Finding new sustainable clothing brands is easier than ever these days. New companies keep popping up that use ethically sourced materials and employ fair labor practices. Footwear is one area that has seen lots of growth recently, so if you’re on the market for a new pair of shoes, here are a few places to look:
Allbirds rose to fame for being extremely comfortable, but in addition to their style and comfort they offer, the company also uses ethical ZQ Merino Wool, FSC certified wood, and laces made from recycled plastic.
Toms is also a well known company for donating a pair of their shoes to a child in need for every pair bought, but in addition to their charitable practices they also have started using more sustainable materials in their shoes.
Veja is a French sneaker company that uses Fair Trade certified materials produced by family farms. All of their packaging is made of recycled and recyclable cardboard.
It’s also important to keep in mind that being frugal actually doesn’t always pay off– both for your wallet or for the Earth. Since most shoes are mass produced and inexpensive, and because trends come and go so quickly, the average person sends three pairs of shoes to the landfill every year. Well-made shoes last longer and the companies that make them are often better employers– large scale shoe factory workers only earn 2% of the final price of each shoe they make. Buying sustainable footwear is better for the Earth and its inhabitants. For more information on sustainable shoes, visit Better Shoes Foundation.
Written by Isabel Lieberman, Class of 2021