The Art of Being a More Sustainable Sneakerhead

Converse Space Hippie

A decade ago, sustainability and sneakers would have been seen as strange bedfellows. However, over the past few years, many brands have moved towards more sustainable practices, and rightly so. Now, it’s up to the sneakerheads to continue to take action.

If you’re wanting to cop creps consciously, weve got you covered. Here are a few tips to help you get more sustainable!

Nike Space Hippie

Heres What Brands are Doing

Sneaker brands are now offering an impressive range of options inspired by notions of sustainability. Take Veja for example. Their whole company mission has been built on the concept of creating environmentally friendly creps, and they’re affordable as well. The bigger brands are also doing their bit, with Reebok’s Floatride Grow, adidas’ pledge to use only recycled polyester by 2024, and On’s sustainable subscription-only sneaker among some of the better examples. Meanwhile, Nike’s Space Hippie line has also made quite a positive impact, and spread across into some Converse releases, forming a strong part of Beaverton’s ongoing quest towards zero carbon and zero waste.

Converse Space Hippie

Know What Youre Buying

If you’re a sneakerhead, you already know that materials matter, so you’ll likely be able to recite exactly what your latest cop is made of – i.e. whether the leather is tumbled or pebbled, if you’re rocking premium suede or regular, and the type of cushioning tech that is used in your midsole.

Conducting your own research into how those materials are manufactured is a good place to start. Find out the brand’s environmental stance, and read up on what they’re actually doing to help improve their practices for a more sustainable future. Knowing how your favourite materials are manufactured might start to influence what you’re adding to your cart and what youre sporting on-foot.

Nike Space Hippie

Refresh, Resell and Re-Up

As the wider world subscribes to the mantra of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’, here in the sneakersphere Refresh, Resell and Re-Up’ is something we use. One of the best ways to stay sustainable while also continuing to cop new creps is to stretch each pairs life cycle out a little longer.

Refreshing your collection means keeping your sneakers clean and well-stored, allowing each pair to shine brighter for longer. Then, if you’re growing tired of their particular look, you can resell them to someone who will have a go at rocking them. The money you make from that transaction will allow you to re-up on a secondhand or vintage pair. Adhering to this sound principle means sneakers will enjoy a longer lifespan which, in turn, reduces waste.

Paul's Boutique Berlin
Image Credit: Paul's Boutique Berlin

Vintage Anyone?

We know how much you love the feel of a fresh pair in hand. The look, smell and feel of a brand new pair is a real treat for the senses. However, purchasing vintage can be an ultra-sustainable practice, and one that excites even the most seasoned sneaker lover. Upcycling and recycling have their obvious benefits in ensuring that nothing goes to waste, and that goods are given a new life.

In addition to the sustainability benefits, buying vintage can also be a serious flex! There are a whole bunch of vintage stores around the globe to visit. And if none of them are near you, there’s always Instagram’s vintage sneaker dealers. You’ll most likely find something you’ve never seen before.​

Looking to get more in-depth? Be sure to check our feature on sustainable sneaker options, and our guide to vegan footwear.

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