Nike Launches The First SB Dunk Made From Vegan Leather

|Updated Jan 25, 2021
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Nike is kicking off its new limited release with a vegan, leather-free SB Dunk. For sneaker lovers, this shoe release will turn heads towards cruelty-free designs and possibilities. The Nike SB Dunk High “Baroque Brown” brandishes the classic SB silhouette while giving customers a new color scheme reminiscent of nature. The earthy green and chocolate brown combination is a leatherless fashion statement for sneakerheads who are trying to reduce their carbon footprint.

Nike is Closely Following the Rising Vegan Leather Trend

A study by Future Market Insights shows that the demand for vegan and sustainable shoes is rising rapidly. Nike took notice of this demand and plans to deliver this desire to customers by moving closer and closer to a fully sustainable model. Nike launched its Move to Zero initiative in 2019, marking the brand's journey to reach zero carbon emissions and zero waste, and since then its begun to show the capabilities of sustainable clothing and footwear.

Before the leather-free SB Dunk, Nike debuted its Space Hippie range, a line that showcased four silhouettes produced from sustainable materials, with the launch proving to consumers and competitors that sustainable marketing is both practical and fashionable. Nike repurposed recycled plastic bottles, t-shirts, and post-industrial scraps in the Space Hippie launch, and continues to champion other materials like recycled nylon, recycled polyester, and organic cotton in its current designs.

According to Nike’s Chief Design Officer, John Hoke, the Space Hippie range “is about figuring out how to make the most with the least material, the least energy, and the least carbon.” This mindset is spreading across sneaker companies as other brands like Adidas move to sustainable ranges and products by utilizing textiles like leather derived from mushrooms.

Unfortunately, the sustainable SB Dunk will not be making it stateside anytime soon. The initial release will be limited to Soul Sneaker Boutique in Mexico as well as skate and shoe shops across Europe. There’s no word on when the shoes will make it to the US, but with Nike's Move to Zero initiative, we can expect many more sustainable shoe options from the brand in the future.