Shoecow-verified status: Vegan-friendly, but only select models (see below)
Are Birkenstocks vegan?
Birkenstock is a German heritage brand known around the world for its unique sandals featuring a cork and rubber footbed. Founded in 1774, Birkenstock still manufacture their products in Germany. Thanks to popularity amongst young Americans in the 70s, Birkenstock became associated with liberal lifestyles and politics and counter culture, so it is no surprise to see that the brand is popular today with individuals that have adopted a vegan lifestyle or at least preference for cruelty-free consumerism.
But are all Birkenstocks vegan? The bad news is: no, the majority of Birkenstock brand footwear is not vegan, due to the clear use of leather. The good news however is that Birkenstock has recognised and catered for the growing demand for animal product-free shoes and has introduced a range of vegan-friendly footwear styles using synthetic materials and glues. So whilst the brand is not perfect, it’s encouraging to see it taking a step in the right direction.
The Birkenstock website is more helpful than many rivals’ in detailing the components of its vegan products. As of 19/07/19, the website states that:
- “No animal-based materials – such as leather or wool felt – are used during the manufacturing process” of vegan Birkenstocks
- The company “does not use adhesives or dyes of animal origin”
- Its vegan styles use ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) synthetic material, microfibre (fabric) and cork (natural material) only
- Its vegan material composition is “verified by independent testing laboratories”
Birkenstock currently lists over 10 vegan sandals, including the popular ‘Arizona’ and most feature ‘vegan’ in the product title and are therefore easy to spot, but always check the product description carefully if you are not sure.