Hemp - used to make textiles since 8,000 BC - is more environmentally friendly, warmer, and faster to grow than cotton. It's benefits haven't been fully appreciated over the past century in North America, but it's enjoying a renaissance of late. Designers have both mixed it with silk for lingerie and fashioned the durable fibre into jeans. It's even been worked into sport clothing.

Hemp's rugged qualities also make it ideal for use in fashion-forward footwear - as these cutting-edge designs from Nike, Adidas, and TOMS demonstrate.

1. Nike SB Dunk Low Premium "Hemp"

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Nike's Hemp Dunk Low, new for 2016, has a hemp upper featuring a switched leather Swoosh. Hits of orange and green perk up the tongue and heel, while a white midsole, dark laces, and matching outsole provide added contrast. Set to release in Europe on April 15 at retailers like ZUPPORT: stateside drop is expected April 20.

2. Adidas Seeley

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Old-school look, new school feel: the Seeley is a rugged skate shoe with a black or cream hemp upper, classic Adidas three-stripe, extra padded collar, and vulcanized outsole for optimal skate grip.

3. TOMS Earthwise Vegan Hemp Slip-On

Lightweight hemp shapes this slip-on with the signature TOMS toe box. No animal by-products or products tested on animals, means they're great for the vegan in your life. Plus, you can feel good about shelling out for these: with every pair you purchase, TOMS gives a pair of new shoes to a child in need.

banner image: Shutterstock / SergANTstar