M&S under fire for 'vegan' trainers - that are just like any other sneakers

M&S are selling vegan trainers as part of an extensive range of footwear "free from animal derivatives" [Image: M&S]

Veganism has never been more popular - with the number of people adopting a plant-based lifestyle rising by 62% last year.

However, it’s not just food chains like Greggs and its meat-free ‘steak’ bake joining the lucrative party, which will see the industry worth £659m by 2021.

Now, fashion brands like Marks & Spencer are getting in on the action too.

The retailer has launched an extensive range of “Vegan Footwear” which includes over 75 products - including 15 pairs of trainers.

READ MORE: M&S launches new 'magic jeans' with tummy flattening technology

However, it has been pointed out by The Sunday Times that marketing sneakers as “vegan” could be a little misleading, since they have always been vegan.

They note that most regular trainers are made from rubber, plastic and polyester, and they aren’t tested on animals.

The paper also flags that the Vegan Society, who created the term “vegan” in 1944, have an approval scheme for products which can be marketed as vegan - and trainers aren’t included.

Despite this, the chain has used the same green and purple ‘V’ logo on its kicks that it uses on its vegan food.

The chain are selling sneakers with the same purple and green "V" logo that it uses on vegan food [Image: M&S]

READ MORE: Should vegans be given their own shelf in the office fridge?

Describing its vegan footwear on its website, M&S write: “Embrace earth-friendly style with our women's vegan shoes made from durable materials.

“Whether you're after faux-fur boots or sharp stiletto heels in a wide fit, our vegan footwear collection is free from animal derivatives.”

They are selling a pair of ‘Ribbon Detail Lace Up Trainers’ for £29.50 that they say are made from “vegan-friendly materials”.

Another pair, the ‘Leopard Print Trainers’ priced at £45, are described as having a “vegan-friendly construction”.

READ MORE: Caffè Nero becomes first high street coffee shop to launch vegan croissants

In a comment, M&S responded to the paper: “All our vegan-friendly products feature our widely recognised and long-standing vegan logo, which we use across clothing and food.

“Our synthetic footwear suppliers follow our vegan-friendly processes, covering every element of production and every material they use, and we make sure these standards are being met.”

It comes as the retailer launched a range of “magic jeans” with tummy flattening technology.

The high-waisted denim, which comes in both straight and skinny styles, combines their innovative bi-stretch fabric with 360 control technology to provide comfort and hold.

READ MORE: The Duchess of Cambridge's classic white Superga trainers are currently on sale

If you’re in the market for a new pair of kicks, Kate Middleton is a huge fan of Superga 2750 Cotu Classic trainers.

She has been spotted wearing them at numerous royal engagements over the years.

This included last summer at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and also in 2016 during a royal tour to Canada.

Her go-to canvas shoes usually retail at £55, however they are on sale on Amazon currently for £30.

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