As summer looms upon us (or is that a rain cloud?) so too does the prospect of a new wardrobe. Sandals are, of course, a go-to for all beachy, sunny fun. But what about a more practical alternative, for potential walking tours on potential city breaks? Or for those of us as of yet without summer plans, potential walks around the office?
White trainers are a sure fire way to finish a summer look. They can easily dress down an outfit, providing comfort and style. Worn with dresses or smart trousers, they instantly provide an edgy sense of casual cool to a look that could otherwise be too formal. But all is not as practically perfect as it may seem. Surprise surprise… White trainers actually get dirty very easily. Especially when worn on a day-drinking-turned-clubbing occasion (lesson learnt).
Nevertheless, white trainers are the way to go if you want to master the minimalist, Nordic-looking capsule wardrobe. Take it one step further in being an absolute fashion angel and look out for these ethical and sustainable brands.
A French brand committed to producing ecological footwear, they work with small communities and cooperatives in the poorest areas of Brazil. They use organic cotton, wild Amazonian rubber, and acacia-tanned leather to produce their shoes – but their commitment to sustainable fashion doesn’t stop there. Describing themselves as being liable for “commercial disobedience,” Veja have remodelled the production system in a way that is ethical and fair. Among many of its other halo-achieving acts: they refuse to pursue low prices at the expense of their workers pay, they don’t spend money on advertising, and they have a zero stock rule – meaning there is minimal waste. Their trainers are chic and reasonably priced, a guaranteed investment.
Esplar Leather White- €99 (approx £83 )
This German brand’s pledge to sustainable footwear is clear in the name; the very combination of ethical and athletic, they’ve struck a balance and are leading the way in ethical trainer wear. Using organic cotton from India and natural rubber from Sri Lanka, they are sourcing materials responsibly. They farm responsibly too, with no pesticides or chemicals being used, and only farming in areas that don’t compromise any animal habitats; protecting the environment and those who work in it. This footwear project started with one of the founders making a commitment to “Karma Chakhs,” meaning shoes with good karma. Who can say no to both shoes and good karma?
White High-tops, €69.90 – (approx £59)
Matt and Nat; not the names of two people, but short for material and nature – this brand have a motto of “living beautifully.” This is certainly possible with the array of shoes, bags and accessories on their website. Never using real leather or any other animal-based materials in their products, they are 100% vegan friendly, as well as being fashion friendly. Since 2007 100% of their shoe linings are made of recycled plastic bottles, and they have recently been working on incorporating old bicycle tires into their products. Creative and caring, Matt&Nat also build strong and personal relationships with the owners of their factories, ensuring there is transparency and honesty about where their products are coming from.
Bon Aventure – White, £85
A surprising contender now. Adidas and similar multinational brands such as Nike may have been synonymous with unethical practices, sweatshop scandals included, but the brand is making a conscious effort to improve their ethical status. They recently paired up with Parley, an environmental group, to make original shoes made from recycled ocean plastics. They are now also open and honest in disclosing their suppliers and contractors – meaning the fashion revolution’s question of who made my clothes? can be answered with transparency. Being ranked 5th in the ‘100 most sustainable corporations in the world’ this year, clearly there have been improvements: in terms of attitude with their new ‘sports for space’ initiative, and materials, with their use of recycled polyester, rubber and organic cotton. However, despite the aforementioned efforts, as well as others such as water saving schemes, Adidas still don’t pay their workers a living wage.
Despite this being a brand whose attitude towards ethical practices is evolving, if you still feel uncomfortable buying new from a brand such as Adidas there is always the option of buying secondhand or in vintage shops – a pair of white Reebok classics adds a 90s vibe to any look.
Or- splash out on a pair of white trainers from their Parley range- using yarn made from recycled ocean plastics.
Stella McCartney Ultra Boost X – £169.95
White trainers are perfect for a capsule wardrobe. They make any outfit look stylish, without compromising on comfort… which let be honest, is the perfect combination! Got a pair of conscious white trainers? We want to see how you style them, so tweet us your pics at revival_collect!