Eco-friendly companies like All Birds and Rothy's aren’t just becoming go-to shoe brands because of their commitment to sustainability. In fact, these forward-thinking, innovative companies are designing shoes that are so comfortable and fashionable, you’d never know they were made with sustainable materials like wool and recycled water bottles.
Like these popular footwear brands, Giesswein's flats (and all of their shoes, for that matter) are designed with the commitment to lessen their overall ecological footprint. The Austrian-based, family-owned footwear company uses materials like recycled ocean PET fabric – meaning plastic that has been recovered from the ocean – and Merino wool to create their footwear lineup, including the ever-adorable, super-stylish Eco Pointed Ballet Flats. The company’s flats come in two distinct style: a pointy and a round toe. I gravitated more toward the pointed toe because it looks more formal and dressed-up than the rounded toe, which I recommend for more casual, dressed-down days.
Given how popular Rothy’s shoes have become, especially after Meghan Markle was spotted wearing them on several outings, it’s easy to compare Rothy’s and Giesswein. Both price-wise and design-wise, these two brands are very similar to each other; however, I find that the Giesswein’s flats are more comfortable overall, especially if you’re going to be on your feet all day long.
They’re cozy enough to wear from work and to engagements after work without needing to change out of them or take them off at any point. And the fact that they’re made of recycled plastic is quite surprising, too, given how soft and forgiving the material is for your feet.
Unlike Rothy’s however, Giesswein’s flats don’t come in half-sizes. That stated, the flats do come with a regular insole and a second insole, to help you adjust a half-size larger or smaller, depending on your usual fit. I sized down from my usual fit, and the shoes fit perfectly for me.
Best of all, the Giesswein flats are easy to clean because they’re machine-washable and water-repellant; so you don’t have to worry about ruining them if you encounter a particularly rainy or messy day outside. Per the recommendation of Giesswein, though, I leave them out to air dry, as opposed to tumble drying. It’s assuring knowing I can still find beautiful, fashionable footwear without sacrificing sustainability.