7 Vegan Trainers Available In The UK, Because You Shouldn't Have To Search Hard For Ethical Shoes
It's easy to hear the term "vegan fashion" and automatically assume "ugly". But growing an animal-friendly wardrobe needn't mean sacrificing your sense of style. Numerous new brands have popped up to hawk their ethical wares and even classic labels are getting in on the vegan act. If you'd like to invest in a pair of vegan trainers that are easily available in the UK, you're in the right place.
The younger generation is thought to be responsible for pushing the vegan agenda. "42% of vegans in the UK are aged 15 to 34 so Gen Z is a key driving force in this movement," Rachael Stott, senior creative researcher at trend agency The Future Laboratory, told Glamour. "They are conscious shoppers who want to know where and how their products are made."
And while the vegan footwear market is still trailing behind cruelty-free beauty, its popularity is growing. As Fashion United reports, vegan shoes accounted for 16 percent of the total UK footwear market in 2018. This was a marginal increase from 15 percent in 2017.
Footwear brands have responded to this desire in droves. Many designs fall into the trainer category. The following silhouettes come from affordable independent names, massive high street corporations, and even a well-known British designer.
1. A Charitable Purchase
Spice Red Carmel
Inspired by Californian vibes, this easygoing lace-up pair are crafted from vegan canvas and a vulcanised rubber outsole. If this subtle red shade isn't for you, the Carmel style also comes in black and light blue. Available in UK size 3 to 10. Buying a pair of TOMS is also a charitable purchase. The brand's One for One scheme has provided 86 million pairs of shoes to children in need.
2. A European Alternative
Edda Maxi Sole Sneaker
Portuguese brand Nae Vegan (Nae stands for No Animal Exploitation) sells a huge range of 100 percent vegan footwear using materials derived from pineapples, cork, plastic bottles, and even airbags. These platform trainers have distinct '90s vibes and are made from a combination of vegan leather and anti-allergy microfibres. Available in UK size 5 to 9.
3. A Classic Pair
2750 Cotu Classic
Superga's latex glue is classed as vegan. This minimalist pair come with a cotton upper and a vulcanised rubber sole and are 100 percent breathable, allowing for wear all summer long. This silhouette has been around since 1911 and it's obvious why. Available in UK size 2.5 to 13.5 and a bunch of colours too.
4. An Affordable Option
Queen Of Hearts Chunky Trainers
Chunky trainers are a huge trend RN, so it's no wonder that several brands have released a pair. Koi Footwear's vegan leather design is printed with red hearts. The brand is hugely affordable, 100 percent vegan, and is incredibly open about its manufacturing process. Although its shoes are made in China, the brand states that safe working conditions are a top priority. It is also working on making its packaging fully sustainable too. Available in UK size 3 to 8.
5. The Celebrity Choice
Veja Esplar Vegan Sneakers
Since its inception, celebrity-loved Veja has been an environmentally-friendly brand. It sells a range of cruelty-free trainers and steers clear of using dangerous chemicals. Vegan leather, suede, and canvas combine in this particular pair which also features accents of pink and purple. Available in UK size 3 to 8.
6. The High Street Pick
Shimmer Lace-Up Trainers
Marks & Spencer
Who knew that good old M&S sold vegan footwear? Well, the high street brand has over 100 options. Trainer-wise, your choices are a little slim, but this lightweight silver pair will work for the gym and any weekend outings. Plus, they come in a handy wide fit option. Available in UK size 3 to 8.
7. The Designer Overhaul
Stella McCartney x Adidas Stan Smith Trainers
Long-time adidas collaborator Stella McCartney transformed the simplistic Stan Smith into an ethical masterpiece. Crafted from vegan leather for the very first time, the design swaps the famous three stripes for Stella stars. The designer's face also replaces tennis player Smith on the left shoe's tongue. Available in UK size 4 to 8.
Who said buying vegan has to cost a fortune?