Stilettos and heels aren't for everyone — and that's cool (and I'll be covering more comfy and conservative shoes in coming weeks). But for those of us who just don't feel dressed up unless we're at least three inches taller than normal, I bring you a selection of vegan dress-up shoes that are not only animal-free, they're all easy on the earth, too. After all, just because something is vegan doesn't mean it's made with nontoxic plastics or glues — unfortunately. Check out the shoes below, and if you don't think they're pretty stunning and fashion-forward, let me know!



Cri de Coeur's Luster Peep-Toe Platform Pump is practically sex in shoe form. But they're definitely safe sex, since not only are they animal-free and made in an ethical, sweatshop-free factory in China, they have a bit of a platform, which will ease the height of the heel a bit. The fun pattern that up-close reads as faux pony hair is actually poly velvet, which would pair well with a short-and-slinky dress or patterned leggings, as shown here. 




Mink vegan heels are like foot candy that's somehow sugarless and still tasty. Made to the highest ethical standards, each cute/hot pair is named after an animal; these are the Bulls, perhaps for their hard-charging attitude but still-sleek good looks? Mink's designer, Rebecca Mink, is a dedicated animal advocate and makes sure that her shoes are not only creature-free but also comfy enough to really dance in. 



Melissa specializes in plastic shoes, which at first blush would not seem to be very eco-friendly. But look a bit closer at the company's story and you'll see that all their shoes, including the The Amazonista III (shown here in purple), are made in a Brazilian factory with a closed-loop system, meaning that no toxic wastewater is dumped into rivers or waterways. Not to mention that these shoes are waterproof and last for years, meaning that you won't be adding these to the waste stream any time soon. (And bonus: they'd be perfect paired with your favorite jeans.)



The wonder-croco from Olsen Haus really does look like the the skin of the much-maligned reptile, but instead, it's coated linen with "croco embossed" on the fabric, and complimented with some faux leather trim. These heels are subtly sexy, all covered up save for a peep toe and a sensuous dip in the front, and would look killer with a short black skirt and opaque black tights as the weather turns chillier. They would work equally well for a night out with the girls paired with skinny jeans in bright colors that are all the rage this fall. 

Starre Vartan ( @ecochickie ) covers conscious consumption, health and science as she travels the world exploring new cultures and ideas.

High-style, sustainable and sexy: 4 drool-worthy sets of heels
These are meant for dance parties and date nights, because sometimes shoes just gotta have fun.