When it comes to a shoe that satisfies all of your footwear needs, it can be difficult to find one that’s ecofriendly, durable, comfortable and stylish. 8000kicks is out to change that with the world’s first waterproof hemp shoes, made from natural cannabis fibres. We took their Explorer V2 sneakers for a spin, on and off road and at work to see if they live up to the hype.
Hemp is a sativa plant and known as the ‘sober cousin of marijuana’, it has been used as a sustainable textile since 8000 BC. It can be woven, dyed, and moulded into all sorts of products, and it requires less water and no chemical fertilizers to grow, producing 72% less CO2 during production than cotton.
8000kicks have partnered with Royal Queen Seeds and Nisiseltor Studio to create their sneakers, which are sourced from industrial hemp that’s grown without pesticides or herbicides in China. The shoes themselves are manufactured in Portugal and China, using local resources and ensuring that employees receive livable wages and health benefits. Moreover, the company only releases 4.1-5.3 kg of CO2 per pair, which is much less than running shoes (up to 14kg) and leather shoes (up to 100kg).
The sneakers are available on their website and at select pop-ups and events. They don’t ship to all countries, but returns are free in the EU and USA. Since the brand only offers a few models, it’s best to choose your size carefully – the shoes follow international sizing standards similar to Nike and Adidas.