Everlane never shies away from a challenge. Last October, the company announced the launch of ReNew, a game-changing initiative to eliminate all virgin plastic from their supply chain by 2021, starting with outerwear. But their mission didn't end there. Less than a year later, the brand that brought you $100 cashmere and plastic-free puffers is back with its most sustainable venture yet.
On April 25th, Everlane will roll out an entire brand of sneakers labeled Tread by Everlane. According to Michael Preysman, Founder & CEO of Everlane, sneakers have consistently been the product that customers beg for most, but his response to their cries has always been the same: "never." "Of everything we wear, sneakers have one of the heaviest footprints. They require a ton of energy to produce, are made largely from virgin plastic, and never break down. So when we buy and replace them often — billions end up in landfills around the world."
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After two years of consulting experts, working and re-working designs, and testing all kinds of green materials, the team at Everlane has officially created the world's most sustainable sneakers (hold for applause). Titled the Trainer, Tread by Everlane's introductory silhouette is definitively the first of its kind. "A typical sneaker contains a lot of hidden plastic so we set out to use recycled materials wherever possible," Alison Melville, Everlane's GM of Footwear and Accessories, told Refinery29. "The Trainer’s sole is 94.2% virgin plastic-free, made by blending natural rubber and post-industrial recycled rubber. This keeps nearly 18,000 pounds of rubber out of landfills—enough to make 1.3 million latex gloves!"
And the Tread by Everlane team isn't stopping there. "A zero-impact sneaker is our ultimate goal and we’re currently working on several fronts to further reduce the impact. This includes developing alternatives for the few components still made from virgin plastic, designing more efficient patterns to reduce leather waste, and searching for leather alternatives that are as beautiful and durable as the real thing," says Melville.
When asked how she sees Tread by Everlane influencing the sneaker market as a whole, Melville explained that the "real next step is for brands to work with more factories to build sustainable practices and influence sneaker production from the ground up. That’s the real end goal." As one of the industry leaders for sustainable fashion, Everlane has a long way to go to get the rest of the fashion world in line. But as per usual, that feat hasn't slowed them down a bit.
Sustainability aside, between the seven on-trend color ways (including pale pink, glacier, and butter), the designed-to-last construction, and the relatively affordable price point ($98 to be exact), we're betting that even the most hype sneaker lovers will get behind Tread by Everlane's new design.
Tread by Everlane's Trainer sneaker is now available online and in Everlane's San Francisco and New York stores.