Sometimes a great place to start when searching for new ethical fashion brands is Etsy. Emerging brands who are testing the market often feature small runs of product there. I found BaliElf that way, looking for ethical sandals a few summers ago.
I really liked their distinctive boho style, the fact that their shoes and bags are made by hand to order (under fair trade conditions), and that they promise to only use the finest quality materials.
Ordering online for the first time always feels a bit risky, especially with shoes and the fact that they use American sizing, but I was encouraged by their helpful customer service team to send the measurements of my foot and they would make my shoes accordingly.
A few weeks later I received a beautiful pair of supple leather sandals which fitted perfectly. They were packaged thoughtfully in a reusable fabric bag which I always put them in to travel, and came with a little leather bracelet as a gift.
I have been a repeat customer ever since and recommended them to friends who ask about where to buy ethical shoes or comment on my sandals which – three years later – are still going strong. I can recommend their ballet flats and coordinating bags if you like a bit of matchy matchy (yes please!) and also love their Velvet Moon ankle boots, which made it into my #10x10challenge capsule.
BaliElf shoes are made in Bali, Indonesia, and epitomise slow fashion with their commitment to developing local craftmanship, sourcing local materials and treating everyone along the supply chain – right down to you, the consumer – with the utmost respect. You can read about their ethics here.
I’m also really excited to see a range of beautiful boho dresses in the latest collection… definitely something to go on the Spring/Summer 18 wishlist!