Sneakers have long moved beyond gym class to status symbols worthy of the red carpet. But it’s not easy to find the perfect pair. Whether you’re looking for serious running shoes or some casual kicks, the global market for sneakers is expected to grow from $70 billion in 2020 to $105 billion by 2025. The largest brand, Nike, generated $24 billion selling footwear in 2020.  

But if you’re looking for sneaks that are a bit more grass roots without sacrificing style, consider Cariuma. Founded by two friends who grew up in Brazil and shared a love of surfing, skateboarding, and snowboarding, the name Cariuma represents inclusion. The sneakers have been sported by celebs ranging from Pete Davidson to Helen Mirren. More importantly, Cariuma is a certified B Corp that has met high standards for social and environmental responsibility.


Cariuma’s sneakers are made with cork and rubber, but the materials come from scraping the bark of the cork tree and tapping the hevea brasiliensis rubber tree respectively, without damaging them. The company also incorporates bamboo in some of its insoles, which regenerates when its stalk is cut. To create the foam in its sneakers, the company uses mamona oil, a plant-based petroleum alternative. Cariuma uses recycled PET (plastic) that is certified by Global Recycled Standard and ships with recycled paper that has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.


That’s all great, but will you want to wear them? We think so. Cariuma designs low and high tops, and slip-ons in canvas, leather, and suede. The distinctive Catiba Pro line with the herringbone design was created for skaters. The outsole is designed with natural gum rubber for a sticky grip and stripes that give you more traction. Inside, a memory foam insert provides extra arch support and comfort. The Catiba Pro Black Suede sneakers will look great in all kinds of settings.

The company’s signature sneaker, the classic canvas OCA Low, is made with recycled PET, organic cotton, and a vegan insole designed with cork and mamona oil. Cariuma’s sneakers come in a range of colors, from classic off-white to Pantone Plaza Taupe to comic-book-inspired designs by a contemporary Brazilian artist and a collector's edition inspired by surfing legend Gerry Lopez. And Cariuma plays tribute to its Brazilian roots by using recycled boxes inspired by Rio de Janeiro and with a cheeky after-hours message on the company website (“Away for a Caipirinha.”) 

Cariuma's recently released Slip-On Skate Pros come in five colors, provide enough cushion to comfortably stroll for hours, and is designed to help grip and flip your skateboard with the grippy bottom and sides. A reinforced toe — featuring a rubber underlay and overlay — was inserted to prevent any rips from falls or trips on the board. The breathable cotton canvas also keeps your feet from getting too sweaty.

Giving Back

You might expect that sneakers made with these sustainable materials would get expensive, but Cariuma’s sneakers are very reasonably priced, starting at $79. And your investment goes even farther: the company pledges to plant two trees in the Brazilian rainforest for every pair of sneakers customers buy.

That said, the company ships to 49 countries around the world, so it’s hardly local. While that may sound like a lot of resources, the company says its shipping is carbon neutral, with its reforestation program in Brazil and by participating in a program called DHL Go Green, which neutralizes emissions through reforestation programs around the world. 

So if you’re looking for sneaks that both look and do good, Cariuma is a great bet.

Good Buys are products selected by the Futurism Commerce team that are both high quality and made by companies with campaigns that give back to the community in a significant way.

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