From your liquor, to your jewellery, to even your groceries, sustainability is the key word at the forefront of every industry these days. It’s only inevitable that our favourite sneakers get the same eco-friendly treatment as well.
Sustainable wear has seen an immense growth over the last couple of years, compounded by the all-too-real reality of the impact our actions have on the world.
It’s not all doom and gloom, however, as we witness firsthand designers pivoting positively in their creative response to this gargantuan challenge. Investing in sustainable fashion is the first step to encourage production cycles to innovate for the better. Change is on the horizon, and in a good way for both ourselves and our planet.
To look fresh from head to toe without the environmental impact, scroll down for a look at some of the most hyped sustainable sneakers at this moment:
(Header image credit: Womsh/Facebook; Featured image credit: Good News/Facebook)
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- Pangaia grape leather sneaker
- Womsh 'Snik' sneaker
- Gucci 'Off the Grid' sneaker
- Allbirds wool runner
- Ash x Nespresso Spider Capsules
- Nike 'Space Hippie'
- Veja X Rick Owens V-Knit sneaker
- Prada 'Wheel' sneaker in Re-Nylon Gabardine
- Good News 'Opal' sneaker
- Reebok 'Forever Floatride Grow'
- Stella McCartney Loop sneaker
Wine may be your drink of choice, but these shoes offer the perfect excuse to incorporate more grapes into our lives. Known for its comfortable sweat suits spotted on everyone from Justin Bieber to Kourtney Kardashian, Pangaia continues to position itself as the ultimate eco-friendly innovators of the industry, and its first-ever sneakers ensure its position as top dog. Repurposing residual waste from Italian wine for a grape leather upper, and industrial waste for its recycled rubber sole, these minimalistic sneakers offer a highly wearable twist to your favourite liquor.
HK$1,911 from Pangaia
Environmentally friendly in its materials, ethical in its production — there is no better time to invest in brands that stick to its guns like Womsh. The brand was born from a desire to craft vegan shoes that honour not only the planet, but the people who live in it. 100 percent made in Italy, sneakers are emblazoned with powerful messages such as “choose the change” and “made with respect” to promote a lifestyle that never sacrifices ethics in the pursuit of aesthetics.
HK$1,850 from Womsh
Gucci’s first foray into sustainability culminates in their ‘Off the Grid‘ collection, a drop made in a closed-loop, circular production cycle to reiterate their dedication to grow with the decisive environmental changes they believe the world needs. Their sneakers offer organic, bio-based and sustainably sourced materials such as regenerated nylon and steel, enabling these products to feel every bit as luxurious as the tried and true sneaker favourites that Gucci is known for.
HK$5,900 from Gucci
No sustainable sneaker list can be complete without the addition of Allbirds, the game-changing sneaker brand popular amongst the startup set in Silicon Valley and New York City. This sustainable line burst on to the scene only six years ago with its merino wool and eucalyptus fibre footwear, but has already expanded globally due to its sleek look and quality materials that are also easy to care for. Try the wool runner ‘Mizzles’ for a comfortable, all-weather-friendly version of their best-selling sneaker.
HK$897 from Allbirds
One of the shoe industry’s more unexpected collaborations this season comes from French-Italian footwear brand Ash and coffee capsule connoisseur, Nespresso. The Spider Capsules sneaker features soles partially made from scientifically-proportioned coffee grounds, and embellished with studs made of recycled coffee capsules in gender-neutral colours. This limited-edition drop makes the most of your coffee habit, bringing some colourful, wearable fun to your footwear.
HK$1,490 from Ash
No stranger to a highly coveted sneaker, Nike’s Space Hippie series transforms trash into wearable art form. Its combination of recycled plastic bottles, T-shirt shreds and yarn scraps lends for a colourfully abstract upper, whilst its Crater Foam sole ensures the shoe remains ever lightweight and comfortable. It even boasts one of the lowest carbon footprints in Nike’s production cycles. Shown here in iteration number four, the speckled shoe’s distinct, deconstructed look is the perfect addition to any avid sneakerhead’s collection.
HK$999 from Nike
An oldie but a goodie, Veja was a true pioneer when it entered into the sneaker world — taking up the task of sustainability before it was the trendy thing to do. Its distinctive ‘V’ motif can be found on the feet of celebrities and street style stars all over the world, promoting an eco-friendly take on sneakers with a clean-cut aesthetic. Check out their latest collaboration with streetwear icon Rick Owens for the same sustainably sourced footwear with an extra kick of attitude.
HK$2,174 from Farfetch
Prada’s emblematic nylon fabric takes centre stage here as it reincarnates as part of the house’s conscious Re-Nylon campaign, which decreases their environmental impact without compromising on quality. They are addressing the issue of sustainability in a very real way, winning fans back to the brand with modern fits that celebrate this new focus. Newly made from plastic trash recovered from the ocean, the durable Re-nylon Garbadine is incorporated in this latest sneaker collection so you can stay stylish while doing a little bit of good for the world. The high tops are currently sold out, but the lows are still up for grabs.
HK$7,500 from Prada
With its catchy name, Good News forgoes the fear factor some environmentalists focus on for a more positive outlook on what sustainability can be. Their ethos revolves around educating consumers about making more conscious shopping decisions — meaning it’s not about trends, but the ability to”choose well, buy less, and make it last.” Recycled rubber outsoles and organic cotton uppers are paired alongside an eco-friendly footbed in a range of vibrant hues to show that fashion should be personal, and most of all, fun.
HK$866 from Net-a-Porter
To all the athletes out there: you no longer have to sacrifice sustainability to achieve high performance. The new Reebok ‘Forever Floatride Grow’ is a completely plant-based shoe, fusing together a comfortable upper made with eucalyptus bark, flexible cushion created out of castor bean oil and extraordinary footbed born from bloom algae. This lightweight running shoe is the perfect feel-good companion to join you on your runs.
HK$899 from Reebok
We may already associate Stella McCartney with cruelty-free, but lessening her brand’s environmental impact has been one of the famed designer’s prime focuses in the last few years. Her dedication to do good is a brazen message to the luxury industry that there are no excuses to not think about circular productions. Her Loop sneakers are exemplary of this belief: made without any glue, the shoe itself is fashioned from plastic waste and recycled polyester, allowing for its upper to be detached from its sole completely so it can be separated and entirely recycled at the end of its life.
HK$3,900 from Stella McCartney