04.04.18

5 Ethical white sneakers so you can ditch the Nikes

Kate Hall

There are some things in life we can’t live without. Food, water, Netflix, coffee, and now it seems… white Nikes. White Nikes have been flying out of Nike stores and onto feet at a rate I can’t keep track of. It appears every second person is wearing a pair- did I miss the global memo?

Whilst I can totally appreciate a nice pair of white Nikes, I don’t appreciate how they are made. There are so many more alternatives out there that do better for you, the makers, and the planet.

I get it; a staple pair of white sneakers is an important part of your daily wardrobe. But ditch the Nikes! Here are five ethical white sneaker alternatives, that will make you wonder why you walked into Nike in the first place.

ethical white sneakers

ethical white sneakers

1. Veja: Esplar Leather White

These babies are quite literally the queens of ethically made white sneakers. The sneakers were named after a Brazilian NGO who work with Veja by providing technical support to the organic cotton farming families. The Esplar staple leather shoe is made with organic cotton lining and wild rubber soles. All Veja shoes are made in Brazil, where the working conditions exceed the minimum standards, and the workers are paid well above the minimum wage. Veja are big on transparency, and release audits, reports, and insightful behind-the-scenes videos into how all their products are made.

ethical white sneakers

2. Matt and Nat: Bonadventure White

Matt and Nat don’t just produce a stunning alternative to your usual Nike. They hold ‘live beautifully’ at the centre of their work, instilling values in their company that ensure you can back them wholeheartedly. Matt and Nat shoes are all100% vegan and ethically made. The team visit each factory regularly, to ensure standards are met in terms of ethics, and to build strong relationships with the owners.

ethical white sneakers

3. Ahimsa: Women’s Sneaker 771 Ivory

Swaying slightly from your standard white Nike with the addition of a brown sole, the Ahimsa woman’s sneaker is still an ideal option. The exterior is made with cruelty free, vegan leather. The interior is a mix of cotton canvas and natural cork which team up to ensure your feet stay dry and fresh. These sneakers are handmade in Brazil by a small, hard working team. Ahimsa’s mission is to question habits, inspire conscious behaviour, and respect all forms of life.

ethical white sneakers

4. Indosole: Kota High Tops

Don’t be alarmed by the zips and height! Who wants to look like everybody else anyway? The Kota was designed with the urban individual in mind. The soles have been made from recycled tires, and the canvas uppers are custom dyed. These shoes are super unique with repurposed tyre inner tubes for toecaps, and custom moulded EVA foam for arch support and heal cushioning. To top it off, you can even throw them in the wash!

ethical white sneakers

5. Nae-vegan: Basic White

Would you think I was crazy if I said these were made from pineapple leaf fibres? Pinatex is a natural ecological and water resistant fibre, making the textile brilliant for footwear. Meanwhile, the shoe inner is made from a breathable anti-allergy microfiber. Nae-vegan only work with certified factories in Portugal, where the employees are valued and respected for their work.

White sneakers are a great staple for your wardrobe, but Nikes aren’t your only option. When feeling the urge to pop into the Nike store, consider opting for a more sustainable and ethical option, and wearing kicks unique to you.

Kate Hall

Ethical living/fashion advocate, eco wedding planner, and brand rep. Kate strives to promote ethical living in every way under the sun, and won’t stop at anything to make sure the planet and it’s people are being looked after the way that they should be.