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Sunday, 5 May 2019

Sustainable Trainer Guide

Who loves trainers? I love trainers.

We all seem to be well on board the trainer hype, but with Nike,Adidas originals and new balance it can be difficult to remember that there are sometimes other brands out there, equally as nice (if not nicer) and so much better for the planet.

So here you have it, your no excuse list not to go out and seek beautiful shoes with fantastic morals that are working for the planet rather that against it


I own a pair and can officially conclude they are one of the most stylish pairs of shoes I've ever had the privilege of owning. Their organic cotton is sourced from Brazil, with 320 families who live on organic farms providing the product.The rubber used in the trainers is extracted from trees in a reserve in the Amazon with Veja working with over 60 local families to ensure correct replanting and thus preventing deforestation for farming. Finally, the brand chooses not to advertise so that the money instead can be spent on better wages throughout the supply chain.

Vivo Barefoot

With the aim by 2020 to have 90% sustainable materials across their entire product range, Barefoot is taking innovation to a whole new level. They were the first creator of shoes made from environmentally damaged algae, yes algae. They're using a natural bi-product from the glucose found in field corn to ensure their shoes are petroleum free and they're reinventing what a shoe should be by offering a repair service as well. Their new collaboration with Finisterre also shows the power sustainable brands have when they come together!


A brand created by a renewables expert and an engineer, all birds have taken to shoe making like a duck to water. Made from certified wool from New Zeleand, Lyocell, Sweetfoam, recycled bottles and cardboard along with castor bean oil these shoes have been about to use 60% less energy during the creation process than your typical synthetic shoe. Not only that but all of the materials are natural and renewable meaning the damage to the environment is kept to a minimum.


Another brand with natural rubber and cotton used within the supply chain, Novesta dates way back to the 1930's and is still going strong. The fact that they have never needed to use any chemicals in making their chunky trainers is also an added bonus.

Stella McCartney

The queen of high end sustainability was naturally going to make an appearance on this list. Stella McCartney has taken a stand  with her brand, never using leather, skin, fur or feather products and is always striving to a better world, whether that be through circular economy, social sustainability or innovation.


With all rubber sections being made in local sourced Fair Trade rubber and coconut fibre to form a soft cushioned sole, Pozu have all the great qualities of a sustainable brand who use natural renewable resources to create their products. Made in Sri Lanka that company has also created a clear environmental and ethical conduct charter that suppliers must adhere to to ensure the standards go above what is required.


Ethletic is a slow vegan brand and are proud of it. Choosing to ship instead of fly their products wait time are a little longer than your fast fashion, and rightly so. Their products are made in Pakistan is a fairtrade-certified production facility which allows the brand to work to even better environmental condition.s That's not all though, in 2018 they have donated to the Workers Welfare Society where their factory is based to help improve working conditions for all.

Also mentioned in my ethical bag post here, Ecoalf are creating fashion and accessories in a sustainable way. A certified B Corp, Ecoalf have a vision to stop using natural resources in a careless way and with the use of recycled fabrics in many of their items, they're certainly doing their bit for a sustainable future.


One of Austalia's most sustainable shoe brades, Etiko is certified fair trade, vegan and uses organic cotton in their shoes. Similar to Pozu, Novesta and Ethletic in lots of their styles, the new trainers realised are now made from hemp. Whilst keeping sustainable materials at the heart of the company the brand is also determined to help tackle the fundamental driver of labour rights violations and they have been campaigning to work towards this.

Adidas x Parley

One of the most well known sustainability collaborations of recent years is Adidas and Parley. Parley is collection of creators, thinkers and leaders who've come together to raise awareness of the ocean. The collaboration has seen discarded fishing nets collected and fibres restrung into a usable fabric also know as regenerated econyl® yarn. Originally only 7000 pairs made, the collaboration has taken off and is set to be worth over 1 billion for adidas in the coming years!


New to the trainer making game, although certainly not new to being an ethical and sustainable brand, Toms have been donating one pair of shoes for every pair sold since they started. Not only that but they choose to use natural hemp, organic cotton, recycled polyester as much as possible as well. Win win!

I hope this provides you with a little inspiration for when you need a new pair of trainers!


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