Our Favourite Sustainable Sneakers of 2020

Shoe Laundry
December 4, 2020
3 minutes

Not-so-fun fact: sneaker production accounts for 1.4% of global greenhouse gas emissions. To put that into perspective, global air travel accounts for 2.5%. Yikes. 

It’s no surprise that sustainability is becoming top priority for sneakerheads. Big brands have been introducing eco-friendly initiatives for years. Consumers are taking a closure look at their purchases. And designers are completely innovating the way sneakers are made to reduce the use of plastic and other harmful materials. 

At Shoe Laundry, we kind of have a thing for sustainability. Our eco-friendly shoe care is 100% natural, plant-based, and made from recycled materials. Safe to say, there’s nothing we love more than a truly trashy pair of kicks. 

From recycled plastics to upcycled textiles, here are a few of our favourite sustainable sneaker drops of the year (so far).

Carhartt WIP x Converse Renew Chuck 70

Retros have never been so vintage. Launched last year through a series of high tops made from 100% recycled water bottles, the Converse Renew project gave these 2020 chucks a thrifty twist. 

Teaming up with Carhartt, the Chuck 70 is made from over 1,000 pre-owned work jackets, trousers, and overalls. Saved by UK’s Beyond Retro, Converse then cut the upcycled fabrics into panels. With all said and done, the Chuck 70 saved over 100,000 textiles from landfills. 

Sporting navy, black and dusty brown canvas panelling, each chuck features Converse and Carhartt logos across the tongue and insole. Including - of course - the CONVERSE RENEW stamp of approval on the left shoe.

Carhartt WIP x Converse Renew Chuck 70
Converse. Image Via Hypebeast.

Nike Dunk Low “Community Garden” 

Nike’s got a green thumb. The latest Dunk Low just dropped in mid-September to a frenzy of sneakerheads hoping to cop. 

Straying away from the SB line, these dunks feature uppers with a patchwork of unfixed patterns, so no two pairs are alike. Best of all, the patterns are stitched over 100% recycled canvas. The clash of motifs is evened out by a lemon yellow outsole, back tab, and swoosh and softened by a washed-out finish.

nike dunk low community garden
"Community Garden". Image Via Kicksonfire.

Adidas Ultraboost DNA Parley 

Adidas is making waves with this 2020 Parley collab. Celebrating its 5th anniversary, the adidas x Parley Ocean Plastic® partnership upcycles plastic waste found on islands, beaches, and coastal communities to keep it from polluting our oceans. 

The Ultraboost DNA Parley keeps the lineage alive. These sleek, limited edition runners feature a Primeknit textile upper made from Parley yarn, a Continental rubber outsole, and wavey detailing over the iconic three stripes. Available in “Cloud White” and “Core Black”, these sustainable sneakers take adidas one step closer to its goal of using only recycled plastic in all products by 2024.

Wearing adidas ultraboost shoes
"DNA Parley". Image Via JustFreshKicks.

Nike Space Hippie & Daybreak Type “Recycled Canvas”

Trash transformed. Nike’s Space Hippie collection has the brand’s lowest carbon footprint to date, made from scrap materials sourced from factory floors. Each of the four OG pairs released this year uses Space Waste Yarn constructed from 100% recycled materials and tooling built from Crater Foam - a blend of standard Nike foams and 15% Nike Grind Rubber. 

Up next in the Space Hippie trajectory is a fresh Daybreak Type drop. “Recycled Canvas” is upcycled at almost every corner, with hemp-style uppers and Crater Foam tooling. The mixed textile build has an unfinished stitched swoosh, a tie-dye tongue, and a speckled scraps heel counter. After much speculation, this drop is finally hitting retail this month.

"Space Hippie". Image Via Sneaker News.

Want to keep your clean as sustainable as these kicks? 

Our all-in-one multi-fabric cleaning kit features an innovative foam cleaner made from coconuts, a biodegradable bamboo brush, and a reusable microfibre cloth. Produced proudly in Canada, our sustainable shoe care comes in 100% recyclable packaging and is designed to (actually) work. 

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Image via Nike.
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