Sneakers are one of the most versatile and popular types of footwear, so it’s no wonder the global athletic footwear market is estimated to exceed $95 billion by 2025. Unfortunately, most sneakers are made from non-recyclable materials, manufactured with environmentally harmful chemicals, and primarily produced under exploitative conditions. This leaves the footwear with one of the heaviest carbon footprints of any item of clothing, accounting for around 1.4 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The shoe brand Cariuma has set out to change this, with its mission to put sustainability, ethics, comfort, and quality first. By using raw materials like organic cotton, bamboo, mamona oil, and sugarcane, the company has produced a range of stylish shoes that don’t hurt the environment – or your bank account.
The Optimist Daily has previously reported on Cariuma and its innovative use of algae blooms to create foam sneakers. Producing the shoes in this way prevents the equivalent of 15 balloons full of CO2 from entering the atmosphere, plus, the shoes are fully recyclable after they’ve worn out.
Cariuma has also started its own reforestation program in Brazil, its founder’s homeland. The vast green rainforests the country contains are home to numerous endangered plants and animals that human deforestation threatens. The company promises to plant a pair of trees in the Brazilian rainforest with every pair of sneakers purchased, directly aiding the preservation and restoration of these ecosystems.
These staple sneakers seem to be catching the eye of many big brands, collaborating with names such as Off-White, Pantone, and Atri. The growing popularity of Cariuma shows an increasing interest from the public and designers in sustainability and away from fast fashion, a positive direction for the health of our planet.