Best Ethical Trainers and Sneakers

Sneakers have been named the defining luxury object of our time – here are some of our favourites that are both stylish and ethical.

When Dame Emma Thompson arrived at Buckingham Palace to receive her MBE earlier this month, she teamed her Stella McCartney suit with a pair of vegan Stella McCartney Stan Smith trainers, making headlines around the world with her unconventional footwear choice.

But now sneakers have been labelled as ‘the defining luxury of our time’ by Quartz, it seems this previously athletic shoe option has been elevated to the luxury footwear of choice. However, with some many different components and performance requirements, when investing in new trainers it can be difficult to find a pair that won’t compromise your values. 

If you’re looking to get some new kicks, here are some of our favourite ethical sneakers:

Good News Shoes, £50

Good News shoes are made with organic cotton corduroy, natural and upcycled rubber soles and organic glue. The brand also works with Good Luck Shoes, a project that donates shoes to migrant and refugees arriving in Europe. Available via The Acey

SDU Burgundy Dried Petal Blush. 99€

The sustainable sneaker brand beloved by The Duchess of SussexVeja makes environmentally and socially conscious shoes. This pair of vegan sneakers are made from recycled cotton, recycled polyester, vegan suede and the sole is made out of wild Amazonian rubber. 

Stella McCartney x Adidas Stan Smith, £235

Spotted on Emma Thomspon during her Damehood ceremony, this sneaker has been all the rage since it came our earlier this year because of it’s an iconic model with a sustainable take. The Stella McCartney x Adidas shoe is made from vegeterian leather made from 100% recycled polyster. 

All Birds Tree Toppers, £115

These Allbirds high tops are made from eucalyptus tree fibre and is not only environmentally-friendly but also very comfortable and breathable. The laces are made form 100% recycled plastic bottles and the insoles are made from merino wool for supreme comport. And we’re not done – the outsole is made from SweetFoamTM from Brazilian sugarcane. 

Baabuk Sky Woolers, €99

This sneaker is made from 100% Portuguese sheep. Baabuk is B-Corp certified, meaning it’s a business that implements social and environmental change. 

Po-Zu Sneak C Silver, £75

These vegan lace-ups by Po-Zu are made from linen and silver Piñatex®, a leather alternative made from pineapple leaf fibres, a byproduct of the food industry. 

For more footwear inspiration, see our pick of sustainable shoe brands you need to know.

Inspired? Browse our full catalogue of recommended brands.