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The 5 Best Eco-Friendly Vegan Sneakers That Are Stylish & Cool


Vegan Sneakers - BHMP Eco-friendly sneakers made from hemp
As a self-proclaimed shoe addict, I'm super picky when it comes to shoe shopping. A stylish pair that fits well is just the starting point. I want shoes that are also vegan, eco-friendly, sustainable, and I love it when they have innovative design. Shoes should combine style and sustainability - its not a choice of one over the other.

However, one common problem with sustainable fashion is that most of their products do not score well on style and many-a-times they are not vegan. Eco-conscious sneakers, including most leather-free styles, are not vegan-friendly because the glues used in the construction is derived from animals. It's the same with the dyes. So it can be challenging to especially find eco-conscious sneakers that are also vegan.

Fortunately, there are some shoes brands that have successfully created sneakers that look good, feel good and do good. These sneakers are not only made with vegan materials but also use sustainable materials like recycled plastic & fishing nets, bamboo and organic cotton and pay fair wages.

I've rounded up 5 stylish vegan sneakers that prioritize ethics and the environment in everything from materials to production and comfortable too!

Cariuma
Best vegan sneakers - Cariuma eco-friendly sneakers

Ethical Traits: Eco-friendly, fair-trade, zero-waste and has a vegan collection (not entirely vegan)
Based in: Rio, Brazil
Comfort: 10/10
Price: $98

When style and comfort is the top criterion, then Cariuma may have the most ethical kicks around. I've tried so many sneakers and these are by far my favorite because they're so comfortable.

This widely popular Brazilian brand boasts first-of-its-kind bamboo knit sneaker, called IBI, that is 100% carbon neutral and creates zero waste. It’s crafted from a mix of  plant-based materials - the knit upper is made with self-regenerating bamboo, the memory insole with cork and mamona oil and the outsole uses bio-based sugarcane EVA. The best part? They are the most lightweight sneakers ever and provide a great stretch. You can wash them in machine too. No wonder they had more than 5000 people on the waitlist after this vegan style dropped in the market....

Not just the sneakers, even their packaging is recycled and recyclable. Plus, when your shoes are shipped, the transportation is 100 percent carbon-neutral. Cariuma purchases carbon offsets to combat climate change. How cool is that?

I'm absolutely in love with this style because it is incredibly comfortable and undeniably unique, in addition to being super eco-friendly. The shoes come in multiple colors and sizes starting from US 5.

They ship worldwide and offer free returns. Free shipping is available in certain countries including UK, Canada, US and Thailand.

Bohempia
Best Vegan Sneakers - BHMP Eco-friendly sneakers made from hemp

Ethical Traits: Vegan, eco-friendly and fair-trade. Uses eco dyes, 100% hemp upper and  sustainably sourced rubber 
Based in: Prague
Comfort: 8/10
Price: $80

Launched via a crowdfunding Kickstarter campaign in 2015, the vegan and eco-friendly footwear brand Bohempia crafts all its shoes from the world's strongest and most eco-friendly natural fiber - hemp. The natural fiber requires 50% less water and 95% fewer agrochemicals to grow than cotton. It is also antimicrobial, and antiseptic (which keeps your feet and skin fresh), hypoallergic and is even known to offer protection from UV rays.

All Bohempia shoes are ethically made in Czech Republic and other small workshops in European Union. In fact, the company also sources all of its shoe components from the EU (except rubber). They use orthopedic insole with arch support and shock absorber - and that's why they're so comfortable.

Their kicks look stylish, come in a variety of colors, are strong yet comfortable and one hundred percent sustainable – what’s not to love?

Ships worldwide, with free shipping on orders over €150.

Veja
Best vegan sneakers - Veja eco-friendly sneakers - Sustainable shoes

Ethical Traits: Eco-friendly, fair-trade but not completely vegan. Has a vegan collection
Based in: France
Comfort: 6/10
Price: Starts at $95

The timeless white sneakers from eco-conscious French shoe label Veja are definitely one of the most popular kicks in the market. Handcrafted in Brazil using fair-trade wild rubber from Amazonian forest, organic cotton, recycled plastic bottles, recycled polyester and other sustainable materials, Veja sneakers are as socially conscious as they are stylish. In fact, they are the first brand to focus on sustainability in the sneaker industry and have achieved the "it-shoe" status. Did I mention that Emma Watson and Meghan Markle are also fans of their minimalist eco-friendly sneakers and are often spotted in them?

While not a completely vegan brand, Veja boasts a large vegan sneakers collection that are made using sustainable materials and practices. I have the Veja V-10 sneakers with a green V logo and clean lines and I love them. They can be styled endlessly, however, they aren't as comfortable as the other vegan sneakers in my shoe closet. The shoe tongue is too long and digs in my foot, making them uncomfortable to wear for long hours.

Ships worldwide, and they're available at various online stores (like Net-A-Porter & Farfetch) and also on various sustainable & concept stores worldwide.

NAE Shoes
NAE Pineapple Leather sneakers - best vegan trainers - eco-friendly sneakers

Ethical Traits: Eco-friendly, fair-trade, and 100% vegan
Based in: Portugal
Comfort: 9/10
Price: Starts at $80

No Animals Exploited (NAE) is one of the few vegan shoe brands that makes kick-ass vegan shoes that are also eco-conscious, fair trade and affordable. They have a huge collection of sustainable shoes, including great sneakers, and everything is made in their local factory in Portugal. I've met the brand's founders Paula Pérez at a tradeshow in Berlin, and love them both!

These NAE sneakers are crafted with Pinatex, a leather-like material that's made from pineapple leaves - a waste material. My sister and I used and abused these vegan sneakers for almost 18 months, and they did a great job. After about 2 years of rough use, the material chipped but it would happen to any good shoes considering the usage.

In addition to these, NAE has many other great vegan sneakers in their collection including those made from cork and recycled materials.

With a deep rooted environmental commitment NAE brings together quality and design in their animal-free shoes since 2008, and they are my favorite vegan shoe brand.

They ship worldwide, for free!

Stella McCartney x Stan Smith Vegan Sneakers
Vegan Stan Smith Sneakers Stella McCartney - best eco-friendly sneakers

Ethical Traits: 100% Vegetarian (all accessories are vegan), fair trade and eci-conscious
Based in: UK
Comfort: 9/10
Price: Starts at $360

The hugely poplar Stan Smith sneakers are cut from leather - unfortunate for many vegans who want a pair of these cult pair in their wardrobe. Thank God, Stella McCartney came to their rescue.

Known as the queen of sustainable fashion, Stella McCartney is the only luxury designer who uses no leather, fur or feathers in its collections. So when she partnered with Adidas in 2018 for creating a vegan version of the classic Stan Smith pair, and launched them later that year, I had to get my hands on them.

These versatile pair are one of the best picks for those who love designer brands and Stan Smith. At $360 a pair, they're definitely expensive, but after all they're luxury. These trainers are cut from vegan leather and uses recycled polyester sole. If you love splurging on designer brands, then Stella also has a huge collection of sneakers in her collection, in addition to her Stan Smith style.

They are available online at Stella McCartney store and other other retailers like Farfetch.

In addition to these, I also curate all the amazing vegan sneakers, which I come across, on my Pinterest account on Vegan Sneakers Board, you can check them out here.

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