THE SEARCH FOR NEW SUSTAINABLE & CRUELTY-FREE SNEAKERS
Since adapting the vegan lifestyle, It’s been a challenge finding clothes and accessories that are vegan and sustainable, let alone my style. Keeping my body in shape and exercising has become an important part of my physical and mental wellness, so it was time to replace my 8 year old black and white New Balance sneakers. I knew I wanted to invest in shoes that were non-leather and proven to last. What I didn’t know is that sometimes the glue used to hold shoes together are sometimes animal based. So that means a shoe could look like its vegan on the outside but still use animal based materials in the construction.
STYLE OR ETHICS?
My go-to sneaker brand of choice for style has always been either Nike or Adidas. Both have non-leather options and use synthetic based glue. Ok great, but how do they perform on sustainability and ethics? According to this article by Good On You, Nike still has a long way to go as far as human rights labor is concerned, and Adidas has made noticeable improvement towards fair treatment and sustainability compared to Nike, but is it enough? I prefer to support a company where ethics is first before style, and not an afterthought. Does that mean I only have bohemian looking shoes as an option?! No way. That’s not me. I was on the search for shoes that didn’t compromise on ethics or style.
ECO-FRIENDLY VEGAN SNEAKERS WITH STYLE
Thanks to Good On You’s article, I found the Spanish based eco-conscious brand Ecoalf. This B-certified company has made it there mission to practice sustainable fashion “because there is no planet B”. Their Oregon classic sneaker is lightweight and made from vegetable fiber and recycled plastic bottles recovered from the sea. With an all black, sleek design and a touch of white, it was exactly what I was looking for. But was it vegan? Not all “sustainable” products are automatically vegan, and vice versa. It wasn’t explicitly stated on their website or product description so I contacted them directly to make sure. They reassured that it was stating “they are vegan, we have been 4 years now working only with 100% vegan materials for our sneakers.” They are super-lightweight and great quality. I always look forward to working out with these bad girls.