If you’re making changes to your lifestyle in an attempt to go green or be more eco-friendly don’t forget your wardrobe. Sometimes we think about making changes when it comes to our food, the car we drive, and our appliances. But the clothes that we choose can also have a huge impact on the environment. Of course, second-hand shopping, is a great alternative, but if you’re buying new consider more sustainable choices. Today we want to discuss the importance of organic shoes, recycled shoes, and the benefit that an ethically made pair of shoes can have on the environment.
What are sustainable shoes?
You may not think that organic shoes are a thing. After all, we associate the term “organic” with our food and even our skincare, but seldomly our clothing and shoes. Thankfully, shoe brands now offer organic or ecological shoes. The shoes are made using sustainable and ethical materials.
Sustainable shoes are made with natural materials (natural fibres) or recycled materials, and using a renewable material makes a huge positive impact on the environment.
Some of the sustainable materials used to make shoes are;
- sugar cane,
- organic cotton,
- and even agricultural waste products like pinatex, made from pineapple!
Merino wool is a very sustainable material. It is often used in shoes, but is not a vegan friendly option. Merino wool is often considered ethical wool, and for some, merino wool is the best option for wool. Mulesing-free sheep wool is also a better option (you can find out what mulesing is here) but some people prefer to avoid wool altogether.
If you are looking for sustainable and vegan options you’re in luck as the shoe industry has realised there is a market for vegan shoes. Vegan shoes are made using no animal products and sustainable practices. On top of that your pair of shoes will likely be made using PVC, an alternative to leather, whose many benefits is being water resistant.
Vegan shoes will require a different type of care though, so don’t think that you can chuck them in the wash like you do with your traditional pair of sneakers. Organic shoes are usually not machine washable, and you will need to wash the different parts of the shoes separately (think insoles and shoe laces), but each brand will have its own recommendations.
Why should we be conscious about our shoes?
The fashion industry is one of the world’s worst polluters. This is why it’s worth noting the environmental impact our fashion choices have on the world. When choosing eco-friendly shoes you can rest assured that they are made of high quality raw materials like;
- organic cotton canvas,
- vegan leather,
- eucalyptus tree fiber and,
- natural latex.
This means that by using renewable materials you help reduce the adverse effects on the environment usually created during the production process.
Did you know about recycled shoes?
Recycled shoes are a great option if you’re making the swap to eco-friendly shoes. Recycled shoes are made out of recyclable materials like recycled water bottles. They are made using different materials so are also made using some of the other sustainable materials we mentioned before.
Whilst recycled shoes aren’t going to be compostable, you’ll feel better knowing that you took plastic bottles out of the landfill and made good use for them. It takes 11 plastic bottles to make a pair of shoes. Even though plastic isn’t an ideal choice in general, it’s good that the plastic water bottles that have already been created are used.
From boat shoes to sustainable sneakers, there are many options for sustainable footwear. When it’s time to pass on or donate your old shoes do consider making the change to more sustainable options.