Aks Fair Trade Low top embroidered sneakers

Aks is Likely a Fully Vegan Brand

Aks is likely a fully vegan brand. They were PETA-certified vegan in 2022 (which means their suppliers and manufacturers had to sign a legal statement of assurance form, stating that no animal by-products, including glues, dyes and solvents) are used in the production of any of their shoes). Although their PETA certification has lapsed, avoiding animal-derived materials is clearly built into the ethos of the brand.

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Aks Brand Highlights

"Aks in the Urdu language means reflection. It is our believe that what we wear is a reflection of who we are, so all Aks products reflect the values with which they are made." - Aks team

  • Focused on empowering women
  • Were PETA-approved vegan
  • Fair trade-certified
  • FSC-certified
  • Hand-embroidered
  • Vegan & sustainable "Chuck Taylors"
  • Materials sourced near production
  • Use natural materials

About Aks Fair Trade Vegan Shoes

"Every pair of Aks is designed at our studio in California with original artwork of our in-house designers used for hand embroidery. Each design is made in limited quantities, and commissioned to our artisans who earn a fair wage per pair, allowing them to triple their daily income." - Aks team

What materials are used to make Aks shoes?

Aks uses a very limited roster of materials to make their shoes, including: organic cotton (uppers & laces); cotton (insoles & embroidery); and natural rubber (soles). We've asked the Aks team what materials are used to make their shoe lace eyelets and aglets, and are currently awaiting reply.

Are Aks shoes eco-friendly/sustainable?

Sustainability is top-of-mind for Aks. Organic cotton, which is the main material used in their shoes, is one of the most ecologically-friendly shoe materials on the planet (theirs is also Fair Trade certified). Natural rubber, which is what they use for their soles, is also largely considered to be the most sustainable option for shoe soles, and theirs is also Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC) accredited. It's also worth noting that both of these materials biodegrade naturally, and that the majority of Aks's shoe production takes place in close proximity to their source materials, which helps them cut down on their carbon footprint.

Does Aks use green shipping methods?

It's unclear from their website if Aks uses net-zero or negative emissions shipping partners, either domestically or internationally. We’ve asked them for clarification, and are currently awaiting reply.

Does Aks use eco-friendly packaging?

It's unclear from their website if Aks uses recycled, recyclable, compostable, or other forms of eco-friendly and sustainable packaging. We’ve asked them for details regarding the materials they use for packaging, and are currently awaiting reply.

Are Aks shoes recyclable or compostable?

The main components of the shoe (the natural rubber, cotton and organic cotton) are all naturally biodegradable.

How should I dispose of my worn out Aks shoes?

We've asked the Aks team what the most responsible way to dispose of their shoes is, and are currently awaiting reply.

Where can I buy Aks shoes?

For the time being it looks like Aks shoes can only be purchased from their website, or from their social channels. We've asked them if they have plans to work with retailers, and are currently awaiting reply.

Do Aks shoes ever go on sale?

In keeping with their main brand ethos of sustainability, Aks produces their shoes in limited runs, which doesn't usually lend itself to a seasonal sales model, and we haven’t noticed any sales for Aks shoes when visiting their site and perusing their social channels. Currently, their newsletter doesn't offer a discount code when subscribing to it.

Are Aks shoes ethically made?

Yes! Aks shoes are handcrafted in a WRAP-certified factory in Pakistan. The WRAP certificate is a recognized symbol of a commitment to uphold social and ethical standards. According to Aks, a 10% fair trade premium also goes towards a workers fund to support their needs, like health and child care.

Does Aks promote ‘slow fashion’ or a ‘circular economy’?

Aks appears to incorporate several elements of a circular economy/slow fashion model, such as employing fair labour; using natural and biodegradable materials; using organic materials (helps reduce water usage, biodiversity loss, and soil degradation); making timeless styles; and producing their shoes close to their source materials.

Is Aks a charitable company?

We have asked the Aks team about any charitable initiatives they're involved with (if any), and are currently awaiting reply, as there is no such information available on their website.

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Aks Product Range

Aks makes high-top ("Chuck Taylor"-style) and low-top canvas sneakers. Some of their models are quite minimalist, offered in a few different colours, whereas other models feature ornate hand-embroidery by artisanal Pakistani women, using an intricate technique once reserved for royals.