vegan footwear

A Guide to Selecting and Importance of Eco-Friendly Shoes

The world of organic or eco-friendly women’s shoes comprises respect for humans, animals, and the environment. We refer to eco-sustainable shoes when they are made of non-animal, vegetable fibres.

Examples are shoes made of vegetable tanned leather or natural rubber soles. Mostly, they may be made of cotton or hemp, but always avoiding animal-derived material. 

When you select footwear from the closet, your goal will be to get something comfortable and stylish. But today, a major concern is how the shoes impact the environment.

Following are some genres of top eco-friendly shoes:

  • Shoes made of recycled plastic
  • Zero-waste shoes
  • Shoes made of sustainable material
  • Shoes made with clean energy
  • Carbon neutral shoes
  • Vegan shoes

Though flipping over a pair of shoes while you shop for them can help in knowing the size of their physical footprint yet assessing their carbon footprint is not so easy. This is because many brands are not transparent in their dealings.

Therefore, most shoppers are unaware of the mode of operation of certain shoe companies. This includes information on where and how they source raw materials and who puts them all together. It is vital to understand that the same practices that went into the production of several classic brands are much less sound for the environment and the labourers who create them.

How to select?

For identifying a list of earth-friendly women’s shoes, brands can be compared on the basis of the following factors:

  • Sustainable material

Does the brand use sustainable or recycled materials to create its shoes? Some brands use post-consumption recycled materials like recycled paper or fibres from bottles made of plastic for both shoes and their packaging. Another consideration is the sourcing of naturally derived material like wool, cork, castor beans and sugar cane.

  • Transparency 

How much does the brand reveal its process of manufacturing materials and process? You must check out the commitment to the environment spelt out on the website of each brand. Check whether they are simply green washing their products (pretending to be eco-friendly).

  • Ethical standards 

Find out where the company manufactures the shoes and whether they ensure fair labour practices. Besides the environmental impact of shoe production, it is important to know how they treat employees. Look out for brand transparency and dedication to create safe and healthy working conditions as well as payment of fair wages.

  • Giving back

Put a priority on brands that are focused only on making money. Look out for shoe brands that like to give back to the community, like partnering with non-profit organizations engaged in initiatives like reforestation and recycling.

Why eco-friendly shoes?

Eco-friendly production implies manufacturing, keeping in mind the welfare of Mother Earth. For this, a company must be dedicated to sustainable manufacturing processes, use sustainable materials and incur the least amount of energy usage in production. This also includes a focus on using minimum chemicals, less water, and less creation of carbon emissions. The quality of life of workers engaged in production is another factor. Thus, the production of eco-friendly shoes is more intensive work compared to mass production.

Therefore, earth-friendly products are priced higher than regular items. The best part is that the more care invested in the production process, the better the quality of products. Hence, if higher prices shock, knowing the long-term value of the shoes and their impact on the environment will make it all worthwhile. 

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