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Last Updated: September 2021

Cariuma Review: Stylish, Sustainable Shoes

Featured Product: Cariuma IBI Off-White Knit Sneakers

Price: $98

The Cariuma IBI Off-White Knit Sneakers are made from bamboo and recycled plastics. These sneakers come equipped with removable, lightweight insoles for added comfort. The insoles are made of cork, Mamona oil, and memory foam. Everything about this shoe is sustainable and/or recycled, built to last, and extremely comfortable to walk around in daily. Plus, they look pretty cool!cariuma-off-white-ibi-sneakers

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Stylish
  • Sustainable
  • Lightweight
  • Free shipping

Cons

  • Toe box is pretty narrow, so may not be a great fit for those with wider feet
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IBI Off-White Knit Sneakers

Treat your feet to a brand new type of shoe – one made from entirely sustainable materials. Cariuma’s IBI Off-White Knit Sneakers are the perfect blend of comfort, eco-friendliness, and style.

Ratings Breakdown

quality

The highly sustainable materials used to make these shoes make them extremely durable, plus the fun colors don’t hurt either.

value

The price point for Cariuma sneakers are on par with plenty of others in the same market. But their sustainability alone makes these more than worth it.

customer experience

Cariuma sneakers are some of the most comfortable sneakers on the market to wear, but have a more narrow toe box.

brand

This brand is highly transparent about where they source their materials, their factories, and the philanthropy they embrace to help make the world a better place.

Who is Cariuma?

Cariuma was founded in 2018 by David Python and Fernando Porto. The two had worked together for a few years and began to realize that what they were doing wasn’t cutting it. They had bigger dreams to create more sustainable products, while also positively impacting the world. And since they were both huge into board sports, it only made sense that the arena they chose was classic, cool sneakers.cariuma-jumping

Besides creating high quality, sustainable, classic sneakers, Cariuma makes a global impact with every pair purchased. For each pair of sneakers purchased, 2 trees are planted. And, if you sign up for their mailing list, they’ll plant another tree also. 

They do this through their reforestation program that was founded by Cariuma in 2020. This program is meant to help the massive rainforest deforestation that has been happening in their home country of Brazil. They also have plans to begin a new phase of this program in the Amazon to help with the deforestation happening there. So, it appears this philanthropic piece of the Cariuma family is just getting started and who knows what their global impact will be in a few years.cariuma-box-art

Cariuma is another company that donates their gently worn and returned sneakers to the Soles4Souls non-profit. They also donate these products to entrepreneurs in developing countries to help them get started. On top of all of these great steps, Cariuma has also engaged in beach clean-up’s and is working on getting their B Corp certification.

Cariuma Fit & Style

Since I have already dipped my toe in the sustainable shoe market with my Allbirds, I was interested to try Cariuma. As opposed to the running shoes, these are a more classic, everyday sneaker to wear. I decided to try two different Cariuma shoes to get a wider feel for the offerings.

I ordered them both at the same time and they came well within the 2-5 business days that Cariuma purports.cariuma-labelThe first shoe I tried was their most popular seller, the IBI Off-White Knit Sneaker. Of course, they have multiple colors to choose from, but I went with a classic. These were surprisingly lightweight for a sneaker. And I loved the look of them for everyday wear. 

The big bonus for me was the cork insole. I have higher arches so most insoles don’t work well for me. But these felt really comfortable and were much more supportive than other sneakers I’ve tried in the past.cariuma-sneakers-jump

The other pair of Cariuma shoes I tried were the OCA Low Green Canvas sneakers. I loved the color of these shoes and they fit almost exactly like the other shoes.

However, the toe box in both pairs of shoes were a bit too narrow for me. I ordered the size I normally wear, and the length was great. So this leads me to believe that the toe boxes are just made a bit too narrow for those of us with a wider foot.cariuma-green-canvasOut of the two options, I got more comfort from the IBI sneakers. I think this was due to the higher lip in the back and the fact that they felt a bit more lightweight. But either way, I was pleased with both options and continue to wear them to this day.

Are Cariuma Sneakers Good Quality?

When it comes to quality, Cariuma is going to be difficult to beat. This is not only due to the materials they use, but also the factories and certifications. All of the materials they use are sustainable and a lot of them are recycled or recyclable. 

Plus, close to 50% of their sneakers are completely vegan. Cariuma aims to make more and more of their products vegan in the future because by doing so, they increase the sustainability and quality of their products.cariuma-white-sneakers-boxTheir current products are made with the following materials:

  • Bamboo – highly regenerative when cut from the stalk. All of the bamboo they source is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, OEKO-TEX, and the Organic Crop Improvement Association.
  • Rubber – sourced through ethical tapping
  • Organic Cotton – sourced ethically and GOTS certified
  • Sugarcane – sourced from Brazil and fully renewable, plus it’s I’M GREEN certified.
  • Cork – gathered by scraping the bark from the tree so the tree can form new bark.
  • Mamona Oil – organic, plant based alternative to petroleum.
  • Recycled PET Plastic – certified by Global Recycled Standard
  • Leather and Suede – responsibly sourced from Argentina, Thailand, Brazil, and China and are certified by Leather Working Group.
  • Dye Chemicals – all are Bluesign certified to help reduce water usage and pollution.
  • Packaging and Packaging Paper – all are recycled and recyclable, and are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Even though they use great products, quality can still come down to where the products are sourced and the factories that produce the end product. In Cariuma’s case, they perform IPE audits on all suppliers once a year. These audits are performed to ensure there aren’t any environmental issues that may have occurred during the year by those suppliers.cariuma-sustainability

The factories they use in Singapore actually have to abide by a higher standard because they are WRAP – GOLD certified. This certification requires that the factories abide by certain fair management policies to ensure compliance for all workers and products.

They also have different levels of traceability for the raw products, end product manufacturers, and everything in between. Plus, the producers, factories, and Cariuma as a company combined hold 7 different certifications. So if that doesn’t speak to the quality of the overall product as a whole, then I don’t know what does.

Are Cariuma Shoes Worth It?

Cariuma has done an especially good job of creating classically styled, sustainable sneakers. And they’ve been able to do this while keeping the price point well within the normal range a consumer would expect to pay. Therefore, it’s difficult to find any real reasons why Cariuma sneakers wouldn’t be a great option to try.cariuma-green-canvas-heelWith the exception of the more narrow toe box. Which is unfortunate for those of us with wider feet. Hopefully, this will be something they can remedy in the near future. 

Cariuma Coupons & Discounts

Cariuma is doing what they can to get consumers to jump on their sustainable sneakers bandwagon. Because they feel once someone has tried their shoes, they’re going to fall in love. Therefore they offer some fairly regular discounts and coupons to get consumers to give them a try. Sometimes they offer free express shipping or a certain percentage off.cariuma-green-canvas-recliningWhat they are currently offering can really vary. The best way to find out is to visit the Cariuma website to see what they are offering with purchase. Or sign up for their email list and you’re bound to get other offers and deals directly in your inbox.

Frequently Asked Questions

For any consumers in the market for more sustainable products, there are usually a lot of questions prior to any purchase. And the purchase of Cariuma sneakers isn’t any different. So we wanted to answer the most common questions from consumers prior to making the leap into Cariuma shoes.cariuma-ibi-sneaker

Are Cariuma sneakers washable?

Yes, they are washable. Just toss them in the washing machine on the cold cycle and use gentle detergent. Once they’re done, then air dry or line dry them for the best results.

What is Cariuma’s return policy?

Cariuma has just expanded their returns and exchange window to 60 days. During this window of time, they will happily take back any unworn and unwashed products. However, if you have worn your shoes outside, or washed them, then you’re going to be out of luck. So, it’s best to wear them around the house for a bit first to make sure the fit is spot on before you trek outside.

Cariuma cannot take back any of their made to order products (for obvious reasons), insoles, laces, or socks. These items are all final purchases. However, for the products Cariuma will take back, you will get a free shipping label to return them. Once everything has made it back to Cariuma for inspection, you will then be refunded the full amount you paid for the product, minus any shipping fees, duties, and/or taxes.

Does Cariuma run true to size?

For the most part, Cariuma shoes do run true to size. The brand states if your size varies between half sizes, then it’s best to go up to the next size. For example, if you can wear either an 8 or 8 ½, depending upon the brand, going with an 8 ½ would be the best choice here. And this also might help with the smaller toe box issue as well.

Does Cariuma allow preorders?

Yes, they do. Cariuma offers the chance for consumers to preorder special releases or new products coming out ahead of time. If you do this, they will send you an update as to when the expected release date will be for your preorder. However, if you order any other products with the preorder please be aware that they will be held until all products are in so they can be shipped at once.

Cariuma Sustainable Shoes Summary

Ultimately, Cariuma seems to be a sneaker company on a larger mission. While they are creating long lasting, sustainable, classic style sneakers, they are also working hard to improve their global footprint. 

They offer a wide variety of colors and styles to choose from. Plus, every time a purchase is made, trees get planted to help their reforestation philanthropy. It will be interesting to see how this young company grows and changes in the near future and what new, cool, sustainable products they come out with.

Exclusive Offers

Cariuma

IBI Knit

$98

Cariuma

Canvas OCA Low

$79

Cariuma

OCA High

$98

Cariuma

IBI High Knit

$129