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Simran Randhawa is the sustainably minded voice fashion needs right now

We spoke to the self-confessed sneakerhead about the importance of sustainability and her fave new, almost completely recyclable shoe

It seems that every day we’re being reminded of the terrifying consequences of the things we’ve done to the world. Heatwaves, bushfires, snowstorms in April, image after image of tonnes of plastic washing up on shore – and as much as we might try, it feels like there’s nothing we can do.

Simran Randhawa, the brilliant writer and model, would beg to differ. Her work in fashion is centred on stylish sustainability: not in the hessian stereotype kind of way, in the incredibly stylish kind of way. “In a world where climate change is increasingly affecting us, being mindful of how we consume fashion – which is one of the biggest pollutant industries in the world – is a major step we should all be taking to minimise our carbon footprint where possible,” Randhawa tells us.

It’s a complicated consumer-corporation nexus which needs to change, and that’s exactly why Randhawa has teamed up with Stella McCartney to celebrate the new Loop Sneaker collection – one of the first almost fully-recyclable sneakers ever. It’s a breakthrough production method where, instead of glue, the soles of the shoes are hooked on to the upper, making the whole thing fully recyclable. The shoes are in fact so groundbreaking, McCartney is hosting an exhibition in London’s Old Bond Street Stella McCartney flagship store called the Loop Lab, celebrating the work that went into creating such a sustainable sneaker. It’s a match made in sustainable heaven – both Stella McCartney and Simran committed to working out new ways to minimise the impact our decisions have on the world.

“As a sneakerhead, I didn’t actually realise the implications something as seemingly harmless as the glue in your trainers can have on the environment. Glue toxins have a negative impact on the oceans, soil, animals, even air quality, it’s mad!” Randhawa explains, when asked about why the Loop Sneaker is her sneaker of choice. “The glueless technology is a great example of a brand actually taking initiative and matters into their own hands regarding the sustainable future of their company and the planet.” Obviously, it also doesn’t hurt that the Loop also looks good too – “I’m a massive fan of colour-blocking and these are such a statement shoe,” she says. 

We caught up with Randhawa to get her tips on being sustainable, and why it’s so important in fashion right now. 

What influences your personal style? 

Simran Randhawa: My personal style is a bit of a mix and match – it’s heavily influenced by the streetwear culture I was surrounded with growing up in London, whilst simultaneously influenced by the Punjabi culture I was surrounded by at home. Kinda eclectic. Personal style means exploring how you wish you express yourself without worrying about trends, or ‘what’s in’ right now. I think it’s incredibly exciting – as long as you’re being ethical and respectful – especially as it’s the kinda thing that will always evolve as you grow. 

What do you do to ensure your wardrobe is the most sustainable and ethical it can possibly be?

Simran Randhawa: A major tip is being aware of your relationship with fashion; are you consuming for the sake of it/to keep up with trends or are you buying pieces you actually see long wearability in? Many of us are taught to mindlessly consume, but when you take a second to step back and think it puts a lot into perspective. Practical tips are to shop on depop, often swap pieces with my friends/boyfriend, upcycle clothes (for example an old sari into a top) which is surprisingly easy to do, shopping on places like Depop, avoiding fast fashion retailers where possible, and making sure I am selling/donating/giving away things I no longer have use for. Charity shops too! Some of my most stylish friends buy most of their pieces from charity shops – it’s about taking a garment and imagining what it could be.

“With the rise of more and more sustainable-minded brands, finding ethical fashion is easier and easier” – Simran Randhawa

What misconceptions do people have about sustainable fashion? 

Simran Randhawa: Most people think it means you can’t be stylish, or it takes time to source good fashion. I think both aren’t true – with thrifting, it’s about imagining what the items you find could be, or how they can be incorporated into your current style. With the rise of more and more sustainable-minded brands, finding ethical fashion is easier and easier. 

How does your work as a voice in fashion connect with Stella McCartney’s vision?

Simran Randhawa: I think one thing her brand and I have in common is the desire to express oneself in a naturally confident way, while also having the freedom to explore your style which can change on a weekly, or even daily basis. On a more personal level as a vegan, I heavily respect Stella’s choice to not use any fur/leather in her collections, something which is quite rare in high fashion in my opinion. 

The Loop sneaker is available online now.