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6 Eco-friendly Belt Brands for Sustainably Securing Your Pants

Whether adding a stylish touch or serving the practical function of holding up your pants, belts are a must in almost any closet.

In this guide we’ll start with a list of eco-friendly belt options, learn about what to look for in sustainable belts, and dive deeper into why we recommend these brands.

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Quick List of Sustainable Belts for Men & Women

Product Image Product Name / Price / Description Primary Button
  • $44.00
  • Description:

    Corkor’s cork belt for men is made from the cork oak trees, which is a great alternative to animal leather. 

  • $50
  • Description:

    This stylish belt is a cruelty-free stand in for animal-leather belts, made with exceptional craftsmanship and made to last.

  • $35
  • Description:

    Burly, recycled nylon-webbing belt with an aluminum buckle can be used in a pinch as a lash strap or a bottle opener. 

$44.00
Description:

Corkor’s cork belt for men is made from the cork oak trees, which is a great alternative to animal leather. 

$44.00
Description:

This belt is entirely plant-based belt, making it perfect for those looking for a vegan, cruelty-free and eco-friendly option.

$50
Description:

This stylish belt is a cruelty-free stand in for animal-leather belts, made with exceptional craftsmanship and made to last.

$55
Description:

The Men's Reversible Cork Belt has a classic look that can be dressed up or down.

$70
Description:

An ode to vintage woven leather belts, the Talia features soft and handwoven leather for your most comfortable fit.

$60
Description:

This leather belt is handmade in an ethical factory we own and operate in Peru

$35
Description:

Burly, recycled nylon-webbing belt with an aluminum buckle can be used in a pinch as a lash strap or a bottle opener. 

N/A
Description:

Meet Unbelts, the zero-bulk belt that’s responsibly made, and made to last. 

07/19/2024 11:04 pm GMT

The problem with regular belts is the problem with regular fashion: mass-produced items relying on inferior materials and thoughtless production processes. Known as fast fashion, this system of producing clothing has huge social and environmental ramifications.

In today’s market belts are typically made with irresponsibly produced leather or plastic. Both of these have environmental impacts that aren’t ideal. The tanning process of leather can also be harmful.

This process – particularly chromium tanning, which is the most common form – requires a lot of chemicals that either enter waterways or are merely dumped or burned, contributing to the release of greenhouse gases. Let’s look for some sustainable belt options.

vegan belts

What to Look for in Eco-Friendly Belts

The key is to choose a belt that is sustainably designed from materials that will last a long time. Here are some materials to consider.  

Cork

If you are vegan, leather will not be an option. Cork has come to the fore as a plant-based alternative with a production process that has a lower environmental impact. Support brands that harvest cork sustainably.

Natural Fibers

Cotton and hemp are plant-based options that leave room for plenty of creativity when it comes to color and style. Both are very durable fabrics and hemp is a great, eco-friendly choice because it is a high-yielding crop that requires less water and chemicals to grow and maintain. 

Recycled Materials

Whether you wear leather or nylon, choosing recycled options means that fabric waste is diverted from landfills and, in the case of nylon, fewer virgin resources are extracted.

Plant-Based Leather

Along with cork, pineapple leaves, apple peels, and mushrooms are popping up as alternatives to cowhide leather. These plant-based alternatives have a lower environmental footprint and require fewer chemicals to make. However, there is concern that these products are not as strong, repairable, or durable as real leather, which means throwing out a new belt too quickly, much as you would with pleather.

Leather alternatives require further experimentation and innovation. In the meantime, whatever material you choose, search for brands that practice sustainability and maintain an environmental and social awareness beyond the materials they use. 

men's leather belt for work

Leather

Despite the environmental impact of making leather belts, they remain one of the best investments for your closet because of how durable and long-lasting they are. A leather belt can last decades, which is much more sustainable than having to buy a new belt every few years or even months.

The longevity of a leather belt makes it worth the higher price tag. To minimize the environmental impact and prevent animal cruelty, look for responsibly tanned leather sourced from animals that are humanely treated and living on a farm practicing sustainable agriculture. 

6 Eco-Friendly Belt Brands 

Let’s dive into some sustainable brands creating eco-friendly belts and why we recommend them!

Corkor Vegan Friendly Belts

Price: $49+

Materials: Cork

As the name suggests, Corkor specializes in products made from cork. Corkor was founded by Natália and Vítor, a couple with Portuguese roots who grew up surrounded by cork trees and decided to use this natural, renewable material to make a range of eco-friendly, vegan products.

Handmade in small batches in Portugal, Corkor uses certified cork that is sustainably harvested. They are PETA-approved and FSC-certified.

Built to last, cork is water-repellent, as well as scratch and stain resistant. Looking a lot like leather, Corkor belts are a great alternative to the real thing and are even easy to clean, simply requiring warm water and soap.  

Tiradia Cork Belts

Price Range: $50

Materials: Cork

Also specializing in cork products, Tiradia offers bags, belts, hats, and wallets, among many other accessories.

Tiradia was started by a couple of friends: Joana, whose family has been working with cork for generations, and Amanda, whose decision to become vegan influenced her passion for the environment and supporting more sustainable products.

Tiradia’s PETA-approved, cruelty-free belts are handmade in Portugal from sustainably sourced cork. Buckles are made from brass and free from nickel. 

Nisolo’s Responsibly Made Leather Belts

Price Range: $49-$70

Materials: Leather by-product

Nisolo specializes in sustainable, ethically-made leather shoes. Their products extend to leather accessories such as wallets, bags, and belts. They use leather that is a by-product of the meat industry and sourced predominantly from Leather Working Group (LWG) certified tanneries.

As a Certified B corporation, Nisolo’s belts are made in Peruvian factories owned and operated by Nisolo. Men’s belts range from handwoven, vintage-style varieties with brass-finished buckles to waterproof and water-resistant options. Available colors are black, brandy, brown, and tobacco.

Patagonia’s Belts Made from Recycled Nylon

Price Range: $29-$39

Materials: Recycled nylon

Patagonia has been all about the outdoor for decades, outfitting outdoor enthusiasts with all the necessary clothing and gear. The brand’s passion for the environment has stepped beyond the recreational and into preservation and protection.

Since 1985, they have contributed to 1% for the Planet, an international organization whose members contribute 1% of their annual revenue to environmental causes. Patagonia has also sought out sustainable materials and processes including circular systems of production.

This includes the reuse and recycling of materials to make new products. Their tech web and friction belts are made from recycled nylon webbing and feature an aluminum buckle.

The bonus with this belt is that it can double as a lash strap or bottle opener. They also have a secure stretch wading belt made from 95% recycled nylon.

Unbelt Plastic Free Belts 

Unbelt’s belts are stretchy and adjustable, which means you don’t need to buy a new belt if you pick up or shed a few pounds. Made from recycled materials, they are machine-washable and can be repaired through their warranty.

If you want an even longer-lasting belt, there’s the Unbelt Intrepid that comes with a lifetime warranty. There are stretch belts on offer for adults and kids, as well as upcycled accessories. Waste is diverted by upcycling elastic offcuts and misprints to make hair loops and beverage sleeves.

Secondhand Belts

Don’t forget to check secondhand stores for belts! Sometimes you can find belts that are in great condition at an affordable price point!

Hopefully you’ve found some great eco-friendly belt options to add to your capsule wardrobe.