If watching the Olympics has you thinking about skateboarding (or maybe thinking about looking like someone who thinks about skateboarding) iconic California skatewear brand Vans has just the thing. Launched in June, the Vans Eco Theory shoe collection is the first fully sustainable and vegan line from the 55-year-old company. And the shoes themselves are just one part of Vans’s commitment to going green.
“Sustainability has to be at the forefront of Vans for the future,” pro-surfer and Vans brand ambassador Dane Gudauskas noted in a statement announcing the launch of the Eco Theory range. “It’s a fantastic moment to own the space and contribute to a more sustainable way of producing.”
According to statements from Vans, the Eco Theory shoes are “made with responsibly-sourced materials from sources that follow proven ethical and sustainable practices that minimize harm and have positive benefits within the natural and social ecosystems in which they operate. The collection utilizes organic cotton, a new ECO Vans natural rubber, jute laces, cork-lined footbeds and water-based inks and glues.” The company also says that the cotton used in the shoes is organically grown from non-GMO seeds and upholds standards that “support healthy soils, habitats, and workers.”
Eco Theory represents a “statement of what matters to the surfers, skaters, and change-makers who wear them,” the brand asserts.
Producing the greener shoes is a big step for the company but Vans isn’t stopping there. The brand is looking at the whole lifecycle of its products, from creation to disposal, to find ways to be more environmentally sensitive. Among initiatives undertaken, the company has instituted a global shoe recycling program and has committed to switching to 100 percent renewable energy for all company-owned factories and facilities by 2025.