There’s an unfathomable amount of sneakers thrown into the trash every year. We’re talking millions that sit in landfills for decades before they decompose. Most are made of plastic and require petroleum to be manufactured. This process is slowly changing as companies acknowledge the damage being done and as they recognize the demand for greener products. It’s hard to be someone who’s into sneakers AND sustainability, but it’s getting easier thanks to these companies:
- Allbirds: Allbirds is one of the most well-known companies in the sustainable shoe world. They are often associated with people who work in tech, but let me tell you, they are the most comfortable shoes on the market. They make their shoes from natural resources like wool or tree fibers. Their laces are made from recycled bottles, and they make their packaging from recycled paper.
- Everlane: Tread by Everlane is the company’s attempt to create zero impact sneakers. They are cutting out most virgin plastic being used and sourcing their leather ethically to cut their carbon footprint.
- Veja: Veja makes shoes with fair trade and raw organic materials that are locally produced in Brazil. They have eliminated the use of hazardous chemicals in their production and have a firm stance on labor rights. Plus, these are some stylish sneakers.
- Flamingos’ Life: Based in Spain, Flamingos’ Life produces sneakers from post-consumer plastics and recycled bottles. Every month the company donates to an NGO that works on social and environmental causes.
- Rothy’s: Rothy’s might not fit into the sneaker category, but if you are looking for a pair of flats, then look no further. They make their shoes out of plastic bottles and organic merino wool. Plus, they are washable!
- Thousand Fell: Thousand Fell is a company that recycles its own shoes to make more. When you return your old sneakers to them, you get a credit towards a new pair. All the material used is recycled or upcycled.