Sustainable Shoes

The Case for Sustainable Shoes

With the growing awareness of consumers, the demand for environmentally sustainable products is rising with every passing day. This applies to the case of products like shoes. Fashion trends are being impacted by vegan and recyclable shoes.

Fast fashion in the shoe industry is being replaced by sustainable alternatives created in environmentally friendly modes. Noting this, more and more shoe brands have come forward and begun producing sustainable footwear for children, men, and women.

Many footwear companies are investing in csr activities. Sustainable footwear helps to reduce waste dumped in landfills, reduces the consumption of water in the process of manufacture, saves electricity, lowers the emission of poisonous CO2, and saves animals from cruel slaughter.

As such, buying sustainable footwear implies investing in the well-being of the planet. Such footwear is no different from other footwear in terms of style, comfort, or cost. They come in trendy styles and designs at attractively affordable rates. 

Environmental Impact Of The Footwear Industry 

Though shoes comprise only a tenth of the revenue of the fashion industry, they account for a tremendous one-fifth of the environmental impact of the industry. 20 million shoes are manufactured annually around the world.

In the process of manufacturing shoes, there is a leak of fossil fuels, chemicals, and toxins into the environment. The most damaging stage of shoemaking is during its manufacture. For the mass production of shoes, a huge quantum of machinery and chemicals are required. 

They need the use of much quantity of fossil fuels which result in the generation of greenhouse gases. It is estimated that every shoe produces 30 pounds of CO2 emissions. Another environmentally damaging aspect of shoes is the cost of transport. Most shoes are imported from different corners of the world.

The materials used to make shoes also damage the environment. Tanning chemicals and chemical adhesives can be easily leached into water sources and pollute the surrounding environment.

The Application Of Sustainability

Different brands put priority on different issues of sustainability. For corporate responsibility, one company may recycle discarded shoes while others may manufacture shoes locally, avoiding costs of transport. Thus, all shoe brands may not be sustainable in all the following aspects:

  • Materials

The manufacturing process of synthetic material may generate much material that harm the environment. So, some manufacturers go in for natural products like cork, rubber, or wool. Others may opt for recycled materials like old shoes like the case of

  • Process of manufacture

Several brands of sustainable shoes focus on a clean manufacturing process. It is up to discerning customers to encourage the efforts of such brands.

  • Location of manufacture

When shoes are manufactured locally, the cost and impact of transporting shoes are reduced, which also helps reduce their carbon footprint by reducing the carbon emissions of transporting vehicles. Also, wages and working conditions are fairer when manufacturing is completed locally.

  • Concerns about animal welfare

Though some prefer leather shoes, there are many others who prefer vegan shoes that do not exploit animals in their production.

  • Sound business practices

Some consumers may be attracted by novel business practices like using recycled packaging material or pledging in-house efficiency measures to reduce their carbon footprint.

In sum, methods like recycling shoes, buying vegan shoes, and adopting environmentally friendly manufacturing and transport help to accomplish the goals of promoting sustainable footwear.

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