For several years now, we have all been looking for new ways of consuming, especially when it comes to fashion. Vegan sneakers have increasingly become a popular product.
Facing this growing demand for animal-free sneakers, “millennial brands” are becoming more and more innovative. They are even followed by "institutions" within the sportwear world, such as Adidas, which has released its vegan Samba sneakers in 2021.
We are going to present you these different alternatives that allow you to no longer have to choose between sustainability and fashion.
Upcycling gives a new life to products from the plastic or petrochemical industry. Recycling these materials allows them to enter the circular economy process and limit their impact on the environment.
Recycled PET plastic
The advantage of this material is that it is light, breathable and waterproof.
There are quite a few brands offering sneakers made from recycled PET. You can find this type of model, for example, in the collections of N'GO, Soala, Veja, Zeta...
Other brands, such as Corail, Ecoalf and Seagale, have chosen to develop sneaker models based on recycled fishing nets from the oceans.
The environmental impact is of course also limited thanks to the recycling of these plastics and is positive for the seas and oceans, which are thus gradually rid of their waste.
©Unsplash – Krisztian Tabori
There are many recycled and recyclable materials. You can find sneakers made from recycled fabrics, rubber or polyester. The process of circularity is now underway in the fashion industry. This is good news for the planet!
In parallel with the development of plastic recycling techniques, there are many innovations in the field of plants.
For several years, fruit-based alternatives to leather have been developed.
Among these innovations, you can find sneakers made of vegetable leather from grape marc. The brand Zeta, which developed this technique, recovers waste from wine production in the Bordeaux region to transform it into vegetable leather and then into sneakers.
©Unsplash – Corinne Kutz
The Portuguese brand Nae vegan shoes, for its part, has developed a fabric, Piñatex, from the fibres of pineapple leaves, which are the leftovers from the harvesting of the fruits.
Research into new plant-based materials is also ongoing.
©Unsplash – Henry Perks
For example, the brand Veja has developed a new material, C.W.L., a plastic-free alternative to leather and therefore free of petroleum derivatives. It is an organic cotton canvas covered with a corn oil-based coating.
This same 100% plant-based philosophy is the core of the brand Flamingos life and its various plant-based materials: corn, bamboo, hemp, etc.
In addition to these alternatives, there are other natural and plant-based materials such as linen, cork and of course organic cotton.
©Unsplash – Sze Yin Chan
A new era for sneakers...
In recent decades, the environmental impact of cotton has been highlighted. Its culture is one of the most water-intensive and has a very high environmental impact due to the numerous insecticides, herbicides and other fertilisers used to cultivate this plant.
As a result, organic cotton crops have taken off. These new crops do not use any pesticides, which makes organic cotton non-allergenic and gentle on the skin. In addition, the water requirements for growing these fields are reduced because the soil is richer and retains rainwater better. There is no need to rinse the cotton to remove residual pollutants as none have been used.
Vous retrouvez le coton bio dans les collections de la quasi-totalité des marques proposant des sneakers vegan ou éco-responsables.
...and for the laces!
No longer do you have to choose between customising your sneakers and sustainability. Thanks to Petit détail, you can now customise your favourite vegan trainers with GOTS certified organic cotton laces (Petit détail organic cotton laces).
GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) is a worldwide standard. It includes not only ecological but also social criteria. The fair remuneration of all the actors in the textile chain is indeed another driving force behind the action of new brands in the sector, such as Petit détail.
To learn more about Petit détail's global environmental approach, we invite you to read our page "Eco-friendly laces".
Once you have decided on the materials for your new sneakers, don't forget the other essential criteria to consider when choosing them: fit and design. We talk about this in more detail in our article "How to choose your sneakers? ".
To learn more on the topic:
How to take care of your sneakers?
Wedding with sneakers or classic, Petit détail has what you need
And to find out more about Petit détail laces:
Your 100% Made in France laces