Popular streetwear brand Vans launched its first sustainable shoe collection last week. The new Eco Theory collection includes four of the company’s best-selling shoe styles made with ethically sourced, vegan, and environmentally friendly materials. The lace-up Authentic sneakers, iconic Slip-Ons, SK8-Hi high tops, and classic Style 36 kicks with the recognizable Vans side stripe complete this sustainable lineup. 

Sustainable materials, classic styles

In lieu of the harsher textiles used in other Vans products (suede, petroleum-based rubber, chemically treated dyes), the Eco Theory collection features organic cotton, cork, natural rubber, hemp, and water-based inks and glues. For the SK8-HI Decon 38 high tops, the canvas uppers are made with 100 percent organically grown cotton, the laces are made from hemp fibers, and the sole has been replaced with responsibly sourced and natural rubber. 

“Sustainability has to be at the forefront of Vans for the future. It’s a fantastic moment to own the space and contribute to a more sustainable way of producing,” Dane Gudauskas—professional surfer, sponsored Vans athlete, and the face of the new line—said. 

Shoewear going sustainable

Vans isn’t the first mainstream shoe and apparel company to redesign with a sustainability angle in mind. Allbirds—a casual sneaker company known for its wool-based shoes—invested $2 million earlier this year to develop a vegan leather product by the end of 2021. New Balance partnered with celebrity entertainer Jaden Smith to debut a vegan high-end sneaker made with plant-based leather and partially recycled materials. Finally, Adidas has continually improved on its vegan-friendly selection from its first vegan leather Stan Smith sneaker made in collaboration with eco-conscious designer Stella McCartney to its 2020 Our Icons Go Vegan capsule. 

Vans’ Eco Theory collection is available at select retail locations and the Vans Surf site

Photo credit: Vans

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