Sustainable trainers: the best ethical, eco-friendly and vegan styles to buy now

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Going vegan has never been more stylish. From apple leather designs to vegan versions of Adidas classics, these are the best sustainable and ethical trainers to buy right now. 

Is there a purer love than that of a woman for her trainers? Striking the perfect balance between ‘casual’ and ‘cool’, there isn’t a single outfit that can’t be rocked with a pair of your favourite sneaks. From Converse with floral dresses to chunky dad-style trainers with slouchy suits and Stan Smith with, well, absolutely everything, there is a trainer to bring the perfect touch of laidback luxe to every outfit. 

Now, thanks to the attention of fashion-forward sustainable brands, your favourite shoe just got an environmentally conscious makeover. Enter the new era of vegan, recycled and solvent-free trainers that are as planet-friendly as they are stylish. 

Nothing beats that box-fresh feeling, but as we consider the environmental impact of our trainers, we’re looking for products that minimise their environmental impact. The next generation of sustainable footwear designers are creating styles that are deviating from the norm and incorporating ethical practices into their materials and manufacture process.

 From eschewing animal leather by using apple skin leather alternatives, to laces made from recycled plastic bottles, the latest fabric innovations mean that you can get the same luxe designs you love, while supporting eco-conscious brands.

Want to update your spring wardrobe with a new pair of trainers while ensuring your new pair is as sustainable as it is stylish? We’ve found the best vegan and ethical trainers available to buy right now. 

  • Converse

    The classic high-top Converse trainer is one of the most recognisable styles in the world. Now the shoe has been given a sustainable update. The Converse Renew Cotton range is made from 30 to 40 per cent manufacturing waste canvas and regrind rubber. What’s more, the recycling process gives the Chuck 70s and Chuck Taylor All Stars a texture that’s unique to the range. 

    Shop Converse unisex Renew cotton Chuck 70 high top, £80

  • Good News

     Good News has reinvented the classic high-topwith recycled rubber and vegetable jute fibre. Though also available in ultra-versatile black and white, this earthy-toned woven style feels the perfect style to freshen up our spring wardrobe. 

    Shop Good News juice weave gum low, £110

  • Stella McCartney

    The iconic trainer that needs no introduction, the Stan Smith is the wear-everywhere trainer that has earned a place in every fashion editor’s wardrobe. Now the style comes in a vegan edition too, delivering the same stand-out style but without the use of leather. This pair comes with both original white and rainbow colour laces, perfect for switching up when you want a more playful or pared back look. 

    Shop Stella McCartney + Adidas Originals Stan Smith vegan leather trainers at Net-A-Porter, £235

  • Eco Alf

    These sleek white trainers might be made with 100% recycled nylon, , but that’s not their only appeal: it’s their timeless design and ultra-comfortable fit that will have you adding these sustainable sneakers to your basket. 

    Shop Eco Alf Sanford trainers, £95

  • Po Zu

    Constructed from an apple skin vegan leather alternative, these classic black trainers are anything but ordinary. A memory foam foot mattress cushions these shoes for a fit that’s so comfortable, you won’t want to take them off. These versatile trainers pair to perfection with almost everything in your wardrobe, so you won’t need to, either. 

    Shop Po Zu apple skin black trainers, £99

  • Native

    Are you dreaming of a trainer that goes the distance in the gym and hits all the right style notes at brunch afterwards? Enter Native and its Apollo trainer. Solvent-based glues are the norm in shoe factories, but they are harmful and pose severe health implications to factory workers. Thankfully, brands like Native are leading the way and ensuring that their designs are solvent free. 

  • Rick Owns + Veja

    The last word in California-cool, when Rick Owens announced his collaboration with sustainable powerhouse Veja we knew to expect great things - and we weren’t disappointed.  Made from recycled plastic bottles and wild rubber, and emblazoned with a vegan leather logo these covetable trainers debuted at the designer’s menswear show, but are now available in a women’s collection too. 

    Shop Rick Owens + Veja vegan-leather trainers at Net-A-Porter, £230

AllBirds Wool Runners

AllBirds wool sneakers

Allbirds’ sustainability values are truly pioneering. The brand’s all-natural shoes are made from merino sheep’s wool, eucalyptus tree fibres and sugar cane, and the laces are made from recycled plastic bottles. Not only that but they’re chic and astonishingly soft; they’re the ultimate in feel-good fashion.

Shop All Birds wool runners, £95

Veja ethical trainers

Veja Nova canvas sneakers

French footwear label Veja has redefined the way people think about sustainable trainers - they make some of the coolest trainer styles around and ethically too, setting a new standard in trainer production.

Veja Nova canvas sneakers, €85

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Images: Courtesy of brands 

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