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Sustainability and Eco Friendly: The New Way to Shop for Footwear

As consumers, we often make decisions with little thought to the overall impact on the environment and society, but as we become more socially conscious, we are becoming more aware of the consequences of our actions. Fortunately, many newer companies and established ones lead the way to help us all positively impact society and our planet.

As our social consciousness grows, our way of shopping is changing.

Reason for change

The Shoe Industry estimates that 20 billion shoes are produced every year, and about 300 million shoes end up in landfills. Many of these shoes can take up to 40 years to decompose, and rubber soles can take 80 years.

Sneakers alone create a substantial environmental footprint. A study at MIT reports that one pair of running shoes will generate an average of 30 pounds of carbon dioxide. That is equivalent to burning 15 pounds of coal from just one pair of sneakers.

As our social consciousness grows, our way of shopping is changing.

The world is changing, and people are learning to be more aware of how our choices affect not only others but also the environment and are now demanding businesses provide sustainable and eco-friendly items.

To be eco-friendly means respecting the environment and striving not to bring it harm. Sustainability refers to the social, economic, and environmental impact on our future well-being. Consumers want to know how a company treats its workers, its effect on society, and its use of recyclables and sustainable materials when making their buying decisions.

Making a difference

Traditional materials are quickly being replaced by renewables such as eucalyptus, merino wool, hemp, cotton, and vegan materials. But that is just one part of the equation. When designing footwear, eco-friendly companies also engage in buyback and repair programs.

The return of the shoe repair is a service Vivobarefoot offers called ReVivo. Their skilled craftspeople will recondition your shoes, extending their life, or you can send them in when you are done with them, and they will try to refurbish them and resell them to keep them out of the landfill.

Adidas and Parley have collaborated to develop shoes made from recycled ocean plastic trash while using low water and low energy. Their running shoe was rated #8 in Best Sustainable Running Shoes by Ecothes for 2022.

The products mentioned here are just a sampling of the ambitious companies making a conscious decision to make a difference in all of our futures.

Now the real question is, what will you choose?

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