Running shoes aren't typically remarked on for their subtlety, nor praised for eco-friendliness—specialty foam, mesh, and rubber is often petroleum-based after all. It's no surprise then, that if a running shoe were to earn compliments on both fronts, it'd come from two brands that aren't known as mainstream heavy-hitters at track meets and on marathon courses. As is the case with the new unisex Condor 2 Alveomesh, a collaborative product of Montreal-based Ciele Athletics and Paris-based Veja.
Working off a staple shoe of Veja's collection, the collaboration Ciele x Veja Condor 2 Alveomesh($200) is made with an upper and lining made of 100% recycled polyester, an insole and midsole made from more than 50% sugar cane, and an outsole made in large part from natural rubber and rice waste. As such, the Condor (and all of the shoes in Veja's stable) has some serious sustainability chops.
Sustainability is Veja's thing. If you're a runner and you've never heard of the company, that's likely because it's gained the bulk of its following from within the eco-minded athleisure/fashion crowd thanks to practices like limiting the use of fossil fuel-based materials, paying fair wages to its factory partners in Brazil, opting to ax ad campaigns to keep prices low, and providing plenty of transparency into the company's progress in all of its efforts. (It even tries to operate its business with banking partners who don't operate in tax havens, which has proven easier intended than accomplished.)
Ciele, on the other hand, has found its niche among the core running crowd by making high-quality hats made for miles that also look good. It's one of those if-you-know-you-know brands, though more runners (and non-runners) are catching on. For the Condor 2 collab, Ciele lent its skill with a palette to create a sunset-themed look and a bit of inspiration in the form of a line from French singer Barbara: le temps perdu ne se rattrape plus. Meaning, "lost time cannot be caught up." Or, distilled to the purpose of running, keep on going.