The 2024 Guide to Sustainable Commuting – Trainers

27th May 2024

If you’re worried about the environmental impact of commuting to London, The 2024 Guide to Sustainable Commuting does the hard work for you, by researching planet-friendly options for everything involved with going to the office.  From recommending the most ethically produced work clothes and kit to the most sustainable (and hopefully independent)  places to buy coffee, snacks and lunch close to your London office locations.

This month we’re looking at the most popular footwear option for every commuter – trainers.  The days of formal footwear are numbered.  Two out of three people wear trainers to work, according to this article in The Guardian with the average worker owning seven pairs.  So, how do you go about finding the most sustainable option?

Recycled and natural materials

Buying trainers made from recycled and natural materials is a good place to start when looking for a sustainable option. So, search for these options when looking for brands and read their sustainability policies with care.  Brazilian brand  Cariumba have all of the certification you’d expect from an ethical brand, including B-Corp status. They create their shoes from organic cotton and recycled nylon and plastic, amongst other thoughtfully considered materials.  They also have a clear approach to every stage of the production process (including carbon neutral delivery) and claim to plant 2 trees for every pair of trainers purchased through their reforestation programme.

British brands

Reducing delivery miles for any purchases is a good option. New Balance have been making trainers in the UK since 1982 and offer a Made in UK range of shoes to make it easier for UK customers to buy local. Their sustainability policies are also worth checking out, with goals to use 100% ethically produced leather and 50%  recycled polyester in their styles.

Quality Lasts

Buying less, better quality of anything leads to less landfill and a lighter impact on the planet and this applies to footwear too. So, buy carefully, choosing something that will last and that won’t go out of fashion quickly.  British brand Goral (who have been making shoes for over 80 years) offer hand crafted shoes, which come with a lifetime guarantee, a repair service and are actually resoleable.

Second hand

Buying a pair of trainers second hand might not seem like an attractive option, but a look through the many online fashion resale sites available shows many “new with tags” options.  As many people collect trainers these days they might be making room in their collection for new ones or simply have ordered the wrong size.  Whatever the sustainability credentials of the brand in question, saving a pair of trainers from landfill is also a thoughtful option.


Depending on your ethical priorities, selecting a vegan trainer may be the priority for you and non-leather options can offer sustainability benefits too.  Brands like Portugues nae (short for no animal exploitation) use recycled plastics combined with natural fibres, such as cork.

If you’re looking for a new London office, get in touch with our Sales team at LentaSpace.  With 13 London locations – all in walking distance of mainline or underground stations – we are sure to be able to help you make a sustainable commuting choice.