Skip into spring with these eco-friendly kicks.
There are few things we love more than a good pair of sneakers. Perfect for casual days at the office, running errands around town, or going on weekend adventures, sustainable trainers have become our go-to pair of shoes.
It can be challenging to find sustainable sneakers though, as many tennis shoes are made from virgin plastics and harmful dyes. The following shoe brands are passionate about changing the industry. They prioritize ethics and the environment in everything from materials to production and do so while designing some of the most stylish kicks on the market.
Whether you’re shopping for street shoes or trainers for the gym, check out these footwear brands for your next pair of sustainable sneakers.
Sustainable Features | Certified B Corp, sustainable & eco-friendly materials, recycled packaging, WRAP-certified factories
Best For | Lightweight, breathability
Price Range | $95–$145
“Made from Nature” is the motto over at Allbirds. These sneakers are made with high-quality, sustainable materials, including ZQ Merino Wool (the world’s leading ethical wool brand), eucalyptus tree fibers, and recycled plastic shoelaces. The certified B Corp is committed to making comfortable trainers for all genders and ages that don’t harm the planet. The brand also partners with social impact organizations, is climate-neutral, and has an impressive plan to reverse climate change as much as possible.
Sustainable Features | Vegan options, organic, ethical production
Best For | Casual sneakers
Price Range | €62–€245
You’ve probably heard of VEJA shoes by now—and for good reason. The sneakers have been called some of the world’s most sustainable. Celebrities, British royalty, and fashion influencers alike have all been photographed wearing the trademark V. These sneakers are designed in Paris, France with eco-friendly materials, including wild rubber from the Amazon and organic cotton. With sleek and stylish options for everyone, VEJA has become our go-to for sustainably made sneakers.
3. Thousand Fell
Sustainable Features | Zero-waste, recyclable sneakers, recycled & sustainable materials, closed-loop process
Best For | Zero-waste sneakers
Price Range | $120
Thousand Fell made the first-ever recycled sneakers, making the brand a top addition to our list! With sneakers and slip-ons for all genders, these shoes are made with materials like recycled water bottles, sugar cane, and coconut husk—no leather needed. These easygoing designs come with a variety of accent colors and some limited-edition styles. And once you’re done with the shoes, you can give them back to Thousand Fell to receive credit—and the team will recycle them into new shoes!
Sustainable Features | Certified B Corp, vegan options, eco-friendly materials, recycled packaging
Best For | Fun prints
Price Range | $54.95–$74.95
TOMS has been beloved and celebrated all over the world for its popular one-for-one charitable model. Today, the brand gives away one-third of its profits to grassroots causes like ending gun violence. The certified B Corp uses vegan and eco-friendly materials, including natural hemp, organic cotton, and recycled polyester, and the shoe boxes are also made with recycled post-consumer waste and soy ink. We love the fun patterns and espadrille-inspired sneakers!
5. Sole Rebels
Sustainable Features | Made-to-order, ethical production, recycled & sustainable materials
Best For | Slip-ons
Price Range | $120
With a name like Sole Rebels, you can bet this brand is putting a twist on the standard sneaker—and, indeed, the soles of these shoes are made from recycled tires. Handcrafted in Ethiopia in a zero-carbon production process, Sole Rebels uses traditional artisan techniques (like hand-spinning and looming) and sustainable materials like organic jute and Koba plant fiber to create its made-to-order footwear. The company also offers full medical benefits, wages that are three times the industry average, and transportation to and from work for disabled workers.
Sustainable Features | Cruelty-free, recycled & upcycled materials
Best For | Ergonomic shoes
Price Range | $85–$110
Native creates ultra-light, ergonomic, innovative sneakers. Whether it’s using recycled polyester or upcycled EVA foam, the casual styles aim to reduce excess fabric and keep waste to a minimum. And through its Remix Project, you can send your well-worn shoes back to Native for them to recycle and reground into a versatile material that can be used for playground flooring and insulation.
7. Oliver Cabell
Sustainable Features | Ethical factories, waxed cotton shoelaces, recycled materials
Best For | Sneakers with a bit of glam
Price Range | $215–$385
Oliver Cabell is passionate about making timeless footwear. Mixing old-school methods with modern-day technology, the minimalist and sustainable sneakers are one of the best examples of bespoke craftsmanship. Each pair is made with quality materials and hand-stitched in ethical factories in Spain. Apart from transparency and quality design, one of our favorite aspects of Oliver Cabell is that the brand offers pre-orders for upcoming releases, so you know they’re made-to-order just for you.
Sustainable Features | Certified B Corp, ethically made, sustainable materials
Best For | Leather high-tops
Price Range | $130–$160
Certified B Corp Nisolo offers skate-inspired high-tops and classic low-tops using ethically sourced leather and suede. Handcrafted in Peru and Mexico using long-held traditions, Nisolo offers an in-house financial literacy training program and its artisans receive living wages and benefits. (The company also offers over 100 trainings a year on topics ranging from technical skill development to yoga.) Nisolo’s earthy-toned offerings are perfect for just about everything.
9. Flamingos Life
Sustainable Features | Vegan, organic cotton, natural rubber, recycled materials & packaging
Best For | Cotton and canvas sneakers
Price Range | €100–€140
Flamingos Life is a Spanish sneaker brand committed to transparency and changing the way shoes are produced in the fashion industry. Its list of ethical and eco-friendly materials used is impressive: post-consumer water bottles, sustainably extracted natural rubber, organic cotton, and other recycled plastics. Flamingos Life also makes monthly donations to Waste Free Oceans for ocean clean-up and educational projects. These sneakers are currently only available in Europe, the UK, and the USA, but we hope it’ll expand the shipping options soon!
Featured image via VEJA
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