No matter how well you look after them, the wear and tear nature of using a pair of runners means eventually they will need to be replaced. With some new sporty kicks released this year, we’ve pulled together some that still transcend the requirements for the gym to take you to Sunday morning walk and brunch too.
Reformation is known as the cool girl sustainable fashion brand. The brand is on record stating that they wished to explore a collection of shoes but hesitated due to the heavy environmental footprint of production, but this year, they finally launched launched their first shoe line which was soon followed with a collaboration with nostalgic sneaker brand New Balance.
The collaboration and resulting footwear is in keeping with much of the original New Balance vibe, while sustainably elevating them with new, eco-friendly materials like inserts made from BLOOM algae and EVA foam.
After four years of research and development Veja finally launched a proper running shoe. Veja’s ‘Condor’ is dubbed the “world’s first post petroleum runner” made with innovative fabrics like recycled plastic bottles, banana oil, sugar cane, rice husk and wild rubber sustainably sourced from the Amazonian forest.
Adidas teamed with environmental organisation Parley to create training wear and runners made from plastic ocean trash (collected from coastal communities and remote beaches) and utilising it as the raw material in its sportswear collections. Further to this ongoing collaboration, Adidas have pledged that by 2024 they will only be using recycled polyester in all their products! We’ve featured this collaboration in greater detail here.
Allbirds are the epitome of a runner that would make their way into your everyday wardrobe even when you’re not planning on a workout. Touting itself as the “world’s most comfortable shoe” its range features simple sleek styles that are made with natural materials like eucalyptus tree fibre, sugar can and merino wool, even down to its shoe laces which are made from sustainable fabric derived from recycled plastic bottles.
Everlane had a vision to create the world’s lowest impact, carbon neutral sneaker when they launched Tread, their unisex trainer. Moving away from the traditional plastic sole of a sneaker, they have instead created a sole from natural and recycled rubber– 94.2% of it to be exact– along with leather from the world’s cleanest gold certified tannery. These kicks even have recycled plastic lining and laces. Plus their colour palette is on point; say hello to a statement bubble gum pink sneaker!
Nike often flies under the radar in my opinion, their signature Flyknit material is a more sustainable shoe made in part with recycled plastic. In fact Nike has been recognised by Textile Exchange for using the most recycled polyester in the industry six years running, and in the past eight years have utilised 6.4 billion plastic water bottles into recycled footwear and clothing!
(Note: Sustainability qualities are of course often separate from ethical considerations and Nike has been embroiled in many sweatshop and labour issues over the years. Read this to be better informed).
Timberland is a company that has a greener future cemented in its brand values, having used more than 345 million plastic bottles to date in their products and a goal of 100% of their footwear line styles to have at least one major component made using renewable, recycled or organic material. The Brooklyn EK+ runners’ uppers, laces and lining are made from recycled plastic bottles and outsoles from 34% recycled rubber.
Disclosure: This curated list does not fully take into account all the ethical considerations that are unique to each individual. Before making a purchase, we encourage you to do your own research paying particular attention to the supply chain and your own particular set of ethics. You can also check out online tools and apps that provide product reviews and brand ratings here. This list also includes affiliate links. Click here to read more about our policies.
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Feature image via Reformation.