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Portugal Brand Touts ‘Most Sustainable’ Vegan Sneakers

From Athletic Propulsion Labs to Merrell to Rothys to Allbirds to Adidas to Everlane, it seems like everyone is gunning for the honor of “world’s most sustainable shoe.”

Also here to rumble for that title? Norm, a nascent footwear brand from Portugal that is launching—you guessed it—the planet’s “most sustainable” sneakers through a campaign on Kickstarter.

Composed of 90 percent recycled materials, including the equivalent of six plastic bottles, each pair of PETA-approved vegan shoes boasts a carbon footprint 80 percent smaller than conventional sneakers, according to the company.

The proof is in Norm’s components. Made in Portugal, the shoes feature 100 percent recycled polyester 3D-knit uppers, laces and labels and 75 percent recycled (and recyclable) rubber soles. All glues are water-based, which is better for both people and the environment. To offset carbon emissions generated during production, Norm will plant two trees for every purchase.

“Every single decision we take, every single choice we make, is made with sustainability as a driver,” notes Norm, which is made up of “three friends, Antoine, Arnaud and Nicolas,” on Kickstarter. “If we want to keep our planet healthy, we need to reduce our footprint. And to do that we have to come up with better products.”

“Better,” in this case, also means designing the kicks for the long haul rather than a quick use and disposal.

“Our products are made using qualitative materials and manufacturing techniques to ensure a prolonged life time,” Norm writes. “But to even further increase it, the knit material is very easy to repair with a simple needle and a thread.”

Available for preorder at 120 euros ($135) a pair or 235 euros ($264) for two pairs, the unisex design comes in five colors: polar white, eclipse black, obsidian blue, military green and burgundy. Norm says it expects to ship the sneakers to backers—with free shipping within the European Union and a fee of 10 euros ($11) for international customers—by mid-September.