Vegan sneaks get nod from A-listers

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In Milan, entrepreneur Umberto de Marco has launched a vegan sneaker brand made from recycled materials and biobased plastics.

Dubbed Yatay—the name of a palm species—production of the sneakers is also designed to limit waste. “The mission was to make the first luxury sustainable sneaker brand,” de Marco tells Barrons. “We are pioneering in this market.”

The company currently offers two shoes: Neven High (£290) and Neven Low (£240). The lining is made from recycled polyester, while the soles use biobased polyurethane.

Celebrities, including David Beckham and Benedict Cumberbatch, have already been seen rocking the pricey kicks, and the company sold 4,000 pairs in 2019. “Being a new brand for a shoe that costs [£240], that’s quite a good result,” de Marco adds.