Your favorite pair of slip-ons are about to get a major eco upgrade.
The battle to save the planet will be won on our feet, apparently. Leading action sports brand, Vans, is the latest to jump—or in this case, slide–into sustainable footwear.
Known for its iconic laceless skate shoes, Vans may be late to the sustainability game, but it’s making up for lost time. The brand has announced an aggressive plan to reduce its carbon footprint by the end of the decade.
The brand says that by 2030, 100 percent of its top materials will be regenerative, responsibly sourced, renewable, or recyclable. By 2025, Vans says it will reduce the average impact of top materials by 35 percent, use 50 percent recycled polyester, and source 100 percent sustainably grown cotton. Its exploring the use of bio-based materials with lower carbon footprints than current materials. It will also eliminate single-use plastic; by the end of 2021, there will be no more plastic bags at retail. By 2025, it will eliminate all single-use plastic packaging “at every point” of its business. Any remaining packaging will be minimized and sourced from sustainable sources as well as designed for recyclability.
By 2030, Vans says it will pilot and scale regenerative, recycled, and responsibly sourced materials across 85 percent of its materials. This will aid in its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 30 percent from 2017 baselines.
Vans will also green its energy resources, committing to 100 percent renewable energy by 2025.
Footwear Goes Sustainable
Leading the charge in sustainable footwear is German-based Adidas. The sportswear giant continues to launch sustainable collections, including one today. It’s pledged to make more than 90 percent of its offerings sustainable by 2025. With partners including Stella McCartney and Parley for the Oceans, the brand is reimagining eco footwear.
But it’s not the only shoe brand committing to eco-initiatives. New Balance recently upped its sustainability commitments, partnering with Jaden Smith on a green range. Reebok has also stepped up its footwear game.
Even celebs are getting in on the action. Actor Jason Momoa recently launched a limited edition eco range with On the Roam.
Off the Wall Spirit
Vans says its shift to sustainability builds on its purpose to enable “creative expression”, embodied by the encouragement of its “Off the Wall” spirit. This, Vans says, comes from expressing one’s true self.
“As part of Vans’ commitment to inspire youth culture, Vans recognizes the urgency to move towards circular products and will deploy systems that design out waste, in tandem, aiding the United Nations in achieving the organization’s Sustainable Development Goal 12 to ensure responsible consumption and production patterns,” the company says.
“Enabling creative expression is central to Vans,” Kim Matsoukas, senior manager of Sustainability at Vans, said in a statement. “As a purpose-driven company that is engrained in youth culture, we are leveraging our commitment to creativity to seek new solutions that reimagine the lifecycle of our products and protect the environment for future generations.”