8 footwear brands that make sustainable sneakers from recycled and renewable materials
- More than 23 billion pairs of sneakers are made every year, over 300 million pairs are thrown out annually, and, on average, it takes 30-40 years for a pair to fully decompose in a landfill.
- Sneakers are one of the most wasteful retail items to produce, but a booming shoe industry shows no signs of slowing down.
- However, as shoppers become more educated about the environmental concerns associated with producing their clothes and shoes, brands become more incentivised to offer sustainable alternatives.
- Below you'll find eight brands that are trying to set a new standard by making sneakers with innovative, eco-friendly materials and more sustainable production methods.
The sneaker industry is bigger than ever, and its growth shows no signs of slowing.
More than 23 billion pairs of sneakers are produced every year, but behind the great demand for footwear is an industry so wasteful it's almost beyond measure. Most of these new pairs use virgin plastic, rubber, and petroleum, producing alarming amounts of carbon dioxide. According to sneaker startup Nothing New, about 300 million pairs of shoes are thrown out every year and, on average, it takes 30-40 years for a pair to fully decompose in a landfill.
In the past, most shoppers would have put little thought into exactly how the items they bought were made, but that is no longer the case all around. In addition to demanding trendsetting styles and groundbreaking innovations, the educated consumers of today expect products to be made responsibly.
Sportswear retail expert Matt Powell explained to Business Insider that younger people are very concerned with how their purchases are affecting the environment. "Sustainability is an important theme in retail, so much so that younger consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products," said Powell. "Brands have long been concerned about making products sustainably, but they're being more forward and open about it."
If you're looking to make better, more sustainable choices, we hear you. We are too, which is why we rounded up this list of brands that are using innovative, eco-friendly materials and more sustainable production methods to make sneakers.
From performance sneakers made by popular brands like Nike and Adidas to fashion-forward trainers from startups like Everlane and Allbirds, you'll find plenty of brands new and old working to set new standards.
Check out 8 brands making more sustainable sneakers:
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Adidas x Parley
Tread by Everlane
Reebok NPC UK Cotton + Corn
Timberland Brooklyn EK+
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