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Why over 6,000 people are on the waitlist for these sustainably-made sneakers

The classic silhouette isn't your average shoe.
Courtesy of Cariuma
By Rachel Greenberg

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A versatile pair of sneakers is a closet essential, and there’s no shortage of options to choose from. But there does seem to be a constant shortage of Cariuma Ibi sneakers.

The Brazilian brand launched the sustainably-made sneakers in October 2019 and instantly became a hit. Over 6,000 people are currently on the waitlist for the simple lace-ups available in eight colors, but thanks to a pre-order option you can finally get your hands on a pair by April.

Cariuma Ibi Sneakers

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What makes these classic-looking sneakers so great?

For starters, the trendy kicks are made with a bamboo and recycled plastic knit upper that’s lightweight, breathable and flexible, and a supportive EVA (a rubberlike material) sole sourced from sugar cane. Inside, a comfortable insole is made with a mix of cork and memory foam to provide all-day comfort.

Cariuma Ibi sneakers are 100% vegan and 100% carbon neutral, all of which fit with Cariuma’s motto of "old school sneakers, new school ethics." The brand uses other premium natural materials like fair trade cotton and raw natural rubber and purchases carbon offsets for every item shipped so you can feel good about your purchase.

Co-founder and chief creative Fernando Porto describes the Ibi silhouette as a classic wardrobe staple all conscious shoppers enjoy. “I think a lot of people see value in having their cool-classic sneakers also being their most comfortable ones, and on top of that, made sustainably,” he told Shop TODAY.

The brand currently has five sneaker styles, in both men’s and women’s sizes, ranging in price from $79 to $129. The stylish, easy-to-wear design and ultralightweight construction help attract buyers who prioritize comfort, too.

"These shoes were the comfiest shoes I’ve worn in a very very long time!" raved one reviewer. "I loved them so much I had to come back for another color and a pair for my partner. Seriously great shoes!

Another added, "Classic style. Unbelievably lightweight. Fits my orthotics. I wear them multiple times a week."

Cariuma has been restocking its site every 45 days since launching last fall and recently sold out (again) after February's replenishment. If you’re still in search of that perfect size and color, now's the time to score a pair just in time for spring. “Run, don’t walk,” jokes Porto. Fitting advice, but easier said than done without a pair of Ibi sneakers already on your feet.

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