We all love that feeling of putting on a pair of fresh new creps for the first time, but have you ever considered the environmental impact of your favourite trainers?
From materials to manufacturing, many have hidden costs.
But is it possible to find shoes that don’t (literally) cost the Earth?
If you’re keen to improve your fashion footprint, take a look at The Sole Supplier’s sustainable trainers buying guide and get inspired.
What makes sneakers unsustainable?
Trainers have a high carbon footprint as they typically have many parts which, involve injection molding, foaming, heating, cutting and sewing.
Although there isn’t a lot of research out there on the environmental impact of fashion, one study found manufacturing a single pair of running shoes emits 13kg of carbon dioxide.
Most of the world’s trainers come from China’s factories too, which still rely mainly on fossil fuels which is bad for the planet. In 2016 China represented nearly 80 percent of the global footwear manufacturing market alone.
Which brands out there are trying to change things and shake up the system?
Sustainable and vegan footwear has had a bit of rep for being a bit, well, rubbish (pun intended) in the past. But the movement has come a long way since then.
Still not sure?
Here are our top sustainable sneaker brands making us want to think with our feet:
Adidas got on board in 2017, collaborating with environmental initiative Parley for the Oceans. It re-released its EQT sneaker using up-cycled plastic waste collected from Maldives’ beaches.
Adidas has also just announced the launch of a new running shoe – The Futurecraft Loop – which is made from 100 percent recyclable materials.
Italian brand Rombaut’s core mission is to protect the Earth’s bio-diversity. All materials and fabrics are sustainably engineered from plant-based materials, using stone, tree bark, natural rubber, cotton cellulose and coconut fibre.
The Nike Plant Color Collection has just been announced as the Summer 2019 capsule collection. It’s “inspired by alternative ways to make colour,” using plant-based dyes. The Air Max 95 and Blazer Low will be the first recipients to undergo this eco-makeover.
Veja is the ‘eco-it’ shoe brand of the moment after the Duchess of Sussex was spotted copping a pair. By combining a winning formula of simple, yet stylish designs, millennial marketing and a sustainable focus, the brand has tapped into today’s modern consumer. The plain white V-10 Low Top with coloured Vs are the next modern classics on every savvy sneakerhead’s wishlist.