Everlane just dropped its first sneaker for $98 - it's carbon neutral, unisex, and incredibly comfortable. Here's what they're like to wear
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- Everlane just launched a new sneaker brand called Tread by Everlane, and its inaugural product is a unisex leather sneaker called The Trainer ($98).
- The Trainer comes in seven colors and in men's sizes 7-13 or women's sizes 5-12.
- The launch reflects Everlane's attempt, two years in the making, to make the world's lowest-impact sneakers. The Trainer's anatomy breaks down to a 94.2% virgin-plastic-free sole, leather from the world's cleanest tannery, and renewed laces and lining.
- Four reporters tested The Trainer in their everyday lives ahead of the launch. Find our thoughts on comfort, fit, and style below.
According to an April 2019 press release, The Trainer is Everlane's response to the question "When are you going to launch a sneaker?" so often posed by its customers, and an answer to the enormous waste of the sneaker industry. Ruled by hype, flash, and $900+ ugly unicorns, they've become the ultimate trend piece. Add to that a lifespan that's closer to six months than a few years, and you've got one of the industry's worst footprints.
The Trainer is supposed to be different. Engineered with sustainable, durable materials and manifested in a versatile design, it's supposed to be the world's lowest impact sneaker.
The sole is 94.2% free of virgin plastic. Instead, Everlane uses recycled and natural rubber - preventing an estimated 18,000 pounds of rubber from making its way into landfills and cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 54%. Everlane has pledged to nix virgin plastic entirely from its supply chain by 2021.
The full-grain leather is produced at Saigon TanTec, "The world's cleanest tannery." The Gold-certified tannery uses natural lighting and solar energy, and, according to Everlane, 42% less electricity and 56% less fresh water than those already considered the best in the industry. Altogether, the tannery emits 20% less greenhouse gas than conventional leather finishing.Even The Trainer's laces and lining emit 18% less carbon than average. Altogether, the recycled plastic in each pair renews 9.5 discarded bottles.
To further reduce their impact, Tread by Everlane said it is offsetting 100% of the carbon emissions from its sneaker production. First, the brand had a third-party firm calculate the full carbon footprint of the trainer, which tallied up to 51.5 kg CO2e (which includes the impact of raising cattle) for the shoe's life cycle. Then, Tread partnered with NativeEnergy - a leading carbon offset provider - to support projects that reduce greenhouse gases. Right now, that means working with ranchers to improve cattle-grazing practices on American grasslands, begetting better soil health, cleaner waterways, and more carbon sequestration since healthy grasslands pull an enormous amount of carbon from the air. Beyond that, the company says it plans to keep getting better. As alternate materials and more efficient processes become available, the brand will respond in kind.
Four reporters tried the new Tread Trainer ($98) ahead of the April 25 launch. Find their personal experiences below:
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