When we think about the ways that we can positively impact the planet, and our current climate crisis, plenty of things come to mind. From ditching single-use items, downsizing to one car per family or no car, line drying our clothing, and so much more. However, one thing you may not give too much thought to is how you dress, from the hat on your head down to the shoes on your feet. These days, with a bigger focus on sustainable shopping than ever, more brands are jumping on the climate-friendly bandwagon – thankfully! If you’re looking for ways to help the climate through your clothing choices, keep reading to learn how your footwear impacts not just you but the planet and why eco-friendly shoes are the way forward.
Whether or not you decide to eat a vegan diet is completely up to you and such a personal decision. However, when it comes to your shoes, it’s worth going vegan for the planet. Did you know that it takes a traditional shoe nearly fifty years to break down once it’s in a landfill? Further, when it comes to shoes made with animal products like suede and leather, it impacts more than the animal from which it was made. One of the main reasons for the deforestation of the Amazon is cattle farming. Over half of the products made from cow leather today are, you guessed it – shoes. Next time you need a pair of sneakers, ditch the suede and leather details and purchase a vegan pair instead.
3D Printed Shoes
It takes almost 2300 gallons of water to manufacture one pair of shoes. Like most people drinking your recommended eight glasses of water, you’re consuming around 183 gallons of water a day – to put things in perspective. With exciting new technology like 3D printing available in our homes, it’s easier than ever to make your ideal shoe right at home. Of course, not everyone has the budget to buy their own 3D printer, but it’s easy to find companies that use this technology to manufacture footwear. If you’re passionate about saving the earth’s water for future generations and reducing your consumption at home, seek out brands that use this tech in their manufacturing. And while you’re at it, install a rain barrel in your backyard!
Match The Company’s Mission
Many brands have powerful mission statements that resonate with the climate-minded individual. When shopping for your next pair of loafers, sneakers, or black mens shoes for an upcoming event, make sure you’re shopping from a brand committed to the climate. From greener manufacturing practices, like how they package and ship, sustainable materials for their shoes, and more, you can also find brands that align with your mission. When you support brands that support the planet, you ensure these are the types of companies that will succeed, and the ones that ignore our climate crisis will fail.
Shoes are an essential wardrobe item; there’s no denying that. While nobody says that you need to become a minimalist – though there are significant environmental benefits to the lifestyle – the simple act of owning fewer shoes is a win for you and the planet. You win by saving money, not impulse shopping for shoes, and the earth wins in other ways. A huge area of climate benefit is decreased carbon dioxide. The manufacturing of just one shoe produces thirty pounds of carbon dioxide. Shockingly, there are more than fifteen billion shoes produced annually. You don’t need to be a mathematician to deduce that is a monstrous amount of carbon dioxide we can’t afford right now! After production, factor in the harmful emissions of transporting the shoes to retailers, and it’s alarming. Being mindful in your shopping when it comes to everything is beneficial, so if you haven’t, start applying that intentionality to your shoe shopping as well.
We are but stewards of this earth, and it’s more important than ever to remember the adage about leaving things better than we found them. You don’t have to be a parent to care about what type of environment will be left for future generations and be motivated to change your habits. Take one small step today by shopping for eco-friendly footwear.