Shoes are part of our daily lives that carries us from all sorts of places. And since shoes have become essential things that we need, the production of them continues to inflate. Well, it’s nice that we have enough supply of shoes, but the shoe production is not helping the environment. The industries of shoes are emitting green gasses that highly contribute to global warming.
Fortunately, manufacturers of sustainable shoes are also growing, which is a big stepping stone for a sustainable environment. Although we might not be that close to bringing sustainability to the world, it can be the start.
We have heard about sustainable shoes, but we are still not sure if what makes a shoe sustainable. Is it the materials alone? Or there’s something else?
What Makes Sustainable Shoes?
Sustainability can refer to a variety of things, but it all boils down to one big idea: meeting needs while conserving for the future. Therefore, the materials to make shoes should be coming from renewable or recycled resources.
Sustainable Shoes made from Renewable Resources
In making sustainable shoes, materials should come from renewable resources such as natural fibers. Examples of natural fibers are cotton, wool, hemp, and leather which are suitable to make shoes.
What makes these fibers sustainable? Since plants and animals can replenish these materials, unlike petroleum being a non-renewable resource. So, shoe manufacturers should focus more on using these materials to maintain sustainability.
Sustainable Shoes from Re-purposed Materials
Another way to make sustainable shoes is through using re-purposed materials such as leaves or trunks of plants, and recyclable wastes. There are plenty of vegan shoes made from leather-like materials processed from pineapple leaves. Some companies are also making use of mushrooms to make leathers as well.
Additionally, textiles made from recycled plastic bottles have become one of the materials for sustainable shoes as well, It does not only sustain the materials but also helps reduce wastes.
However, it is not only the important materials; it is also the manufacturing process. Manufacturing shoes uses a lot of energy, petroleum, and other non-renewable resources, which reduces the positive impact of sustainable shoes. Therefore, shoe companies must prioritize sustainable production.
But the problem is, it can be difficult to identify companies that practice ethical and sustainable production because some are not transparent. Fortunately, organizations exist to assist people in determining whether or not a brand practices sustainability.
Sustainable shoes can be a step closer to achieving a sustainable and clean environment. However, we should also know the materials and how these shoes are made to help conserve the resources. We should act together because one company alone is not enough– it should be all of us.