Formerly known as DopeKicks, 8000Kicks are the makers of the world’s first waterproof hemp sneakers. Designed and engineered in Portugal, the sneakers are crafted from a woven textile derived from hemp – a fibre known for its strong, flexible, and durable properties which has earned it the title of ‘sustainable wonder crop‘. The brand changed its name to pay homage to the history of hemp; the use of the textile dating back to around 8000 BC and hence, 8000Kicks.

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In addition to its minimalist design and hemp exterior, these cool eco-friendly sneakers also tick other sustainability boxes: it features rubber outsoles made from recycled algae blooms, natural cork insoles, is 100% waterproof, dust-proof and splash-proof (thanks to a proprietary water repellent coating and membrane that helps keep feet dry while ensuring the shoes withstand environmental conditions) and is 100% vegan-friendly.

8000Kicks is responsibly manufactured in factories, one located in Braga, Portugal and the other in Dongguan, China; both have decades of experience working with hemp and just one of the many reasons why they were chosen as manufacturing partners. In fact, both factories use a percentage of renewable energy to power their facilities, with the Portuguese factory using roughly 45% to 55% from renewable sources and the Chinese factory using between 30% to 40%.

The business has also thoroughly audited their factories to ensure that workers are not only working in safe conditions, but are also being paid fairly. They also perform regular inspections and have local representatives who routinely visit the factories to ensure production meets the brand’s ethical and quality standards.

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The sustainable sneaker brand takes sustainability so seriously it has also calculated its carbon footprint. Taking into considering factors such as the production of its raw materials, energy from manufacturing, shipping and transportation, the estimated carbon footprint for each pair is 4.1 Kg of CO2. Each shoe uses 100g of repurposed algae, 72% less CO2 and 70% less water compared with standard brands.