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White tennis shoes are decidedly on-trend right now on college campuses and beyond. So much so, they’ve transcended “trend” status and moved straight to “a category in fashion,” Chris Kyvetos, the buying director of menswear for online retailer Mytheresa, told The Wall Street Journal.
So it’s no surprise that the uber-stylish Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton, would rock a pair of white tennis shoes on her more casual days around town. She appears to own many, many sneakers, but her current go-to pair seems to be her white Esplar Veja low-tops.
Veja sneakers actually have many famous fans. Emma Watson, Jennifer Garner, Reese Witherspoon and Katie Holmes have all been seen sporting these minimalist sneakers with the iconic V on the side.
Middleton’s pair of choice is ivory and rose gold, which she’s been spotted wearing numerous times starting in 2021 and most recently at a post-coronation lunch. Middleton’s own sister-in-law, Meghan Markle, owns these trainers, too — though Markle’s pair appears to be the black-on-white version.
In fact, Markle may have been the one to wear them first; some celebrity watchers have credited her with launching the Veja craze after fans spotted her in them at a sailing event in Australia in 2018.
Veja Women’s Esplar Sneakers ($129.99 And Up)
One reason these sneaks are so popular is that Veja has made great strides in the area of sustainability. The French company is committed to producing shoes with recycled and bio-friendly materials (like organic cotton and sustainably-sourced leather) and to being transparent about its CO2 emissions and its production process.
This sneaker is currently selling for $129.99-$265 on Amazon, where it has more than 1,000 ratings with an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars. You should note that there are limited styles and sizes right now; some are available only from third parties, who may be charging even more than that.
One sign of a hot sneaker is that it’s hard to find, although the brand reportedly sells 2 million sneakers per year.
“I’ve been hunting for a pair of these, but they are always sold out,” a reviewer named Anna F wrote on Amazon. “I finally managed to snag a pair this week … They are super cute.”
If you’re having trouble getting the pair you want, you can try other retailers, like Veja itself, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Net-A-Porter or REI. Expect to pay about $150 per pair.
But Veja isn’t the only brand that’s trying to corner the market on sustainable white sneakers. Here are three other options if you’d like some stylish and eco-friendly kicks:
Flamingos Life 90s Retro, $190
The Spanish company that makes these vegan and biodegradable sneakers, Flamingos Life, cuts down on its carbon footprint by contracting with artisans that are located no further than 40 kilometers from its headquarters. With every pair of shoes sold, it gives back to people in need through organizations such as Eden Reforestation Projects and Waste Free Oceans. You can buy a pair from its Retro 90s collection for $190 in a range of colors, including white and forest green.
Thousand Fell Women’s Court Psychic Wave ($135 + $20 Recycling Fee)
Thousand Fell zero-waste sneakers are made of recycled materials that may include bottles, rubber, yoga mats and food waste like sugar cane and coconut husks. This sneaker also has its share of celebrity devotees like Emily Ratajkowski to Chloe Sevigny. Its Women’s Court Psychic Wave sneakers (pictured above) sell for $135, plus a $20 recycling fee.
Komodo G-Hela Cornwaste Eco Trainer by Genesis ($140)
Komodo is committed to using organic and eco-friendly fibers, and most of its shoes are vegan and cruelty-free. These shoes are made from corn waste, and have a cork and recycled rubber sole as well as a recycled EVA foam insole. Even the laces and seams are made from recycled plastic bottles. The G-Hela Cornwaste Eco Trainer by Genesis (pictured above) sells for $140.
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