7 Sustainable Sneaker Brands Made in Europe
Words by Alice Florence Orr
Five Minute Read
No wardrobe, big or small, is complete without a versatile sneaker. Whether you're keeping it casual with jeans for an off-duty look, or dressing down a work ensemble for a business casual vibe, a great sneaker is a must-have for every modern man. Bad working conditions, shady sourcing and poor quality materials are common in the industry, making it hard to find kicks that are both stylish and Earth-friendly. And yet, more and more discerning dressers are looking for their footwear to match their values.
From retro-inspired aesthetics to waterproof materials, these brands take their shoes seriously. By making each pair in Europe, they guarantee better manufacturing and quality craftsmanship, without compromising on cutting-edge trends. Sneakers don't need to be for one season — fashion fades, but these timeless pieces are here to stay.
Kulson harmonises a minimalist, Scandinavian aesthetic with true craftsmanship, making their simple sneakers sustainable as well as stylish. Sneaker production is carbon-intensive, contributing 1.4% of the greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere per year. To put that into perspective, air travel contributes 2.5% of all emissions.
But brands like Kulson are changing the game when it comes to ethical, European-made fashion. They use the best leathers from Italy and Portugal to create every pair of unisex sneakers, in addition to crafting their soles from recycled materials — think planet-friendly with a contemporary touch. The Kulson One model is the perfect white trainer, a staple in any capsule wardrobe.
These striking sneaker designs are imagined in London and manufactured in Italy, giving them serious style credentials. Founded in 2017 by David Cullen, Unseen Footwear is all about classy, understated dressing. By reimagining British design stereotypes, they make versatile sneakers for the modern man without compromising on traditional craftsmanship.
Materials like suede and premium Nappa leather are incorporated into their designs to elevate contemporary sneaker styles for the workplace — but don't be fooled, these designs look great with a pair of jeans too. Wear yours with a Riley Studio shirt and classic blue jeans by Personal Effects.
By combining the attitude of Paris streetwear with a sustainable vision, Belledonne is a sneaker brand that knows how to mix work and play. They use this philosophy to create beautiful, contemporary footwear that aligns with their values. Belledonne is breaking free from the fast fashion cycle with true European craftsmanship, proving that covetable sneakers don't have to be bad for the planet.
From recycled rubber soles to invisible eyelets, a hand-made Belledonne sneaker has two hours of attention to detail in every shoe. They're handcrafted in Portugal using waterproof Italian Cordura canvas or leathers tanned in Italy by Mastrotto. Some of their models, like the effortlessly retro B3, have recycled rubber soles created by Gommus. It's clear this brand is the next big name in sustainable sneakers.
Looking beyond the expectations of fast fashion, Dalgado believes in making a statement. With an ethical manifesto, their values are as eye-catching as their luxe designs. Based in Germany, they source the best materials from across Europe before their shoes are handcrafted in Portugal — well-regarded as a destination for ethical clothing production.
With a pared-back look that negates unnecessary stitching and branding, Dalgado believes that simplicity is the best way to make quality materials shine. Their shoes are made from water repellent suede from Tuscany and have a padded tongue and leather lining – perfect for all-day wear. You can even pair them with their matching belt to complete the look.
Based in France, M Moustache have a certain je ne sais quoi when it comes to their footwear design. Passionate about block colour and striking design, they cultivate a cheeky, retro vibe that's perfect for city living.
M Moustache was established in 2012 with a goal to craft sneakers that would shake up the shoe market. Their sneakers take trends and turn them into styles that stand the test of passing seasons, employing the best manufacturing techniques in Portugal for the modern gentleman.
Based in Lisbon, every JAK sneaker is handcrafted in Portugal. This brand has a minimalist vision for their sneakers, but that doesn't mean they're shy about colour. Each model comes in a variety of muted hues, like khaki green and rich hazel, making them real crowd-pleasers. Laces or straps, there's a pair for you.
Using only the best full-grain leather, JAK has an artisanal approach to sneaker design, employing family-run Portuguese factories as their ateliers of choice. By making monochrome shoes that last, these sneakers are ethical footwear staples for contemporary living.
Despite being crafted in sunny Portugal, North 89's sneakers are prepared for any weather. With a simple, Scandinavian aesthetic, many of their shoes are waterproof and perfect for the colder weather. Life throws us many challenges — why not consider a sustainable sneaker that's prepared for change?
Boasting design benefits like memory foam and antibacterial soles, North 89's signature sneakers feel luxuriously comfortable to wear, while their various seasonal options, inspired by Scandinavian weather conditions, means they will have a sneaker that fits your lifestyle.
Our curation process is second-to-none when it comes to sourcing craftsmanship brands from across Europe. We believe in products that tell a story, focusing on ethical manufacturing, design-led visions and sustainable practices. Read more about our values.
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