Find The Perfect Pair: A Comprehensive Guide To Ethical And Sustainable Shoes
The fashion and footwear industries are as notorious as the food and wedding industries for their negative impact on the environment. However, athleisure brands are quickly catching up now and doing their part in developing innovative technology and making conscious choices to reduce their environmental impact. Shoes are a significant part of dressing your outfits up or down for any events and activities. Environmentally conscious people suffer the dilemma of prioritising their cool aesthetics and comfort v/s the health of the Earth. And many brands noticed this, so they are working hard to develop a vast collection of ethical and sustainable shoes. However, choosing what is right for you and for the environment and finding the right balance can get overwhelming, so here’s a guide to finding comfortable, stylish, but more importantly, ethical and sustainable shoes for your shoe rack to get along with multiple outfits.
Factors That Make Your Shoes Ethical and Sustainable
- Materials: Your shoe’s material plays a big role in making your shoes sustainable and ethical so pay attention to what kind of materials are used when designing your shoes.
- For example, shoes made with organic cotton are going to be lightweight, breathable, and sustainable. So, pick organic materials like cotton when choosing the perfect pair of shoes.
- Recycled materials: Synthetic materials like polyester that are made from recycled materials and processes will give your shoes more durability, stability, and a cleaner conscience when it comes to the environment. Recycled materials also make for very stylish-looking outsoles and uppers on your shoes.
- Vegan Leather: This type of synthetic leather is made from polyurethane. So, they are far more sustainably derived than real leather. Even though leather is not the most sustainable option compared to the other two up there, vegan leather made from recycled polyurethane is safe for the environment and your conscious lifestyle practices.
- Traceability of the Supply Chain: This is the most underrated and one of the most important steps in ensuring that your shoes are ethically and sustainably designed and created. Please do your research and ensure that whatever shoes you have fallen for are made with ethical supply practices. Check out and google as many cogs of the supply chain as you can. For example, look out from the reputed athleisure and footwear brands and their designers to their manufacturers, transporters, etc. Brands that are truly passionate about correct ethical practices and sustainability will voluntarily make this information transparently accessible.
- Labour Practices: If you simply google the location or name of the factory where your shoes were made, you will be able to find the addresses of the factories. This will inform you of any brands that are using unethical and meagerly-paid sweatshops as their main manufacturers. Reputed athleisure brands who are genuinely interested in sustainability will offer you all this information at the bottom of the descriptions of their shoe listings, including the manufacturer and their address. Unethical labour practices could involve (but are not limited to) overworking and underpaying their employees, working them in inhabitable environments, not providing them with the appropriate safety practices to do their jobs, etc.
More Brands are Becoming Conscious of their Environmental Impact
Various brands are providing their consumers with shoes designed and made from safe and trustworthy practices. Some brands are ensuring that at least 20-35% of the materials used in their shoes are sustainably sourced and derived from natural elements like the inedible parts of sugarcane. Similarly, brands are also using recycled materials to make their uppers and laces, so the shoes are more sustainable than not. Unfortunately, most popular and reputed athleisure and footwear brands have a long way to go when it comes to sustainable shoes. Still, they are doing their best to innovate sustainable technology for their shoes, and it is a fantastic beginning for all!
Cleaning and Maintenance Advice
- Most esteemed athleisure brands have made maintaining and cleaning your shoes very easy, especially with their materials. Most sustainable and ethically-sourced shoes can be wiped down with a damp cloth for regular maintenance.
- If you must clean your shoes thoroughly every once in a while, handwashing them increases your shoes’ durability.
- So, just in case your shoes are innately sustainable, another way to practice sustainability is not replacing your shoes willy-nilly. The sustainable thing to do is maintain your shoes properly so you can use them for a long time and minimise the wear and tear so you can get the most out of your shoes even when they get old.
Even in a world that is rapidly changing to reduce its environmental impact, practising sustainability and making ethical choices and decisions can still be tough. So, when you are browsing the internet to buy best shoes online, please make well-researched and wise choices. Reducing our environmental impact is an urgent matter. It is not just for future generations anymore; it is a vital move for our own healthy living. So, choose wisely, look cool, and feel comfortable in ethically designed, sourced, and sustainably produced shoes.