Whether you’re looking for kicks to run errands in on the weekend or a new pair to hit the trails, these six brands are changing the shoe game with their stylish—and more environmentally sustainable sneakers.
This San Francisco-based shoe brand uses two different materials for their sustainable sneakers—merino wool and eucalyptus tree fibre—and each material comes in an array of colours and styles which makes finding your new weekend runner a cinch. (Or try slipping on their new Tree Breezers and experience one of the comfiest flats on the market.) Not only do they use green materials for all aspects of their footwear, but the brand just announced they are going 100 percent carbon neutral, imposing an internal carbon tax which funds emissions reduction projects like building wind energy to replace fossils fuels and more.
Reebok has taken their classic sneaker and given it an eco update with this new addition to their lineup. The upper of the shoe is made from 100 percent cotton while the sole is comprised of corn (yes, you read that right). This makes these kicks the first-ever 75 percent USDA certified bio-based shoe (i.e. made from renewable biological sources). In addition, they are packaged up in 100 percent recyclable materials to boot.
The hiking shoe experts recently launched their Lorelai sneaker, a consciously constructed casual shoe that’s made of “environmentally preferred” leather. What does that mean, exactly? The leather used in these shoes is from Leather Working Group-certified tanneries that employ processes to reduce chemical use and environmental impact. They’re also free from PFC—perfluorinated chemicals are often used to make shoes water repellent, but are suspected toxins.
Everlane is beloved for their minimalist, work-friendly wear and the brand has now gotten into the sustainable sneaker game with the launch of Tread. The mission is to have the world’s lowest-impact sneaker using less energy, waste and with a lower carbon footprint. The style above was created with 54 percent less virgin plastic than your average shoe using full-grain leather from a gold certified tannery and a blend of natural and recycled rubber. Choose from seven shades from neutral white to blush pink.
Founded in 2005, Veja was born in Brazil by founders Sébastien Kopp and François-Ghislain Morillion and they’ve been making stylish, sustainable sneakers ever since. The brand makes an array of styles but we’re partial to these classic with a colourful twist kicks made from organic cotton, recycled EVA and rubber. Meghan Markle is also a fan, so when you wear them you’re in good company.
This high-performance sneaker is perfect for city strolling or for a hike through the woods. These ultra-lightweight shoes barely feel like you’ve got anything on your feet. Part of that lightweight feeling comes from the body of the sneaker being made from recycled PET mesh, which uses upcycled plastic instead of sending it to a landfill. The result is a breathable vegan sneaker that’s sleek, eco-conscious and comfortable.