Vans Gives Their Classics An Eco Makeover and They Look Fresher Than Ever
If that’s even possible.
You remember your Vans.
I remember feeling dapper returning to school after summer rocking a pair of distorted brown checkered Slip-ons. I remember the pair of bleach-splashed red Authentics that got stolen from out the front of an ex’s parents’ house. I especially remember the humiliation when the stench from my navy Era’s (after a long, hot, sock-less summer) circulating the school hall as I listened to a friends’ little brother fumble his way through Greensleeves. If you skate or surf or just like shoes, then chances are you’ve got a story that involves a pair of Vans.
Vans are always collaborating with up and coming designers, taking punts on concepts, but their legacy is in their classic styles. Which haven’t changed much since they first rolled off the production line of the Van Doren Rubber Company, circa 1966. The designs are timeless, so no need to tinker there, but we’re all aiming to at least slow the damage to Gaia henceforth, so Vans have started pondering how they can make their hallmark products as low-impact as possible.
“Greenwashing” is another buzzword in the new, vague form of the English language we’re being forced to speak. But it’s a valid concept. Brands using misleading wording to portray themselves as far more eco-friendly than they are is gross, but when you’re a brand with a linage as strong as Vans, you can’t make claims without backing them up. So here’s the eco breaks.
The canvas is organically grown and certified GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), and the laces, where applicable, are made from hemp. Which is just the most sustainable and remarkable substance that’s been known to man for a long time (Columbus sailed to America with sales made of the stuff). The rubber, as mentioned earlier, the cornerstone of all thing Vans, is 100% fossil fuel free, but losses none of the grip or durability that Vans soles are famous for. A pair of Eco Authentics will cost you $70 rather than $50, and that’s just fine by us. Making shoes like this drives manufacturing prices way up, but Vans have counteracted any “why would I pay $20 extra for the same thing” by tastefully tweaking the styles. There’s just something about that beige gum and hemp laces that says “I’m gonna last, wear and fade to perfection.
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