Louis Vuitton Launches Luxury, Sustainable, Corn-Based Sneakers

A person wears Louis Vuitton sneakers on a yellow box, split with a close up of the sneakers

Louis Vuitton just released its most sustainable sneakers to date.

The Charlie sneakers, available in a boot or classic design, feature a combination of recycled and bio-based materials. The outsole is made with Biopolioli, a corn-based bioplastic, the soles feature recycled rubber, and the tongue patch is made with Econyl, a material made with regenerated nylon.

Like all of the brand’s footwear designs, the sneakers are made in Fiesso d’Artico, Italy, and feature the iconic LV logo. But, unlike the rest of Louis Vuitton’s offerings, both Charlies are marketed as unisex. 

The new sneakers are an indication of what’s to come from Louis Vuitton. The French fashion house’s website features commitments to use more recycled and upcycled materials, as well as to comply with a 100 percent “eco-design” process by 2025. It has also pledged to use 100 percent reused or recycled materials in its fashion shows, exhibitions, and store windows by 2025. 

The rise of sustainable sneakers

Louis Vuitton is far from the first luxury designer to offer sustainable sneakers. In June, Gucci introduced vegan leather sneakers, made with 77 percent plant-based materials, including wood pulp, wheat, and corn. And last year, Spanish fashion house Balenciaga revealed the 100 percent vegan Zen Sneaker.

Earlier this year, Stella McCartney announced the launch of its Reclypse collection, which features sneakers made with recycled fishing nets and old carpets. The brand—which is renowned for using sustainable materials—offers several plant-based sneaker options, including its Stan Smith collection, designed in collaboration with Adidas. 

“So many young people came into our stores to enquire about the Stan Smith,” Stella McCartney herself told Vogue of the range in 2019. “[They were] asking questions about what the trainer was made with, telling our staff about why it was important for them to choose a vegan shoe over a leather one and what it represented. This is the future.”

Louis Vuitton’s Charlie Sneaker Boot and Charlie Sneaker retail for $1,130 USD and $1080 USD respectively, and you can buy here.