Just 5 to 10 years ago it was a rare feat to find some snazzy looking sneakers if you were vegan - there were simply no cool designs that stuck out. Flash forward to 2020 and vegan alternatives like ‘leather’ made from apple peels, pineapple fibres, cork bark and soles from upcycled ocean plastic are everywhere!
With innovative components like biodegradable shoe thread and resin-based glue, you can find the most inventive yet stylish sneakers right on your doorstep. Kind to Mother Earth with absolutely no human or animal suffering, these shoes are for those who give a damn and want to have a positive impact on the planet.
Note: these are not completely 100% vegan shoe brands, I also want to give credit to vegan-friendly brands that have set up a vegan line. Obviously, all pairs you find in our department store are completely vegan!
Apple leather, recycled cotton, recycled rubber, reused carbon and old plastic bottles are just some of the awesome materials sneakerheads Greet and Mark use in their Komrads sneakers to commit to their promise of creating a circular sneaker with the lowest possible impact on the planet.
With honesty and self-proclaimed ‘radical transparency’, this sneaker brand is out to mix nostalgic fashion with futuristic style and contemporary values. Steeped in history, Komrads pay homage to the Soviet era Czech Boot Company whose iconic sneaker model was designed as their answer to the Western shoe revolution. Komrads want to bring this iconic canvas sneaker back to life but in a modern and urban way that respects the planet.
Fusing the latest sustainable materials and innovative methods with timeless contemporary design, Swedish brand Humans Are Vain are out to change the vegan fashion game.
In addition to making recyclable products made from materials like pineapple fibre and plastic collected from the ocean, embracing a circular economy, manufacturing in carefully selected ethical factories that they monitor with their own quality control teams in both Sweden and Portugal, they are also pioneering new developments in fashion.
"One day, my daughter Francesca told me that she couldn't wear my sneakers because they were made of leather. At that moment, I had the idea to create a vegan line from apples," said Gianni, the founder of Womsh.
Hence this vegan line was born: from love. Also for the environment. As the founder says so beautifully: A pair of shoes cannot save the planet. But the people who wear them can. Because behind every shoe there is a choice, behind every purchase there is reflection and all of us can choose what message to spread.
This is nicely reflected in their name - Womsh stands for Word Of Mouth Shoes. The shoes that convey a message, using word of mouth to promote respect for our planet.
This is a brand that combines fashion with sustainability, Italian craftsmanship with ethical production and respect for the environment with respect for people. Gianni wants to create an environment where honesty, transparency, future vision and inclusion are not only beautiful words but also concrete ways of doing business.
'Look what's behind your sneakers' is a (quite) loose translation of this brand name. And that is what VEJA does, proud of the transparency (rightfully so), sustainability and ethics of their production chain where their trendy sneakers are made of recycled polyester, (organic) cotton and wild rubber from the Amazon.
That may sound crazy, just tapping wild rubber from nature. But hear them out. Their goal is to enhance the economic value of the forest in order to protect it. For instance, VEJA always buys this special substance directly from the producers and pays them double the market price. This way, they can support the local population and the virtuous process that allows the trees to regenerate.
And because they've been offering a vegan line for a few years now, we can say that the circle is complete. Also suitable for all the podiatrist out there 😉 (we got two of them on the team!): They have a removable insole!
"The coolest vegan, crisp-white, cosy and fashionable sneakers that you can purchase guilt-free," say these Spaniards with pride. On a mission to make the planet a more ethical and sustainable place to live, All My Eco is out to design shoes that contribute to a fair, more sustainable and honest world.
With materials like pineapple fibre, recycled plastic bottles and cork alongside quality vegan leather - these sneakers combine the most innovative vegan and sustainable materials to help you make a more conscious fashion choice.
Made with honest manufacturers in Spain, All My Eco ensures their production line is as fair as possible. What else? For every pair of shoes that is sold, 5 trees are planted. Plus, 1% of all each sale goes to sustainability-related charities through ‘1% for the Planet’!
Founded by the young Spanish entrepreneurs Jorge and Tatiana, Beflamboyant is a shoe brand that is out to change the game with their extremely beautifully designed unisex sneakers and their love for animals, the environment and gender equality.
Using their own analogy of a four-leaf clover, each leaf represents the four qualities they focus on: being cruelty-free, sustainable, fair trade and gender-neutral, with every aspect being equally important.
When it comes to these high-end chunky sneakers - you either love it or you hate it. The Belgian designer Mats Rombaut creates unique and innovative sneakers from stone, tree bark, natural rubber, cotton-cellulose and coconut fibre.
All its materials and fabrics are processed sustainably, without the use of chemical and animal substances. Instead, Rombaut only works with plant materials and is committed to protecting our environment and its biodiversity!
One other thing worth mentioning: during the last Paris Fashion Week, his team presented a 'utopian scenario' where a new generation takes power over politics and pushes their green agenda. The cast performed a 'die-in', pushing the message that 'the time is up and the action is overdue' which left the attendees wondering whether they are protesting in silence or just sleeping through a crisis. One thing is clear - they got our attention!
''In partnership with nature’ is the slogan of this awesome shoe brand. With a focus on working with and not against nature, founders Ed and Damian are striving to create fashion-forward sneakers at little cost to the planet.
Using materials such as entirely compostable natural rubber for their soles, GOTS certified organic cotton and even making their own biodegradable shoe thread and resin-based glue - WAES is truly at the forefront of sustainable innovation and taking matters into their own hands.
At Will's Vegan Store they are sure of one thing: if we all try to make a positive choice, we can make a positive change in the world. Will Green (what a name right?) founded the climate-neutral company of his dreams, offering sustainable, ethical and vegan fashion.
In the “Go vegan” on the website of the German EKN, we see a great wish for the future. Not so long ago they added the first vegan models to their collection. And even the classic skater shoe enthusiasts are not able to resist!
EKN produces its sneakers under fair conditions in Portugal and in small numbers to ensure maximum quality and a minimal ecological footprint. They even go one step further and don't use any new raw materials in the production of their synthetic fibres. Bonus: CO2 neutral logistics.
Meet the colourful Duuo, a Spanish brand that has transformed into a 100% vegan brand. Founders Alícia and Sergio say: “The moment we started our journey, we realized there were so many aspects we could improve. But actions speak louder than words. So, it’s not only our thinking that has evolved, our actions have proved that we can be fully proud of the product we create."
This nice brand actively promotes the philosophy of sustainable fashion and rejection of animal exploitation. They said a definitive goodbye to leather. And they also didn't forget to include fair working conditions in their philosophy. #fashionwithoutvictims, a beautiful concept!
What do you think of their designs?
N'go shoes, an ethical & low-waste shoe brand, were born from a collaboration between traditional Vietnamese artisan craftsmanship and French entrepreneurship.
By working with local artisan cooperatives, founders Ronan and Kevin have created a fair supply chain that gives back to the local community and supports education in Vietnam by collaborating with the NGO Sao Bien that provides young children with access to basic education.
Not only do these sneakers display beautifully colourful & hand-woven canvas designs but N’go also prides itself on low-waste packaging options made from, for instance, coconut fibre! They're also working on providing a recycling option for their products to foster a sustainable circular system throughout their company. How wonderful!
Founded in 1955, Risorse Future decided to completely change its course in 2010. And we are absolutely amazed by all the changes! From leather shoes and bags to a complete PETA-Approved Vegan collection. Their shoes, bags and belts are now made from natural materials such as hemp and cotton. And all produced locally in Italy, from a hemp plant to the end product.
Yup, as the name suggests, Good Guys Don't Wear Leather is a 100% vegan shoes company. Marion Hanania, the founder of the brand, is a French shoe designer, artist and a vegan who loves animals and strives to create collections that are timeless, durable, comfortable and stylish.
In one year, Zouri and their amazing team of volunteers have recovered 1 ton of plastic from the beaches of Portugal! Adriana and António, the founders of Zouri, say they have designed "the most ecological sneakers ever made". Every pair of shoes is made of 6 plastic bottles collected from oceans but also with innovative materials such as Piñatex and natural rubber.
Even though they first started with designing sandals (hence the name Zouri; the name of a typical Japanese sandal) they also offer sneakers now - all handmade in Portugal.
Thanks to its sustainable production, timeless and minimalistic design, you can feel the peace of mind when wearing Zouri sneakers. If you are a fan of retro(-ish) designs and versatile sneakers that you can wear anywhere and with anything, Zouri is the right match for you. And you can be a proud owner of sneakers that were made from waste!