Seven leather trainer brands you need to know about

Leather trainer brands you need to know about

Seven leather trainer brands you need to know about

By Fiona Ward

Sportswear is a tricky area when it comes to sustainability – particularly with trainers, which often feature plastic components or other non-biodegradable alternatives. Here, we round up the sneaker brands that are breaking boundaries by using traceable and ethically-sourced leather to create kicks that come without the eco guilt.

Josefin Liljeqvist

Independent brand Josefin Liljeqvist proudly makes the world’s first fully-traceable shoes with its leather James Sneaker. Each pair comes with a unique code that allows the owner to trace every aspect of its production, from the small Swedish cattle farms that provide the leather to its eco-friendly tanneries. Uniquely, each trainer can be customised by shoppers, too, from the stitching to the laces.


Brazilian trainer brand Veja is loved by celebrities and royals alike. The brand is refreshingly transparent about its leathers, which are sourced from farms in Uruguay and tanned at a Leather Working Group-approved chrome-free tannery in Brazil. The soles are made from a combination of Amazonian rubber, sugar cane, recycled E.V.A. and cotton.

VYN Switzerland

Another totally traceable company, VYN Switzerland uses leathers from German tannery Hoffman – which is also gold-certified by the Leather Working Group and is fully transparent about its farms, too. Made to be worn for life, VYN trainers are designed to be repaired with replaceable heel counters and pieces in varying colours, extending each pair’s lifespan as well as allowing the user to get creative by changing up colours.


Boardsports brand Cariuma is another Brazilian label rooted in ethics and sustainability. For every pair of trainers bought, two trees are planted in the Brazilian rainforest by the company – it has planted over two million trees since 2020. Again, Cariuma uses LWG gold-rated suppliers, and 100 per cent of the water used in the leather tanning process is recycled and reused.


Certified B Corp Nisolo offers chic and simple sneakers amongst its range of sustainable shoes and accessories, and makes ethics and transparency a priority – by publishing its workers’ wage rates as well as a carbon footprint for each product. 95 per cent of Nisolo’s leather is Leather Working Group certified, and the brand has committed to making that 100 per cent in the next 12 months.


Spanish brand Alohas has become a favourite amongst fashion influencers and editors for on-trend styles with a twist, but its unwavering ethical principles are just as impressive. Every shoe is made on demand and locally in Alicante, meaning no mass production and a lower carbon footprint – and all leathers are low impact and Leather Working Group certified. Alohas offers a number of sneaker styles, from the more classic plimsolls to funky high-tops.


Using only vegetable-tanned, LWG-certified leathers from European suppliers, Parisian brand Bobbies also uses recycled rubber on the soles of its trainers – and relies on a short production circuit to minimise its carbon footprint. From the sporty ‘Caleb’ sneaker to the more simple ‘Travis’, there’s something for everyone.