Have you ever stopped to think about the impact your sneaker obsession might be having on the environment? It's estimated that over 24 billion pairs of shoes are produced every year, with sneakers accounting for the majority. Combine that figure with the fact that a typical pair of running shoes generates approximately 13.6 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions and it's safe to say we've got a problem on our hands.
It's not all bad though. With a growing demand for sustainable sneakers, an increasing number of brands are responding, harnessing innovative design and manufacturing processes to create eco-friendly trainers that don't skimp on style. Here are some of the styles on our radar right now.
These sneakers from LA-based footwear label CLAE are made from 100% vegan materials, with a recycled mesh upper and lining, synthetic suede panel accents and recycled nylon laces. They come in a variety of versatile colourways, so take your pick.
SAYE has garnered a cult following thanks to its retro-inspired trainers that are as stylish as they are sustainable. Every pair is lovingly made in Portugal using recycled and organic materials, with each sale resulting in two trees being planted in a reforestation project. It's a win for your wardrobe and a win for the planet.
Uniform Standard's commitment to social and environmental responsibility is inherent within its design philosophy. Its perfectly pared back Series 4 sneakers make use of recycled materials such as rubber, cork and rice husk shells, as well as recycled high density polyurethane foam.
ETQ Amsterdam's first foray into vegan sneakers is a clear success. Made from a plant-based leather alternative by Italian eco-innovator Vegea, it looks and feels just like real calf-leather, but without the detrimental environmental footprint.
Just like the rest of its everyday essentials, Neutrale's slip on sneakers are crafted in accordance with strict sustainability standards. Fusing a premium suede upper with a recycled sole, they're made to last.
Veja is one of the leading names in eco-friendly trainers. Its popular Alveomesh sneakers, which are made from recycled plastic bottles, sugar cane, recycled polyester and recycled rubber, demonstrate the exciting potential of utilising non-conventional materials.
Yatay's 100% vegan sneakers are made in Italy from eco-friendly materials like corn-leather. Not only are they sustainably crafted, but they're hard-wearing too, so they'll withstand whatever adventures you have in store.
Now that you've invested in a pair of eco-friendly trainers, how about making the rest of your wardrobe more sustainable?
Shop all men's trainers at OPUMO.
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