In a world of increasing social change and protest, consumers today look for sneakers that are made ethically and sustainably. But where can we find these conscious brands? Here's a quick breakdown of some amazing brands on the market today.
Veja- We Start with Ourselves
You’ve most likely seen the sleek white sneakers emblazoned with the now easily recognizable ‘V’ logo. These shoes are Veja, and their ethos is built upon sustainability and fair working conditions. By forgoing their advertising budget, Veja’s has managed to rely on this ethical stance to get consumers wearing, and subsequently promoting, the brand.
Veja’s are known for being the casual professional brand, and after time spent in the Amazon Rainforest, the owners were ready to start production in 2004. The cotton in the sneakers actually makes the soil richer after harvest, and they also use a fabric made from recycled plastic bottles.
In the words of Veja’s founders ‘Instead of trying to change the world, we stick to what we believe in: being even more transparent, and making solutions happen. And instead of trying to convince everybody, we start with ourselves.’
Saye- Inspiring Better Steps
Saye is a Spanish brand that champions stylish, retro and unisex sneakers that are organic and made from recycled materials. To date, Saye has planted 89,000 trees as response to sneaker purchases reducing the impact of production. As well as the ethical side of the business, Saye also provides 3 completely vegan sneakers options.
Saye has utilised beautiful and consistent imagery, curating a stylish instagram feed and creating a community for those who enjoy a more retro style of footwear. Saye invests in organic cotton, natural rubber, recycled wood chips and even delivers your shoes in recycled packaging. Saye says ‘We believe that the solution to address the climate crisis is not (just) about planting trees, recycling plastic, or using organic materials. It’s about changing our behaviour in our everyday decisions with regards to nature, giving a twist to the way we are designing, manufacturing, and especially consuming things.’
What's also impressive is the versatility of both the Veja’s and the Saye designs, which can be styled with suits, dresses or jeans. Having a design that works both during the working week and the weekend not only saves you money, but also promotes this new wave of minimalism and investing in quality and versatile pieces. Having companies that truly care about transparency and ethical practice is refreshing, and inspires change in other sneaker brands. It has been proved by the huge success of Veja and Saye, that the consumer is really looking to invest in sustainability.