Trends come and go, but some have serious staying power. One of them is the sportswear-inspired athleisure trend, which never seems to disappear from the catwalks. Its centre piece is the sneaker, which has proven to be more versatile than we could possibly imagine: lending a casual appeal to everything from dresses to suits, the trainer has proven to be our most reliable wardrobe staple.
By Sascha Camilli: writer, speaker, activist, and vegan fashion expert.
Recent seasons have seen what appears to be an explosion of vegan trainer launches. This derives from a push for sustainability: a 2019 “future of footwear” study by market research firm NPD established that millennials and Generation Z – the main target groups for trainers – are “very concerned” about the state of the environment. This, coupled with a growing awareness about the environmental damage of leather, has meant that on-trend trainer styles hitting the market are increasingly leather-free.
See our edit of vegan trainers to add a touch of effortless coolness to any outfit (well, almost) without harming animals or the environment.
Subtle yet statement-making: Minuit Sur Terre's sneakers made from recycled cereals, adorned with a pastel-hued artistic-inspired palette, will add interest to a pared-down look.
Wear with: light, tailored trousers and a blazer.
This versatile design from LaBante London is sleek and elegant, yet easy to wear. It's crafted from eco-friendly apple leather deriving from apple waste from the juicing industry.
Wear with: a shirtdress and tote bag.
A pop of colour to brighten up your outfit: think of Zeta Shoes' eco-friendy style in wine-grape leather as the shoe version of a red lipstick.
Wear with: a white dress.
A pair of shoes with a story: Corail use a crew of fishermen in Marseille to collect ocean waste, which their shoes are made from.
Wear with: a pair of wide-leg jeans and a blouse.
This minimalist style from Will's Vegan Store is entirely biodegradable. Made from Tencel – a fabric derived from wood-pulp cellulose – it also incorporates wood fibre and compressed cardboard.
Wear with: light-coloured jeans and your favourite t-shirt.
A gender-neutral sneaker that pairs comfort with casual style. Ration.L's pale-green design made with recycled materials will become the pair you reach for again and again.
Wear with: an oversize white shirt and linen trousers.
Sylven's first foray into trainers is made from lactae hevea - a renewable natural rubber derived from the sap of the hevea tree. The Mel also has an antimicrobial, highly comfortable coconut husk insole.
Wear with: a black jumpsuit.
By Sascha Camilli
Sascha Camilli is a vegan fashion writer, speaker and activist. Her book Vegan Style is out now on Murdoch Books. For more about Sascha, you can read our interview with her. You can also follow her on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
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