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Source: Courtesy of Native Shoes

6 Vegan and Eco-Friendly Winter Boots

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Thanks (but no thanks) to the climate crisis and rising global temperatures, winter weather is here a bit early this year — and that means snowy sidewalks are just around the corner. One of the most important pieces of winter gear is a good winter boot. But is it possible to find a vegan, eco-friendly, and closed-loop winter boot?

As we've said before, the most sustainable fashion item is the one you already own — so before adding something new and shiny to your cart, make sure to audit your closet and try on last year's winter boots. If you do in fact need a new pair this year, consider checking thrift shops and secondhand websites like Poshmark and thredUP before shelling out money on new ones. But if you don't have anything sufficient and winter is coming, luckily, there are plenty of fairly eco-friendly options on the market that should tick most of the boxes on your list.

So, if you need a new pair of winter boots this year, we've rounded up a list of six brands making sustainable, animal-free, and warm winter boots that were built to last.

Native Shoes x Save The Duck's Lhotse Boots

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Source: Courtesy of Native Shoes

All-vegan shoe brand Native Shoes and all-vegan coat brand Save The Duck recently collaborated to create a pair of warm and cozy winter boots called the Lhoste. The style is named after Kuntal Joisher, a vegan mountain climber who made history as the first climber to summit the Himilayan peak Lhotse in a 100 percent animal-free mountaineering suit.

The slip-on boots feature a plush faux fur lining, a water repellent shell, shock absorption, and a natural rubber outsole. The boots come in men's and women's sizes (whole sizes only) in yellow, grey, and black, and are available both on Native Shoes' website and Zappos. Plus, 5 percent of the proceeds from holiday sales of Lhotse will go toward the BC SPCA, an animal rescue and welfare organization.

The best part about the Lhotse is that it is 100 percent recyclable thanks to Native Shoes' Remix Project. Customers can mail any pair of worn Native Shoes back to the company, where they will either be donated to Native Shoes' Giving Program, or recycled into things like seating or playground flooring. 

In the case of the Lhotse boots (or any other shoe that doesn't quite work with the Remix Project's technology), Native Shoes will send them to Soex, another revolutionary shoe recycling company. Soex is "the first ever system able to mechanically disassemble all shoe types into their components, and to then derive from them usable secondary raw materials such as rubber, leather or foam," according to press materials sent to Green Matters. "The innovative system provides a much needed truly sustainable solution for all unwearable shoes."