Why this eco-friendly shoe brand should be on your radar

Banu Ibrahim
March 9, 2018

Story highlights

  • Nisolo, a direct-to-consumer brand, focuses on ethically made footwear and accessories
  • Its best-selling styles include the Calano Oxford and Paloma Mule

More and more, we're paying attention to where our personal belongings come from. From our clothing to our bedding to our skincare products, we've been taking a closer look at how the ingredients and processes used to make them can affect the people around us and our environment.

Take your average pair of leather shoes, for example. Leather production can pose some pretty serious environmental risks if tanneries don't dispose of chemicals properly. And as with many segments of the clothing industry, cheap fashion options may have been made by workers who aren't paid a fair wage.

One company that's addressing these issues in the leather shoe industry is Nisolo. The footwear and accessory brand is dedicated to its supply chain. Nisolo creates its products as eco-consciously as possible, using upcycled materials for all of its jewelry as well as using vegetable tanned leather, which is a much more sustainable and environmentally friendly tanning process.

The brand employs local artisans around the world who treat the footwear creation process as art form. They are compensated a fair wage; Nisolo says the average salary of its producers is 27% higher than fair trade wage requirements. In addition, they're given healthy and safe working environments, as well as health care.

This is great if you're looking for a brand that checks off the boxes for ethically made and eco-friendly. Even better is the fact that these styles are seriously cool.

Nisolo's shoes span a number of styles, including mules, boots, sneakers, Oxfords, loafers, slip-ons and sandals. All of them feature clean designs that can easily translate from outfit to outfit, so you can feel good about dressing the footwear up or down. Some of the best-selling styles on the site right now include the Calano Oxford ($188; nisolo.com) and the Emilio Chukka Boot ($198; nisolo.com) for men and the Mariella Mule ($178; nisolo.com) and the Paloma Mule ($218; nisolo.com) for women.

Nisolo also offers stunning, understated jewelry (starting at $18; nisolo.com), as well as everyday bags and backpacks (starting at $58; nisolo.com).

The company's principles will make you feel proud about the bag, shoes or jewelery you're sporting -- and so will the cool designs.