Vans new Eco Theory collection revamps some of its classic shoes with sustainable materials.
The new line includes stripped back versions of the popular Authentic, Slip-On, Sk8-Hi, and Style 36 constructed using certified organic cotton, cork-lined Ultracush footbeds, hemp fiber-based laces, and a new ECO Vans natural rubber.
Unlike petroleum-based rubber, Vans obtains the latter exclusively from sources with a proven record of ethical and sustainable practices. In addition to its environmental benefits, natural rubber is typically more durable than synthetic options, making the shoes more durable.
Like various other vegan-friendly shoes in the full Vans range, the new designs feature water-based glue and ink. Eco Theory designs also include “natural/double gum” colorways, as well as the iconic checkerboard pattern and a muted “cement blue.”
Describing the new shoes on its website, Vans writes: “Being earth-conscious means more than just utilizing responsibly sourced materials. It means taking a holistic approach to health and sustainability.”
Vans: More Than Just Sustainable Shoes
The 55-year-old company was founded in Anaheim, California, and remains rooted in the area’s youth culture—particularly action sports such as skateboarding and surfing. According to the brand, this is partly what informs its sustainability policy today.
“Sustainability has to be at the forefront of Vans for the future,” said Vans ambassador and professional surfer Dane Gudauskas, as reported by Carve. “It’s a fantastic moment to own the space and contribute to a more sustainable way of producing.”
Vans has committed to 100 percent renewable energy in owned and operated facilities by 2025, along with a 35 percent reduction in the impact of its key materials by the same year. A 30 percent aggregate reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 2030 is also key.
The brand currently operates the Vans Wear-On program, which offers customers a discount for all shoes returned to participating stores. The scheme partners Vans with Soles4Souls and Fondazione Amici della Vita to redistribute the shoes, both of which work to provide relief, fight poverty, and reduce clothing waste through donated items.
Vans also plans to expand its existing shoe recycling program globally by 2023.
LIVEKINDLY is here to help you navigate the growing marketplace of sustainable products that promote a kinder planet. All of our selections are curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, LIVEKINDLY may earn a commission.