Producing shoewear is one of the parts of the fashion industry that leaves the most significant footprint. This has a considerable effect on the environment and a direct impact on the climate change crisis. In reply, many shoe companies have started investing in making sustainable collections.
Several shoe companies are leading the way into becoming more responsible about using recycled materials. These include eco-sneaker companies such as:
If you’re interested in making a difference and getting sustainable shoewear, check out the following companies.
What Shoe Companies Use Recycled Materials?
The fashion industry has become more aware of the importance of opting for sustainable choices. Shoe companies are researching and implementing how to become more eco-friendly and keep up with the times by providing trendy products made with recycled materials to reduce that footprint.
Some of the most important shoe companies implementing these changes can be found below and include collections from:
- Adidas x Parley
- Nothing New
Can Shoes Be Made of Recycled Plastic?
Plastic pollution is one of the main issues currently affecting the environment and enhancing the climate change crisis. Billions of tons of plastic end up in the world’s oceans, where they account for most of the debris present in them. This problem can be avoided, as a lot of the plastic that ends up in landfills could be recycled, especially PET.
Shoes can be made from recycled plastic, with an increasing number of shoe companies opting for sustainability and experimenting with footwear. Most recycled shoes are made from the type of plastic known as PET, or polyethylene terephthalate, which is the main component in most plastic bottles and therefore widely available.
To preserve the life of shoes made from recycled plastic, companies have also been using other biodegradable materials such as particular types of wood or wool. This ensures that the recycling cycle can continue.
Here’s why the industry should opt for recycled plastic when making shoes:
- Plastic waste is reduced, and virgin resources can be preserved.
- Materials can be recycled more than once, which increases the life of the product.
Companies can use their own recycling schemes, which ensure that old products can be either remade or used to create something else.
Is Shoe Rubber Eco Friendly?
The types of rubber most used for shoe soles are biodegradable and eco-friendly. Using them can also help remove some of the rubber waste in landfills by reusing old tires. This makes using rubber for shoes even more sustainable. The critical part of this process is to make sure that the rubber used is either recycled or natural.
Other materials that can be used to make sustainable shoes in addition to recycled/natural rubber and recycled plastic include organic cotton, bamboo, cork, and the new fashion favorite: pineapple leather.
Most importantly, the fabrication process that is in place to create these products must also be as sustainable as possible. Without specific guidelines in place to have a more eco-friendly industry, the use of sustainable materials like rubber soles can’t have the same impact.
Measures like living wages, water and energy conservation, green marketing, and instilling an environment-conscious culture in the industry are just as necessary as recycling. The industry should also avoid using chemicals that ruin the environment as much as possible.
One huge step you could take to help the environment is to stop buying clothes I never wear. I know, that’s such a hard thing to do, but it will help you save money as well as help save the planet.
10 Responsible Shoe Companies Using Recycled Materials
There is an ever-growing number of shoe companies investing in sustainable and eco-friendly products using recycled materials. The following companies are currently the most popular providers of recycled shoes, and they’re setting the trend.
Norm is a Belgian sneaker brand that is 100% sourced in Europe, following an ethical and low-impact production. It also has a comprehensive recycling program called Circle that highlights how the life of a sneaker can be extended.
Circle is specifically designed to bear in mind the entire lifespan of the product. Once you have worn out a pair of NORM shoes, you are encouraged by the company to send them back with free shipping. You will get 15% off your next NORM order while the company takes over the responsibility of deciding the best use for the sneakers.
No matter what state they are in, NORM will find something useful to do with them. The usual two options are that they will either get properly cleaned and sent to a non-profit organization, or they will get turned into soles for other shoes.
While NORM has only been able to use 90% recycled materials for its shoes so far, it is committed to achieving 100% as soon as possible. It is also following the goal of steering away from fast fashion.
2. Adidas x Parley
This shoewear line was created through the partnership of powerhouse fashion brand Adidas with Parley for the Oceans, a non-profit that advocates for the protection of the world’s oceans, which are highly affected by plastic waste in particular.
Adidas is committed to ending plastic waste, and its partnership with Parley has resulted in the development of PrimeBlue, a recycled material made from the plastic waste found in oceans. Along with PrimeBlue, Adidas also uses the PrimeGreen line, which only creates shoes with recycled materials, as well as cotton made sustainably.
The Adidas x Parley collaboration appears in iconic pairs of running shoes like the Ultra Boost and outdoor shoes like the Terrex Two, but it is becoming prevalent across Adidas shoewear. Adidas aims to use only recycled polyester across its products by 2024, and it is already opting for vegan materials.
Cariuma was founded by two Brazilians with the specific aim to provide a counterpoint to fast fashion. Cariuma sneakers are known for their versatility, style, and comfort, as well as for their sustainable materials.
Cariuma sneakers are made only from curated raw materials like rubber, bamboo, sugarcane, organic cotton, mamona oil, cork, responsibly sourced leather and suede, and recycled PET. Hazardous chemicals are eliminated from the production process, and only dyes certified by Bluesign are used to add colors.
Cariuma products have achieved international renown, and the founders have established a Reforestation Program in Brazil to help with the preservation of endangered plants and animals. One of Cariuma’s most popular pairs of shoes, the IBI Slip-on, has the lowest carbon footprint in the world.
This shoe company aims to provide excellent quality outdoor footwear that is also vegan and sustainable. Created by an entrepreneur turned biodynamic farmer, Astral always aims to put nature first. The company focuses on producing footwear and life jackets, and it has made huge strides since being founded in 2002 to become as eco-friendly as possible.
Initially, Astral chose to stop using all PVC foam, then it opted for including mainly recycled materials, like polyester. This has significantly reduced its carbon footprint while it provides durable and comfortable outdoor gear for hikers and athletes.
Langbrett is a famous eco-friendly company based in Germany that produces items in Portugal. Its mission is to provide clothing and footwear made from recyclable materials and fully recyclable, which continues the reusing process in perpetuity. This closed-loop process ensures that there is no waste on the level of that produced by fast fashion.
When Langbrett shoes have reached the end of their current durability, they are sent back to the company, where the materials are recycled and reused into a new form and without the use of harsh chemicals during the process.
Following fair and ethical working conditions, Langbrett uses mainly upcycled materials, cork soles, organic cotton, and leather that does not include chrome. Their products are built to last and to have as little impact on the environment as they can.
6. Nothing New
Nothing New shoes are designed with sustainability and style in mind and carefully curated to be as eco-friendly as possible. Using materials like recycled plastic, recycled fishing nets, recycled cotton, and recycled cork, the Nothing New footwear follows the ‘true stitch’ construction, which gives you the most support and comfort available.
A pair of Nothing New shoes is a worthy and fashionable investment, and with the company adhering to a circle recycling program, you’ll know that your shoes won’t contribute to waste even when they reach the end of their lifespan. Other advantages include some of the best outsoles on the market and carbon neutral shipping.
SAOLA offers a range of sustainable footwear made entirely from recycled and natural components. With the recent introduction of a new type of vegan leather used in their products, SAOLA continues its groundbreaking pace in creating eco-friendly shoes.
The upper part of SAOLA shoes is made from thread developed from recycling PET like plastic bottles and food packaging. Other materials used include recycled plastic, vegan leather, and suede.
Insoles and outsoles are usually developed with Algae Foam: a powder derived from harvesting harmful algae and mixed with EVA. This creates a material that is perfect for sole construction.
Allbirds creates sustainable clothing and footwear made from merino sheep wool, recycled bottles, castor bean oil, and recycled cardboard. The company also has a particular type of tree fiber called Tencel Lyocell, as well as fairly-sourced sugarcane and two versions of products made from combining Merino wool with eucalyptus tree fiber: Trino and Trino XO.
Allbirds is pushing the research into achieving exceptional sustainable materials, and the products show the quality of that work. From footwear to apparel, Allbirds sets the trend in eco-friendly products.
Apparel company Sperry is influenced by the sea. Its iconic sustainable boat shoes are designed to provide enough grip to the wearer, even on slippery surfaces. The company uses ‘seacycled’ shoes, as they are made from a percentage of plastic waste found in the sea. Most pairs of Sperry shoes are created from thread derived from PET bottles.
The company aims to make at least half its catalog from seacycled materials by 2023, and it is currently focused on saving on water usage and eliminating single-use plastic.
The eco-friendly hip shoes made by MOVMT, also known as The People’s Movement, aim to help in the fight to reduce plastic use and plastic waste. The company focuses primarily on footwear and accessories, and it also uses upcycled bags made from plastic waste found in the oceans.
MOVMT collaborates with research efforts to combat the plastic pollution problem and continues to create trendy apparel choices. The footwear is made primarily from vegan knit, recycled plastics, and organic cotton.
Teaching people about the importance of supporting brands that look out for our planet is more important than ever. Especially if you are trying to teach your child to be a fashion designer. Help them learn about how their choice in material could either help or harm our planet.
With an increasing number of trendy shoe companies opting to create sustainable footwear, you will have numerous choices at your disposal. While buying recycled shoes may not be as easy as buying Newchic review clothing, it will have lasting impact on you and our environment. Purchasing new shoes from this company ensures an eco-friendly and cyclical project that helps protect the environment.