BY: ALEX KNUTTE
Do you own a pair of Nike AirForce Ones, Adidas, or Converse? Sneakers have become the fashion trend, and this is causing many to buy more simply based on what others are doing or what is popular, not when needed. This excess consumption of shoes is costing our environment.
A study put on by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that making a pair of sneakers is extremely energy intensive and generates an average 30 pounds of carbon dioxide (MIT News). On top of that, an estimated 80% of sneakers end up in landfills where they take up to 30 or 40 years to break down (The Guardian).
I’ll be the first to admit that I love the current sneaker trend. I am obsessed with the fact that my shoes can go with dresses or sweats, still look cute, and be comfortable! However, these statistics made me question if there were better alternatives to our footwear. Here is what I found from my research.
5 Eco-Friendly Footwear Brands
The first brand I came across was Suavs. This company makes lightweight sneakers that are digitally knitted out piece by piece with post-consumer recycled water bottles, reducing material waste in production. How cool is that? Additionally, SUAVS Shoes donates all extra footwear to organizations such as Soles4Souls and LifeWorks. Not to mention, they have tons of different styles and colors of sneakers to choose from.
Next on my search, I came across Loci Footwear. These sneakers aren’t made from leather, but with vegan “leather” made from recycled ocean plastic. Other materials used in the creation of these sneakers are bamboo, recycled rubber, recycled foam and natural cork. Furthermore, for Every pair of LØCI’s vegan shoes made, it saves 20 plastic bottles from polluting our planet. Why wouldn’t you want a pair of Loci shoes?!
Veja, the third sneaker company I came across on my list, boasts their fabric for sneakers is made entirely out of recycled polyester. It’s made in Santo André, in Brazil, from plastic bottles that are collected, sorted, then transformed into plastic flakes. These flakes are turned into polyester fiber through extrusion. On average, 3 plastic bottles are needed to make a pair of VEJA. In addition to being cute, they are light, breathable and waterproof. Check out their Instagram below.
Ethletic is another company with vegan sneakers that you can purchase in many different styles and colors. This brand makes shoes with Fairtrade-certified organic cotton and all shoes are 100% cruelty-free. Check out all their different products on their website or instagram!
Last but not least, I came across Carumia, a footwear company whose mission is to make things in a way that’s better for people and the planet. So far, 65% of our products are 100% vegan, or use no animal products whatsoever. Cariuma takes pride in designing and curating materials responsibly as well as carbon-neutral shipping and giving back to the environment. Additionally, their shoes are trendy and will last longer than your typical sneaker.
So, next time you are buying a new pair of sneakers, consider buying from one of these brands! This way, you will know that your purchase is not harming the planet. What’s more, these shoes all have unique designs and are different from the Air Forces you see around campus! Be eco- conscious and unique with your new sustainable footwear. Let us know if you buy from any of these brands!