With consumers becoming increasingly more conscious of what they buy, and its impact on people and the planet, many fashion brands have jumped on trend with this – catering to the demands for more ethical and sustainable products.
This growing consumer conscience in fashion has developed alongside a current boom in sneakers, the industry worldwide at an estimated $55 billion. While the demand for sneakers in recent years has been immense, so too is the material wastage that comes along with it; and so, many now look for more sustainable options to feed their shoe addiction. All this has resulted in the creation of some innovative footwear.
Here, TechRound takes a look at some of the top sustainable sneakers currently on the market…
The Top Sustainable Sneakers in 2021:
- Beckett Simonon
- Aqua & Rock
- Rens Original
For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.
Beckett Simonon offers footwear and accessories, including a wide line of sneakers, handcrafted to order by expert Colombian artisans, under ethical conditions.
The company’s sneakers are made with certified and natural components: like their Gold Rated Leather, certified for the strict environmental and social practices in terms of the tannery that process it, or their REACH compliant natural rubber soles.
The MTO model in place with Beckett Simonon allows for no unsold inventory, that could be landfilled or incinerated, producing more GHGE.
Their artisan partners, with decades of experience, work in family-owned studios. They are all under contract, earn way above Colombian minimum wage, get bonuses at the end of the year, health care, pension, caregiver leave, vacations, and freedom to form unions. They also have an anonymous line to report priorities through Beckett Simonon’s partner &Wider.
The company state: “To us, this should be the norm. For people to have the peace of mind of doing good while looking good.”
Allbirds is a sustainable footwear and accessories brand from San Francisco. The company recently announced its first step into the performance category with the Dasher – a revolutionary running shoe made from renewable natural materials.
Powered by eucalyptus tree fibre, Merino wool and sugarcane, it is set to challenge the $50B athletic footwear industry, which largely relies on synthetic shoes made from oil-based plastics that linger in landfills and spill into oceans.
From day one, Allbirds’s mission has been to tread lightly on the planet and to reduce its carbon footprint through natural material innovation and supply chain efficiencies. Earlier this month, the company announced it was to be the first fashion brand to label all of its products with their carbon output to encourage accountability and inspire businesses, as well as consumers, to commit to a low carbon future.
The Dasher will be the first Allbirds product to display a physical Carbon Count label, which takes into consideration materials, development, manufacturing, and end of life. The shoe emits 9kg of carbon dioxide per pair, nearly 30% lower than the estimated average sneaker.
Through responsible sourcing techniques, such as regenerative farming and new innovations, the natural materials used in the shoe could actually sequester more carbon out of the atmosphere than it takes to produce – ultimately becoming carbon negative. Plastic-based synthetics, in contrast, can only keep on polluting the planet.
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Jellyjaws started during the first national lockdown here in the UK. The collections reflects their philosophy of ‘Style by Osmosis’ – the way we unconsciously pass on our sense of style, creativity and experiences to the children in our lives.
From style to environmental awareness, Jellyjaws are a sustainability conscious brand that decided to print-to-order all their products, putting them in the ‘slow fashion’ category. Reducing consumption is an easy way for the brand to reduce their environmental impact.
There are no warehouses full of ready-made materials that could end up as waste. All Jellyjaws’ collections are printed to order, which means no excess stocks or mass production.
All of the sneakers’ products are made by hand and crafted with the highest quality and ethically sourced materials. Their suppliers are ECO PASSPORT and STANDARD 100 approved, using OEKO-TEX certified ink and materials throughout.
Jellyjaws products come in 100% recycled packaging that is certified by the FSC, an international organisation that promotes environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests.
Aqua & Rock
Aqua & Rock are a premium, sustainable fashion brand based in the UK. The brand has developed and released their very own sustainable sneakers.
The body of the sneakers is made out of an Ecotan leather. All of the Aqua & Rock sneakers are produced using a “Wet-White” tanning technology without the use of chromium or heavy metals that can be harmful to our bodies and the environment. This technology eliminates the use of chromates that are used in the tanning process.
Chromates are Ions that are used in chrome plating to protect metals from corrosion. Due to chromates being widely used they can now be found in soil, water, plant, food and even on our bodies. Chromates can be a reason why some of us become allergic to different fabrics such as leather. Only when chromates are released through sweating for example, does it become an issue for those allergic to them.
Aqua & Rock have created a bio-circular fashion business model whereby all of their products can be either recycled, upcycled or composted when they reach their end of life. Due to the Ecotan processes on the trainers making them chrome free they are safe to turn into compost and put back into the ground.
The eyelets of the trainers are nickel free and all the packaging is recycled and can be recycled again. Each part of the trainer can be taken apart at it’s end of life and either recycled, upcycled or composted.
For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.
New up and coming startup Rens have created a sustainable sneaker, recently dubbed by TechRound as “THE Sneaker of 2021“, made using recyclable plastic bottles and coffee grounds.
The company is based in Helsinki, Finland, having created a range of innovative breathable, waterproof footwear products. The sneakers are available for both men and women, coming in a variety of different colours – e.g. black, white, red, pink, blue and brown. The shoes are soft, 100% vegan and antibacterial, helping to fight odours while remaining comfortable to wear and versatile to use on a variety of different terrains.
Rens initially sprung from a conversation around the sneaker industry’s impact on the environment, and the lack of stylish sustainable alternatives available on the market. From this, the first ever sneaker made with recycled plastic and coffee was created, launched in 2019 – and is sold at 99€ in Europe and $119.