How GREATS Is Evolving Into a Responsible Sneaker Brand

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The Royale Knit, GREATS’ first eco-friendly sneaker released in 2019.

Over the last year and a half, minimalist Brooklyn-based sneaker brand GREATS has rapidly transformed its manufacturing practices to become better stewards of the environment.

The brand’s first step in reducing its environmental impact was the introduction of the Royale Knit silhouette in May last year, which uses recycled single-use and ocean plastics. Born and designed in Brooklyn, each pair is made from the equivalent of seven plastic water bottles and comes packaged in recycled materials. But the best part? The kicks are machine washable, ensuring they’ll be crisp for years to come.

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Royale Knit

But that project was just the start of something bigger. The Royale Knit signaled to the sneaker world that GREATS was committed to reducing its ecological footprint, and the brand has since released several styles created with those new environmental standards in mind.

GREATS’ biggest effort to go green came this summer with the launch of its most responsible shoe ever — the Royale Eco Canvas. It’s made from repurposed canvas, structured with recycled cotton, padded with Bloom Algae Foam removed from over-populated ecosystems, supported by natural recycled rubber outsoles, and held together by recycled cotton laces. By switching the silhouette’s footbed to algae foam insoles, it will have returned 115,960 liters of clean water back to natural ecosystems by year’s end. If that’s not the ultimate eco-friendly shoe, we’re not sure what is.

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Royale Eco Canvas

While GREATS tends to resist trends, there’s no denying that upcycling is having a huge moment. The brand quickly went to work and scoured its factories for leftover materials to create the Royale High Patchwork this September. It took upcycled scraps of fabric and textiles to create a stylishly crafted patchwork design on the uppers, while repurposed materials are used throughout the lining, footbed, and outsole so that nothing goes to waste.

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To celebrate these sustainable milestones and its journey to becoming more responsible, Highsnobiety partnered with GREATS to offer our readers a chance to win $500 worth of kicks. Simply submit your email here for a chance to win.