Shaping the activists of the future starts from the ground up

Today’s youth are some of the most educated, connected and socially minded groups of consumers in history—and brands are having to step up to create sustainable products that meet their eco-friendly expectations. Vancouver-based apparel brand Native Shoes is taking steps to create a greener present and future, by equipping tomorrow’s leaders of the planet with sustainable playgrounds and footwear.

Native Shoes is a purpose-led company that makes eco-friendly shoes using a proprietary Sugarlite ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) blend with 40 percent bio-based content from sugarcane. Native focuses on making the most out of existing footwear by repurposing it for the greater good of the planet, as well as looking ahead to become even more sustainable in the future. The brand aims for all footwear to be 100 percent life cycle managed by 2023, which will be achieved by its Remix Project recycling initiative.playgroundThe Remix Project takes old shoes and transforms them for new uses, with a focus on kids; the project has contributed to the creation of five playgrounds in Vancouver since 2018, and counting. It does this by recycling old shoes, which consumers can mail back to Native using a special Canada Post return authorization number. The shoes are then reground into a bouncy, lightweight and versatile material that is used to create seating, playground flooring, insulation and other sustainable products. The project also accepts other shoes besides just its own Native brand, taking in any pair to be sorted, donated to good causes, or recycled using Native Shoes’s global partners.Native Shoes RobbieCreating a solid foundation for children to play on these playgrounds and beyond, Native Shoes has also just launched a new kids line called The Robbie (pictured above). The line is tailored for “Generation Do”—the “tiny activists” of today, those who are becoming educated, aware and active for the betterment of the planet. Made with sugarcane-based SugarliteTM, this line of funky and vibrantly coloured footwear is made for active kids ready to take on the world. The sporty shoes feature protective front toe rubber, a recycled rubber outsole and faux perforations at the front to keep dirt out. They come in a variety of colours, and range from child sizes 4 to 13, and junior sizes 1 to 3.

Check them out for your little ones and empower them to play in a sustainable way.