As part of its Open for a Change initiative, Italian fashion house Valentino recently released two “renewed” versions of its iconic sneakers with an eco-friendly goal in mind.

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“Created from the Maison’s desire to explore innovative materials and techniques for the future, the latest footwear versions of the Open and Rockstud Untitled for the first time partially involve recycled and bio-based materials while continuing to reflect the aesthetic and trademark motifs of the Maison, representing a conscious, firm step on the path to a sustainable ethos,” the company said in a press release.

A closer look at Valentino's new plant-based shoes.

Instead opting for the original leather, Valentino gave their updated kicks uppers and side bands partially made from renewable materials derived from corn-based polyols. More commonly used as sugar-free sweeteners, polyols are naturally occurring sugar alcohols that can be turned into leather alternatives, making them a more organic and biodegradable option with a smaller carbon footprint.

Overhead view of Valentino's sustainable new plant-based sneakers.

The white Open sneakers for men come in a choice of side band hues: green, black, and white. They all feature the signature Valentino studs in white at the base of the heel, but the soles boast a distinctive black speckled pattern reminiscent of recycled paper. The women’s Rockstud versions enjoy a burst of color with a line of playful studs (themselves made from recycled nylon) around the side band. Both sets of shoes have laces constructed from recycled polyester and soles made partially from recycled rubber.

Valentino also chose green materials for the shoes’ packaging, with each pair being wrapped in recycled cotton and paper from sustainably managed forests.

These environmentally minded shoes were first introduced at Paris Fashion Week in October 2021. “With Valentino Garavani Open for a Change, our first conscious-driven product, we reinforce our brand commitment toward more sustainable business practices,” CEO Jacopo Venturini told WWD at the time. “I think it’s important that we continue this way and set targets going forward that are more and more ambitious toward conscious-driven creative innovations. At Valentino we are building on our history and legacy with a new attitude and a new culture based on a couture culture which I believe is absolutely vital to our next chapter. A culture of values is what we are injecting in Valentino. I am committed to this mission; I believe this is going to be key for the future.”

Side view of Valentino's sustainable new

Other recent sustainable decisions by the luxury fashion house include the 2020 ban on alpaca fleece and a pledge to go fur-free in 2022. Going forward, the company plans to add more product redesigns to its Open for a Change campaign to further its eco-centric aims.

The company adds that “The path undertaken by Valentino Garavani Open for a Change is marked by the desire to change gears while sticking to the brand’s artisanal tradition. The quest is to immerse in the here and now, answering today’s questions employing timeless artifacts through seasons and trends.”

Sleek, sustainable packaging for Valentino's new plant-based sneakers, made from recycled materials.

Those interested in owning the new vegan kicks can buy a pair of the Open for $690 or a pair of the Rockstud Untitled for $850 in Valentino boutiques worldwide or on the company website.