3 Sustainable Sandals for Your Summer

lifestyle sustainable fashion Jul 07, 2023

Whether going to the beach, running around town, or just hanging out at home, chances are you have a favorite pair of sandals you can’t live without. How sustainable are those sandals? Don’t know? If you’re ready to make the switch to more responsible sandals, we have a few we think you should consider.


The famous smiley face logo is known to many far and wide, but what’s even more memorable is Sanuk’s ultra squishy and comfy sandals and shoes. Some of their products blur the line between sandal and shoe, but however you slice it, you can be confident that you’re getting something to wear all year round.

It’s been a while since we last checked in with Sanuk, and we were happy to see their adoption of a number of preferred materials. Hemp, Leather Working Group certifications, and recycled synthetics are all featured in the lineup with countless styles to choose from. Sanuk also aligns with the SDGs to provide a framework for current and future sustainability initiatives.

What are some of Sanuk’s future sustainability goals? A few of the highlights include:

  • Incorporate recycled, repurposed, regenerated (plant-based), renewable (bio-based), and certified/preferred natural fibers in 100% of our footwear styles by 2025
  • Reduce waste produced in the production of bottom units by 30%, and reduce virgin materials of new bottom units by 25% by 2023

We love to see their public facing sustainability goals and we hope they keep the momentum going in the coming years!


If you’re looking for a dressier option, Nisolo has sandals to fit all of your summer occasions. Nisolo is probably most well-known for being one of the first brands to put a “sustainability facts label” on all of their products - a label used to score the environmental and social impacts of each product (you know, like a nutrition label!).

Leather is the primary material used in their shoes, but Nisolo strives to get the best leather on the market. They have invested heavily in Leather Working Group certified leather and are always on the hunt for other preferred leather options. Nisolo is also working hard to provide living wages to all of their Tier 1 (final assembly) garment workers and those further back in their supply chains.

Once you’ve picked up a pair of sandals from Nisolo and you’ve worn them as much as you can, they have a great collection system to reuse your old sandals. After you’ve sent your shoes back to them, Nisolo will donate the shoes to Soles4Souls where they will be repaired by entrepreneurs in developing nations and re-sold within the community. 

Before you go to your next summer wedding or head out for a work trip, explore Nisolo’s selection to find your perfect pair.    

Rainbow Sandals

A classic sandal brand, Rainbow Sandals have been providing comfortable footwear since 1974. Their claim to fame has always been creating sandals designed to last with timeless styles that never go out of season. 

Leather has been their primary material of choice, but in recent years they started incorporating a preferred and vegan material that we love - hemp! Leather is one of the most commonly used animal-based materials (mainly due to its durability qualities), but hemp is a durable, plant-based material that provides all the comfort we’ve traditionally gotten from cotton.

As durable as Rainbow Sandals are, sometimes accidents happen. If your sandals are damaged, Rainbow offers a six-month warranty on select styles for repair or replacement. If you’re past the six-month warranty, you can still bring them back for repair and Rainbow will donate the fixed sandals to those in need. 

Whether you choose hemp or leather, you’re sure to find a pair of sandals that fit your feet just right! 

From environmental to social impacts, there are a lot of things to consider before buying your next pair of sandals. We hope this list helped give you some ideas and showcase some of the good work brands are doing, but keep in mind, nothing is perfect. Sustainability work takes time, effort, and dedicated resources - every brand has room to make improvements and if your brand is ready to take the leap, we’re here to help

Happy shopping and have a wonderful, sustainable summer!

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