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

Posted by for Fashion

Sustainable footwear has never looked so stylish. From apple leather trainers to vegan versions of your classic Stan Smith’s, 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 (and comfort) 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 impact on our planet. 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. Shopping a little smarter will make all the difference to our planet.

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. Happy shopping. 

  • Adidas

    Best sustainable footwear: Adidas

    These Adidas runners are made from Parley ocean plastic; which is intercepted plastic waste from beaches and coastal communities before it gets to the ocean. Now that’s feel-good fashion. 

    Shop trainers, £159.95, Adidas

  • Allbirds

    Best sustainable footwear: Allbirds

    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 guilt free purchase.

    Shop trainers, £95, Allbirds

  • Yatay

    Best sustainable footwear: Yatay

    Everyone needs an all white pair of trainers in their armoury. These slick Yatay kicks have laces made from hemp and the soles upper textiles are made from resins and recycled rubbers. And for extra points they are machine washable. 

    Shop trainers, £170, Yatay

  • Converse

    Best sustainable footwear: 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 30-40% 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 trainers, £80, Converse

  • Good News

    Best sustainable footwear: Good News

    Good News has reinvented the classic pump with recycled rubber soles and organic cotton uppers. Also available in stylish pastel tones and multi-coloured woven fabrics. This all white style is the most versatile of the collection, the perfect shoe to freshen up your summer wardrobe. 

    Shop trainers, £110, Good News

  • Stella McCartney + Adidas Originals

    Best sustainable footwear: Stella McCartney x Adidas Originals

    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, in collaboration with sustainable fashion pioneer Stella McCartney. 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 trainers, £235, Stella McCartney + Adidas Originals

  • Veja

    Best sustainable footwear: Veja

    Sustainable powerhouse Veja is famously known for the V-10 that is probably sitting in your wardrobe right now. This season, they have created the Condor - made from woven recycled fibres and the sole is made from 30% Amazonian rubber. This should make your daily runs a little happier. 

    Shop trainers, £130, Veja

  • Po Zu

    Best sustainable footwear: 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 trainers, £99, Po Zu

  • Ecoalf

    Best sustainable footwear: Ecoalf

    These retro style 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, £89.90, Ecoalf

  • Native

    Best sustainable footwear: 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. 

    Shop trainers, £100, Native

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Images: Courtesy of brands 

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