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The footwear industry accounts for approximately one fifth of the environmental impact. These 5 brands show us that trend and sustainability can go hand in hand.

Trainers are one of the most versatile elements of fashion today. They can be trend-setting and comfortable at the same time. But beyond providing us with satisfaction as users, they can also contribute to the care of the environment. It makes sense, since the footwear industry alone accounts for about one fifth of the environmental impact.

With fashion’s transition to more sustainable forms of production, footwear is one of the areas that has seen improvements. That’s why we want to tell you about five trainer brands that show us that setting trends and promoting sustainability can go hand in hand.

Saye: Barcelona-based firm with contemporary design

Saye has become one of the most recognised brands from Barcelona. They use materials such as vegan corn leather, bamboo yarn, organic cotton, vegan apple and cactus leather, recycled and synthetic rubber, recycled PET yarn, recycled polyurethane and Seaqual® yarn.


One of Saye’s iconic models.

This season, Saye has launched the new M70 Dart Cactus, made with cactus nappa leather. Inspired by a classic retro silhouette, the shoe improves on the look and feel of the 70s model by applying nappa leather throughout the silhouette and suede detailing. The end result is a more premium aesthetic that combines neutral colours such as off white, green and caramel.
With this shoe, the CO2 consumed has been reduced by 30% (compared to the general percentage of the footwear industry) and the fossil energy consumed by 35%.

Hoka: 97% recycled, refurbished or naturally sourced materials

Hoka was born with the great ambition to have reduced its environmental impact by 2030. It set out to source 55% of all co-polyester fibres in its footwear from renewable resources, consumer or industrial waste, and to reduce water use in the manufacture of its footwear by 20%. By now, it can already be said that 97% of the materials they use are recycled, renewable or of natural origin.

The Hoka Bondi and Skyline X models.

One of the most efficient shoes in the Hoka range is the Bondi, which offers a smooth and balanced stride. They are made with recycled polyester in different proportions depending on the part of the shoe: 50% in the mesh upper; 87% in the insole with Strobel construction; 100% in the upper fabric of the insole; and 40% in the lining.

Another highlight is the Hoka Skyline-Float X (unisex), a hybrid shoe that is perfect for trail and street running. It also stands out for its plant-based composition: the midsole is made from 30% sugar cane, the insole from 50% soya, the laces/heel with 100% recycled polyester…

On Cloudmonster: Speedboard® system for increased speed

On Cloudmonster works with organisations aligned with the brand’s aims to be circular and fossil free: The Ellen MacArthur Foundation Network, which aims to drive a scalable industry-wide transformation to a circular economy; the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), a global alliance of fashion companies, academic institutions and government agencies that promotes sustainable and responsible practices by providing measurement resources; Fashion for Good, which works directly with the fashion industry to innovate towards better solutions for people and the planet; or The Policy Hub, an initiative that brings together brands, suppliers and NGOs to create and advocate for sustainable policies and circularity in the textile industries.

Left and right, the Cloudmonster 2 model.

As part of the Swiss brand’s ongoing commitment to using more sustainable materials, the new Cloudmonster 2 shoe is made from 82% recycled polyester. Even the mesh upper is made from fully recycled polyester.

The Cloudmonster 2 features the brand’s proprietary Speedboard® system, which seeks to harness kinetic energy to increase speed through intelligent technology. But in this case, that system has been developed in a nylon mix, and its shape has been redesigned to be more efficient when working with the new midsole density. In addition, cushioning has been maximised by featuring a revamped dual-density Helion foam.

Vegtus: sneakers that save 8,000 litres of water

Vegtus is the Spanish brand of vegan sneakers made from cactus leather. It has managed to revolutionise the sustainable fashion sector, as its trainers save 8,000 litres of water. To achieve this, they use organic leathers from cactus and corn, as well as recycled and low-impact materials. The result is sneakers that require only 1 litre of water and no irrigation systems, herbicides, pesticides or additional energy. In addition, they have a leather look, but with more strength and durability.

Left and right: the Sonora model by Vegtus.

Vegtus collections are characterised by avant-garde design, vibrant colours and innovative materials. One of their iconic models is the Nopal, an ultra-light vegan trainer made from cactus leather and recycled materials. Its timeless, versatile and functional design makes it a very combinable trainer.

LØCI: vegan, cruelty free and unisex luxury

The British brand is defined by its 100% vegan, cruelty-free and unisex luxury trainers. Its mission is to unite style and purpose, redefining the eco-luxury sector. With every pair of shoes, LØCI removes 20 plastic bottles from the ocean, donates 10% of online profits to projects focused on wildlife conservation and protection, and creates a community of people committed to conscious fashion.

Izqda: zapatillas Loci Clasics; y dcha: Loci Fusion.

Derived from traditional 80s trainers and fused with modern elements, the new LØCI FUSION model is made from innovative recycled fabrics and bio-leather. Specifically, the midsole is made from recycled foam, the lining is made from breathable bamboo and the insole is made from natural cork and recycled foam. In addition, it has an avant-garde design that combines modern style with the brand’s timeless classic silhouettes.

On the other hand, LØCI CLASSIC is the brand’s most representative model, made with 100% vegan materials. The upper is made from recycled plastic fabric, the interior from bamboo, and the sole from ethically sourced rubber, recycled foam and natural cork.


Saye, Hoka, On Cloudmonster, Vegtus and LØCI are five examples of how fashion brands can embrace sustainability in a world of increasing environmental challenges.

Helena Moreno

Cultural journalist from Barcelona. I have collaborated in journals such as El País and Exit Media. I am interested in art, design, gastronomy and discovering unique places; including hotels.