5 Brands Taking a Walk on the Sustainable Side

Editorial TeamEditorial Team
July 31st, 2019
12:53 PM

Sustainability has been at the forefront of many conversations in recent years, stemming primarily from our over consumption of plastic and the dramatic effect it is having on our sea animals and planet.

Every year, the footwear industry manufactures billions of shoes and in the U.S. alone, around 300 million pairs of those shoes end up in landfills and take at least 40 years to decompose because they are full of plastic. The manufacturing process itself has severe negative impacts on the environment, as the machines used require large quantities of fossil fuels. When burned, fossil fuels produce greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, and too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere contributes to climate change.

As a result, more and more companies are emerging with sustainable, eco-friendly and ethical ways to produce shoes. Let’s take a look at some of the brands that are trying to improve our eco footprints.


Nothing New

We don’t just want to make products that look good. We want to make products that do good.”

Launched in June this year, Nothing New is a brand new sustainable footwear brand which produces shoes from recycled plastic. Each pair of their shoes is estimated to contain 5.6 plastic water bottles and saves the planet over 160 gallons of water, in comparison to a non-sustainable shoe. The brand also creates an environmentally friendly incentive for its customers by asking them to return their used pair of shoes, in order for them to be recycled correctly, in exchange for $20 off their next purchase.



Dedicated to creating sustainable footwear from natural resources rather than synthetic ones, Allbirds first caught our attention in 2017 with their Wool Runner shoe. As the name suggests, the shoe is made from New Zealand’s superfine merino wool and features laces formed from recycled plastic bottles. Since then, the brand has gone on to produce shoes with sugarcane and Tencel, which is made from eucalyptus trees in a closed loop process.

Allbirds has also stated it is going carbon neutral in 2019, and with every tonne of carbon they emit, they will pay for that tonne to be taken out of the atmosphere. Pretty impressive, no?



Earlier this year, Adidas announced its latest running shoe: FUTURECRAFT.LOOP. The shoe is made from 100% Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) in a closed loop process, and has been designed to never be thrown away. How? you might ask. Well, the concept is simple: wear the shoe until you can no more, but instead of throwing it away, take it to your local Adidas store. From there, the shoe will be cleaned, ground, melted and formed into a completely new shoe. The aim of this new release is to completely recycle materials already in use, rather than produce new ones.


The Piñatex Shoe by Hugo Boss

Internationally renowned fashion house Hugo Boss has also stepped into the sustainable footwear industry with a pair of men’s shoes crafted from Piñatex and recycled TPU. Piñatex, is an innovative leather alternative made from pineapple leaf fibers. The leaves are an agricultural waste product; therefore, their use actually creates more income for farmers and their local communities. The limited-edition Italian-made vegan shoes are available in four colors and are not only stylish but also ethical too.


Renew by Converse

The iconic Chuck Taylor All Stars have also been launched by Converse in three sustainable versions: Renew Denim, Renew Canvas and Renew Cotton. The Renew Collection is Converse’s recognition that as a brand they can do more for a sustainable and eco-friendly future. Renew Denim is created using upcycled denim from landfills. As no two pairs of jeans are the same, each chuck will be unique and slightly different. Renew Canvas, on the other hand, is produced from single-use plastic bottles and Renew Cotton is formed of leftover materials from their own manufacturing process.

It is evident that change is necessary to preserve and prolong our planet. At first, it may seem difficult or even impossible to act in a more environmentally friendly manner but every little change can make a difference.

With millions of shoes ending up in landfills every year, it is refreshing to see not only new up-and-coming sustainable brands, but also, household names acknowledging that they can be doing more to help save our planet and improve their own eco footprint.


Read more about Sustainable Brands below:

5 Brands Taking a Walk on the Sustainable Side

Ethical Lingerie: The Modern Basics

NYFW 2019: Emerging Brands