A shoe is a shoe is a shoe, right? Not necessarily. We all need shoes. But, we don’t have to be pedestrian adj. COMMONPLACE, UNIMAGINATIVE pedestrians. There are a growing number of footwear companies that are offering environmentally friendly footwear. Some of those companies along with sample shoes and materials they use (or don’t use) in making their shoes (and we’ve included the links to give you an idea of the look — not as a recommendation to buy from any of these vendors, since there are quite a few vendors that offer these shoes and it’s best to comparison shop):
- Vans Mesa– hemp and premium textile upper, bamboo charcoal lined midsole, and water based inks
- Ethletic Flip Flop– fairtrade, biodegradable, 100% FSC-certified rubber soles, no animal glues, PVC, or EVA
- Nike Trash Talk basketball sneaker- upper sole is leather and synthetic waste, midsole is scrap foam, and outsole is Nike Regrind material made from footwear manufacturer scraps
- Simple Sno Tire– organic cotton canvas uppers, organic cotton linings with PET (recycled plastic bottles) laces and pedbeds, and the outsole used to be a car tire
- Keen Ventura– natural canvas uppers, recycled aluminum eyelets
- Chaco Hipthong Ecotread sandals- outsole is made from 25% recycled rubber
- Patagonia Pau– natural wool lining, sustainable harvested 70% hevea-milk latex outsoles that are stitched, not glued
- Teva Lennox sandals– straps are partially made of PET canvas, outsole is made of 50% post-consumer recycled rubber
- The North Face Creede– spun bamboo textile lining, plant cellulose fiber foam sock liner, 40% recycled rubber outsole
- Adbusters Blackspot Sneaker V1– 100% organic hemp, rubber sole and toe tip is 70% biodegradable
- Timberland has gotten creative with their industry first nutritional label that allows the buyer to see the Environmental Impact (energy used to maker per pair, renewable energy used), Community Impact (hours served in our communities, % of factories assassed against code of conduct, and child labor usage- always %), and where the shoe was manufactured. Their Mountain Sneaker has a lining made from sustainable, biodegradable merino wool, organically tanned full grain leather and fast growing hemp, and an outsole made with 30% recycled rubber.
- Po-Zu USA– offers a shoe called the Flynn that is made of un-bleached, un-dyed, organic tannec leather and pur vegetable rubber made from the silky sap of the Lectae Hevea tree. They also sell an edible shoe cream made from 100% coconut oil that is described as an ‘all-in-one’ beauty product that can be used as lip balm, skin moisturizer, hair conditioner, etc… and yes, you can even spread it on your toast!!! Does it get any better than that?!
These companies are not only environmentally friendly, but creative and innovative, as you can see from their products. Let’s hope that more and more footwear companies get into the eco-friendly shoe business- the more green choices we have, the better!