Last updated on August 3, 2023
Fashion trends are changing, and leaning toward the idea of saving the environment. Many brands are shifting to carbon-neutral materials that are acquired under dignified conditions. This pivot towards sourcing environmentally conscious materials is known as sustainable fashion, including sustainable sneakers.
Through sustainable fashion, we show that we care about our environment. It is a manifestation of our commitment to style while making a conscious decision to prioritize ethically acquired materials. Because of this new trend, fewer precious resources and animals are being sacrificed for our fashion needs –– and in many cases production methods are producing fewer emissions.
One subset of this trend is sustainable sneakers. Sustainable sneakers are made from recycled materials, natural fibers, and plant-based vegan leather. The shoe soles are also made from sustainable materials such as cork and algae. And while these shoes began to emerge in small niches within the industry a few years ago, we’re now seeing major brands at the forefront of the trend –– leading the way by making stylish and sustainable sneakers. Even so, however, it can be difficult for consumers to keep close tabs on which shoes are sustainable, what makes them so, etc.
With that in mind, here are four tips on how to find, and buy sustainable sneakers…
This post is all about sustainable sneakers.
Sustainable Sneakers Are Becoming Trendy –– Here’s How to Stay on Top of the Movement
Read about sustainable sneaker brands
When looking for sustainable sneakers, be sure to read and research the brands you are interested in. Sustainable brands will always provide information about their ethical practices, the types of recycled materials they’ve used, if they are “PETA-Approved Vegan” or certified to standards like the RWS (Responsible Wool Standard), and so on. The more knowledge you are about sustainable fashion and these kinds of specifics, the better able you’ll be to make responsible shopping decisions when you’re looking for new kicks.
Check shops regularly
Not all stores offer sustainable, eco-friendly shoes, so one good way to stay on top of the market is to find the shops that do offer them and check in with them regularly. These shops will typically stock the latest products and designs from sustainable manufacturers. The best of them will also be able to tell you which sneakers are 100% vegan or partially recycled, which items are made cruelty free, and all in all what materials have been used.
If you talk to the shop owner or a helpful sales associate, you might even be able to reserve shoes in your size before the release date.
Join an online community
It helps to have a network of people to keep you up-to-date on the latest news about shoes. Finding a community of sneakerheads online allows you to make connections and even attend exclusive events where you can meet other sneaker enthusiasts and work with them on building up your sneaker collection (sustainable or otherwise).
By and large, these communities focus more on the hottest new sneaker releases by major brands and leading designers. As you build relationships within a sneaker group though, you’ll find that there are all kinds of ongoing conversations about everything happening in the shoe world. New information about sustainable sneakers will be unlikely to slip past you.
Following alerts on social media
Particularly if you’re not part of a community like the ones just discussed, social media is one of the best ways to get access to the latest updates in footwear –– including any news or alerts about sustainable sneakers. These alerts can tell you what new products are coming out, what new sustainable technologies might be breaking through, or, perhaps most notably, when more mainstream brands are involving themselves with sustainability initiatives (as more and more seem to be doing!).
Fashion has once again evolved, and the newest development is style with sustainability. You can be on the front lines of this new trend with regard to sneakers by following these tips. In time, you may just wind up with a whole new shoe rack full of kicks that are both stylish and sustainable.
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