Every day, more and more waste goes into landfills, further contributing to the destruction of our planet.
Yet despite this, the vicious cycle of buying and chucking continues — leading to more and more trash piling up.
It’s no secret the fashion industry is a huge culprit when it comes to waste creation. Apart from encouraging people to always buy new things, the amount of materials that go to waste during production— and the chemicals used in the process— are other huge contributors to the damage we are doing to this planet. And the shoe industry is at the top of the list where damage is concerned. Not only is the waste created by the shoe industry harmful, but the cost of creating shoes also leaves a huge carbon footprint.
The Guardian reports that “A typical pair of synthetic trainers generates 30lbs of emissions, equivalent to leaving a 100-watt bulb burning for a week.”
To say that things need to change would be an understatement, and with evidence of our environment’s destruction all around us, it’s important to consider the personal changes we can each make to contribute to a greater future.
There are a number of brands with the same idea: If we can each do our part to do the best we can, eventually change will happen. For an introduction to some of the best sustainable shoe brands, keep reading so that you can begin to make changes for the best for our planet.
What started off as a venture to bring sustainable merino wool into the footwear industry is now one of the world’s most famous shoe brands. Making shoes with the environment in mind, Allbirds now has options made from trees, sugarcane, and their own signature blend “Trino” (a combination of tree + merino), in addition to their signature wool shoes. Additionally, the brand uses water bottles to craft laces, castor bean oil in the insoles and recycled cardboard for packaging. As a certified B Corporation, doing good for the world is at the top of the brand’s priorities list, and it shows. As far as style is concerned, the Wool Runners are the brand’s classic, but the Tree Breezers are also a great option for something a little more dressed up.
With a focus on transparency, VEJA “combines fair trade and ecology and links together economy, social initiatives and the environment.” Now sold at major retailers around the world, the French brand’s vegan shoes are now a staple for style stars around the world. With their classic look and comfortable fit, it’s not hard to see why these shoes have quickly become so beloved. Made from organic cotton and wild rubber, the WATA is your perfect daytime sneaker to wear with jeans or dresses, while the V Knit VEJA X Rick Owens Black Pierre is perfect for a sportier option.
Ethically made ALOHAS sandals are crafted in Spain from high-quality leather and recycled car tires. By focusing on the “Step by Step Project”, the brand is working to address all aspects of planet, people and profit. In addition to classic styles, ALOHAS is branching out to create shoes that are equally as chic as they are responsible. While they sell men’s shoes through a different brand, Apoint, the women’s options are unparalleled. Choose the Ibiza for walking around town, or the Sophie for a night out!
Will’s Vegan Shoes
Will’s Vegan Shoes has been on the forefront of vegan fashion since 2012, and the brand’s main aim is to help consumers make a positive choice. As a certified carbon neutral and vegan company, the brand definitely practices what they preach. One benefit of this brand is that they have a huge array of styles to choose from, whether you’re looking for brogues, flats or heels. Men will appreciate the Signature Brogues for work or Chelsea Boots for a more laid-back look. Women can’t go wrong with some classic Ballerina Flats, and we have a feeling that the Slingbacks would make some great, comfy work shoes.