How often do you buy new sneakers? Two years ago, I got rid of my hole-ridden Nikes and bought a pair of Adidas made of recycled plastic. But for some reason, these shoes have broken down much quicker than others (which have lasted 6–10 years!), and I’ve been looking everywhere for a sustainable option. Well, call off the search party, because I’ve found my ideal, chic, vegan, and sustainable sneakers!
Cole Haan’s new Generation ZEROGRANDII collection is made of the world’s first dandelion rubber. The soles of these shoes are made of proprietary FlowerFoam, consisting of at least 25% dandelion rubber. Few plants are as resilient, plentiful, and renewable as dandelions are, so this is a zero-waste solution that is great for the planet and for your style. Meanwhile, the stylish upper is made of vegan microsuede (21% recycled content) and reconstructed felt (85% recycled plastic).
New, zero-waste materials have become more widely available than ever, even among mainstream brands. While it can feel like just another call to open our wallets and contribute to the cycle of consumerism, the fact is that most of us have needs for goods (heck, I can’t go outside without shoes!). And the more people respond to these sustainable options, the more brands are motivated to make changes. Think about what Allbirds did by making sneakers out of eucalyptus, and Vivobarefoot did by repurposing algae.
Here’s another ultra-chic option I’m considering. MoEa is a Parisian brand that makes certified vegan sneakers out of pineapple leather (created from pineapple leaves, a byproduct of the food industry), grape leather, apple leather, and corn. It also contains bio PU, recycled rubber, and emits 69% less carbon than industry average for a similar product. The laces are made of certified organic cotton, the lining is bamboo, and the packaging is made of 100% recycled paper. The brand, which produces in Italy, partners with the WWF and 1% for the Planet. Umm, I’d be happy to bring these shoes home so they can meet my parents!
MoEa Gen 1 Pineapple, E 149
Which one of these sustainable vegan sneakers would you wear?
Photo: respective brands