinum certified for zero waste practices

Price Range: $ – $$

Check Out Rothy’s

black knot vegan sandals made with recycled materials

6. ABLE

ABLE is an ethical shoe brand taking transparency to a new level with their Lowest Wage Challenge, where they publish not just their average, but their lowest wages — and challenge other brands to do the same. I actually visited ABLE’s headquarters in Nashville and really admire what they’re doing in this industry! I do wish they had more environmental sustainability initiatives, though.

Conscious Qualities: Ethical Production, Supply Chain Transparency

Price Range: $ – $$

Check Out ABLE

cream colored sustainable slide sandals from ABLE

7. CANO

CANO is a fair trade shoe brand with durable, vegetable-tanned leather sandals. Each pair is crafted using certified chromium-free leather, rubber crepe for the soles, and upcycled airplane tires for the outsoles. The brand’s shoes are handmade in by artisans who work in family-owned shoe manufacturing facilities in Mexico. The artisans earn fair wages, work in safe conditions, and do not work shifts longer than 8 hours.

Qualities: Fair Trade, Vegetable Tanned Leather

Price Range: $

Check Out CANO

sustainable black slide sandals from CANO

8. Brother Vellies

Brother Vellies is a Black-owned sustainable accessories brand founded by Aurora James with the goal of celebrating and sustaining traditional African artisan techniques. The brand now sources from artisans around the world who create timeless, quality shoes from conscious materials like vegetable-tanned leathers, recycled tires, hand-carved wood, and natural dyes.

Conscious Qualities: Artisan-Made, BIPOC-Owned, Vegetable-Tanned Leather (not clear if all leather is veg-tanned)

Price Range: $$$ – $$$+

Check Out Brother Vellies’ Sandals

zebra print beige and black ethical sandals from Brother Vellies

9. Deux Mains

Featured in the likes of Vogue, InStyle, Marie Claire, Deux Mains is a stylishly sustainable brand with ethical sandals and accessories using locally sourced and upcycled materials. Deux Mains pays their artisan partners fair wages and is working to preserve the local craftsmanship in the areas they work.

The conscious sandals are made in a solar-powered factory using upcycled tire soles and inner tubes and leather. The type of leather used in the sandals is not specified if it’s vegetable-tanned or chrome-tanned, though.

Conscious Qualities: Fair Trade, Some Upcycled Materials

Price Range: $

Women’s Fair Trade Sandals | Men’s Sandals

tan ethical sustainable sandals from Deux Mains

10. Indosole

Indosole creates vegan flip flops from recycled tires, which helps reduce the 1.5 billion tires that end up in the landfill each year while also avoiding the production of new resources. For the uppers of the flip flops, Indosole uses organic canvas, banana leaves, and grass. The B-Corporation pretty much checks the box for every value: sustainable, ethically-made, and vegan! And compared to many other conscious shoe brands, the prices are affordable too.

Conscious Qualities: Ethical Production, Recycled Materials, Vegan

Price Range: $

Check Out Indosole

woman wearing purple sustainable recycled flip flops and man wearing sustainable slide sandals

11. NAE Vegan

Nae is a vegan shoe brand producing sustainable sandals from natural materials like cork and piñatex (faux leather made from discarded pineapple leaves) and recycled materials, such as rubber from car tires. When browsing their selections, note that there are also some synthetic materials used such as OEKO-TEX Certified microsuede which aren’t as ideal.

Conscious Qualities: Vegan, Plant-Based and Recycled Options

Price Range: $ – $$

Check Out Nae Vegan

model wearing black vegan sustainable sandals

Bonus! ThredUp (Secondhand)

ThredUp is the ultimate online destination for thrifted fashion — shoes included. You can sort by size, color, and price range among many other filters to find a pair that suits you. I know that not everyone feels comfortable wearing pre-worn sandals, but ThredUp also has some options with tags still on them so it may still be worth browsing through even if you would prefer a pair of sandals that haven’t been worn before.

Conscious Qualities: Sustainable

Price Range: $ – $$

Explore ThredUp’s Secondhand Sandals

You May Also Want to Check Out:

14 Ethical, Eco & Vegan Shoe Brands

Sustainably Handmade Sandals and Slides from Salt + Umber

7 Brands with Sustainable and Ethical Flats

The post 11 Ethical and Sustainable Sandals Brands For Carefree Summer Days appeared first on Conscious Life & Style.

11 Ethical and Sustainable Sandals Brands For Carefree Summer Days

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Hawaiian Electric and Other Defendants Reach Tentative $4 Billion Maui Wildfire Settlement

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In a lawsuit over the Maui wildfires of August 2023, Hawaiian Electric and other defendants have tentatively agreed to a settlement of more than $4 billion.

The proposed deal, which has not yet received final approval, would settle the lawsuits of thousands of businesses and homeowners against the island’s utility, Hawaiian Electric, said people familiar with the agreement who were not authorized to speak about it publicly, Bloomberg reported.

The devastating wildfires killed 102 people, damaged or demolished 2,207 structures — most of them residential — and caused approximately $5.5 billion in damages.

Buildings continue to smolder days after a wildfire gutted downtown Lahaina, Maui, on Aug. 11, 2023. Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Other defendants in the lawsuit include the state of Hawaii, Charter Communications and Maui County, reported Honolulu Civil Beat.

On July 9, a committee of Maui County Council members passed a resolution to authorize the approval of a global settlement, with a vote by the full council on whether to adopt it scheduled for Friday.

“There are discussions, but to my knowledge, nothing’s happened,” said Rick Fried, an attorney for Maui County, as Honolulu Civil Beat reported.

Someone familiar with the talks commented, “It’s not a done deal. The situation is very much in flux.”

There are nearly 500 lawsuits pending with thousands of potential plaintiffs, but it is unknown where they stand with regards to the proposed agreement.

A complication is that insurers have paid billions in wildfire claims worldwide, for which they have filed for reimbursement.

Bloomberg said lawyers for the insurance industry are seeking $2 billion in reimbursement from the settlement for claims previously paid, according to the anonymous sources. In response, an offer was made by plaintiffs for $600 million, but it wasn’t known if it had been accepted by the insurers.

Shares of Hawaiian Electric rose by up to 43 percent on Friday, the highest since August of last year.

It remained unclear how the settlement’s liability would be divided between the governments and companies, according to the anonymous sources. They said Hawaiian Electric was liable for roughly $1.5 billion, but the shares of other companies were still in the process of being finalized. Some sources said the proposed settlement would be paid over a span of four years, reported Bloomberg.

The amount that would be paid from the settlement to homeowners and businesses was also still unknown.

The tentative agreement was reached through mediation sessions ordered by the court, but the judge had yet to sign off on it.

Hawaiian Electric was lambasted for not turning off power in the face of warnings of gale-force, dry winds settling the stage for critical fire conditions in August of 2023.

Since the disaster, the power company’s credit has been reduced to “junk,” limiting its ability to raise capital and causing a loss of over half its market value.

The utility acknowledged that electric power lines were downed and power poles snapped by the intense winds, which caused a small fire near Lahaina on August 8. But executives for Hawaiian Electric said the blaze was extinguished by firefighters, who left the site. That afternoon, a fire flared up there after the electric company had shut off power.

The county sued the power company, saying it had not properly prepared equipment for the possibility of wildfires. Hawaiian Electric’s countersuit put the blame on the county.

County officials declined to disclose the deal’s amount, but local news reports said they were open to “a negotiated settlement,” as Bloomberg reported.

The post Hawaiian Electric and Other Defendants Reach Tentative $4 Billion Maui Wildfire Settlement appeared first on EcoWatch.

https://www.ecowatch.com/maui-wildfire-lawsuit-hawaiian-electric-settlement.html

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California Officials Praise Renewables, Battery Storage for Grid Resilience Amid Heat Wave

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After a few weeks of heat advisories and even devastating wildfires, California’s power grid has faced minimal disruptions. Officials are praising the state’s long-term focus on renewable energy infrastructure and battery storage for enhancing grid stability, even in the extreme heat.

“This was a good early test that we passed in very good shape,” said Elliot Mainzer, president and CEO of California Independent System Operator (CAISO), as reported by The Sacramento Bee. “Investments in new clean energy and in dispatchable battery storage played a major role.”

As Dede Subakti, vice president of system operations at CAISO, explained on the company’s website, increasing temperatures can strain power grids. In addition to more households cranking up the heat and using more power, high temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit can also cause power plants to operate less efficiently, the Union of Concerned Scientists explained on its blog.

These issues can cause energy demand to exceed supply, leading to outages that put communities in more danger from the extreme temperatures. Grid operators may also trigger rotating power outages to different communities to reduce the strain on the grid and avoid larger, longer-lasting power disruptions.

But clean energy resources can improve grid resiliency by providing stored energy, and solar power can meet energy demand where it’s needed, alleviating some of the demand on the grid.

California is a leader of renewables in the U.S. As of 2023, about 54% of the state’s electricity generation came from renewables, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). California has set a target to reach 60% renewables by 2030 and 100% renewable energy by 2045.

In recent years, rolling blackouts have been an issue across the state during more frequent and intensifying heat waves. But California’s investments in renewable energy are helping to curb these outages.

“California’s power grid held up against prolonged record temperatures because of new clean energy resources, more battery storage, and enhanced coordination with state government — and the grid was also able to export energy to other states in need during this heat wave,” Subakti said.

The California Independent System Operator control room in Folsom, California on Sept. 21, 2022. California ISO / Facebook

Earlier this year, in May, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced record solar power output, which reached 18,933 megawatts on May 13. This was a 20-fold increase compared to 2012. According to the governor’s office, clean energy exceeded grid demand for a record 34 days at the time.

As ABC7 News reported, officials have warned that extreme weather, like heat waves, will still pose threats to the grid without more actions to address the impacts of climate change.

The post California Officials Praise Renewables, Battery Storage for Grid Resilience Amid Heat Wave appeared first on EcoWatch.

https://www.ecowatch.com/california-renewable-energy-grid-resilience-stability-extreme-heat.html

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5 Petite Sustainable Fashion Brands with Clothing Designed for Smaller Frames

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Size inclusivity must be embedded into the sustainable fashion movement — but we have a long way to go and a frequently requested category is petite sustainable fashion for individuals who are under 5 ft 4 inches.

I must say that it wasn’t easy to find eco-friendly and ethical clothing brands that catered to those with shorter and narrower frames, but below you’ll find 10 brands who have specifically proportioned their clothing for petites with different pant and sleeve lengths, shoulder lengths, armhole heights, and more!

The price range is $ = most garments under $100 | $$ = most garments $100 – $200 | $$$ = most garments over $200

Note that this guide includes affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if you choose to make a purchase through some of these links. As always, all brands featured meet our sustainability standards and are brand we love, that we think you’ll love too!

1. Eileen Fisher

Eileen Fisher is a leader in the sustainable fashion world with their timeless garments slow-made with ecologically-minded fabrics, like organic linen and organic cotton. With the brand’s classic relaxed-fit designs and exceptional quality, Eileen Fisher’s pieces are sure to last the test of time. The slow fashion designer label also has extended sizes, offering a pretty extensive collection of both plus and petite sizes.

Price Range: $$ – $$$

Size Range: PP – PL

2. Christy Dawn

Known for their dreamy dresses in lovely hues and feminine prints, Christy Dawn is a Los Angeles-based slow fashion label with style and sustainability both at the forefront. The brand uses organic cotton and has been investing and partnering directly with farmers to source beyond organic regenerative cotton too. Their petite styles feature shorter hems and smaller proportions.

Price Range: $$$

Size Range: PXS – PXXL

3. Petite Studio

“The first indie brand just for petite women”, Petite Studio produces their garments mindfully, following high standards for quality, fit, and ethics.

Petite Studio’s only factory is owned by the founder’s family friend and is located in her hometown in Jiangshan, China — this ensures better transparency and quality.

Unfortunately the brand uses polyester for many pieces, but they do have some natural fiber options and a natural fabric collection.

Price Range: $$

Size Range: XXSP – LP

Woman wearing slow fashion petite clothing from Petite Studio

4. EcoPetities

Crafted with sustainably-sourced fabrics like hemp and organic cotton and designed for smaller frames, EcoPetites is a brand of eco-friendly clothing for petites. EcoPetites also uses low-impact fiber-reactive dyes.

The brand creates comfy loungewear and activewear in small batches in Minnesota where the founder lives.

Price Range: $$

Size Range: XXSP – XLP

Magenta dress from eco-friendly petite clothing brand

5. Universal Standard

Universal Standard is breaking down the size barriers in the fashion industry with their inclusively sized garments. The brand has clothing in sizes ranging from 00 – 40 as well as clothing proportioned for petite sizes.

The brand even has a program where you can exchange a product for free if your size changes within one year, called the Fit Liberty Collection.

Note: Universal Standard does not offer much transparency into production processes; they are included in this guide due to their revolutionary size inclusivity and attention to fit, quality, and inclusive representation.

Price Range: $$

Size Range: 0 – 40 Petite

Petite black shirt and petite jeans from Universal Standard

Secondhand Petite Clothing Options

ThredUp

ThredUp is the ultimate resource for all-things secondhand — including pre-loved petite-sized clothing. With tops, jackets, activewear, denim, skirts, dresses, and more, ThredUp is an impressive resource for finding any style of petite-sized clothing you’re looking for.

Price Range: $

Size Range: XXSP – 3XLP (some 4X & 5X options, though not many)

Explore ThredUp’s Petite Collection

Poshmark

Another large online resale site, Poshmark has plenty of secondhand clothing in petite sizes to choose from. Poshmark operates as a peer-to-peer marketplace, more similar to eBay, so you will be purchasing directly from another individual. So, there isn’t as much quality control, but there are a lot of gems to be found!

Price Range: $

Size Range: XXSP – XXLP

Explore Poshmark’s Petite Collection

The post 5 Petite Sustainable Fashion Brands with Clothing Designed for Smaller Frames appeared first on Conscious Life & Style.

5 Petite Sustainable Fashion Brands with Clothing Designed for Smaller Frames

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