Are you looking for trainers that don’t cost the earth (literally)? Look no further because this article covers 6 shoe brands that deliver sustainable trainers to the UK.
International shoe brand Cariuma offers a variety of footwear options and the Brazilian founders of this brand have put sustainability at the centre of each product they develop. They have a big vegan product range and they plan to add even more vegan shoes into their range. That said, if you’re a leather lover you’ll be happy to know Cariuma sources their leather and suede from certified by Leather Working Group. According to their materials page their plastic use consists mostly of recycled plastic. It is also pleasing to know, for each pair of shoes you buy they plant 2 trees.
UK based brand Vivobarefoot specialises in thinner footwear that connects you to the earth. Two cobblers founded the business in 2012 and they believe with less padding in their shoes we can feel the nature and protect it. Vivobarefoot has a sizeable collection of vegan products. They also use recycled plastic, algae and responsibly sourced leather in their products. When your Vivobarefoot shoes fall apart you can send it to Revivo for a repair. Additionally, there is an Amazon store page if you want to take advantage of your Prime membership.
Footwear brand Allbirds mainly focuses on merino wool trainers. Unfortunately, they don’t have any vegan shoes as even their tree-based shoes contain wool-cushioned insoles. Besides wool and trees, they also use sugar, recycled plastic and nylon in their products. You can see the carbon footprint of Allbirds products on their product page so you know the impact of your purchase. Even then, you’ll be happy to know they offset their carbon footprint to achieve carbon neutrality and aim to reduce their emissions.
Portuguese shoe label NAE Vegan, as the name suggests, focusses on vegan shoes of all types. If you love leather but aren’t comfortable with its impact on the environment and animal welfare this is the brand for you. NAE Vegan uses a mixture of cotton, polyester, and nylon to produce vegan leather. Whenever possible they use recycled materials and their other materials include Piñatex (pineapple leaves), organic cotton and cork. The shoes are all manufactured in factories based in Portugal and Spain.
London based shoe brand Po-Zu uses sustainable materials to produce comfortable and stylish shoes. Their whole range is 100% vegan as they use Piñatex, FRUMAT Apple Skin and Eco Microfibre as alternatives to leather. Like most of the vegan leather alternatives some of their materials use polyurethane to give them flexibility and durability. Po-Zu shoes are manufactured in Portugal and Sri Lanka. They also collaborated with Star Wars to provide footwear for the characters.
Vegan business Will’s Vegan was founded in London in 2012. Although their website domain contains “shoes” they actually sell a wide range of vegan products. They use some polyurethane but they also have some shoes labelled “biodegradable” which are completely plastic free. Will’s Vegan products are made in Italy and Portugal and they are produced and delivered carbon neutral.
Final words about sustainable trainers
Many of these companies are based in the UK so receiving the products shouldn’t be any issue. However, their designs may not be for everyone. Certainly, leather alternatives are getting much better and becoming widely available. Having said that, plastic-free trainers are tough to find. Will you be switching to more sustainable trainers?