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What is Sustainable Footwear – A Helpful Guide

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What is sustainable footwear? It is a type of shoe, trainer, or boot made with fewer materials or ones that are environmentally friendly and can be reused or recycled.

When looking for sustainable footwear, it is important to consider the materials used in the construction of the shoe. Some sustainable natural materials include natural rubber, cork, bamboo, and organic cotton.

Shoes made from materials such as recycled plastic bottles, old shoes, or tires are considered sustainable because they do not require new raw materials to be produced.

Sustainable footwear should also minimize negative environmental impacts during their design, manufacturing, and maintenance life cycles.

This kind of eco-friendly footwear is becoming more and more popular as people become more conscious of the environment. There are many different types of sustainable shoes, trainers, and boots available on the market today.

In this blog post, we will discuss some of the best footwear sustainability options currently available. We will also talk about why it is important to buy them and how you can find the best pair for you.

How shoe brands can be more sustainable

There are many different ways that shoe brands can become more sustainable. One way is to use recycled materials in their shoes.

Some brands also use biodegradable materials, which break down naturally over time. Others focus on creating shoes that are easy to recycle or reuse.

There are also a number of shoe companies that offer repair services for shoes, which helps to reduce the amount of waste produced.

Another important aspect of sustainability is responsible manufacturing. This includes ensuring that shoes are made in a way that does not damage the environment.

For example, some brands use water-based glues instead of toxic solvents. They also make sure that their factories comply with environmental regulations and use sustainable energy sources.

Sustainable footwear is not only good for the environment, but it is also good for your health.

Many sustainable shoes are designed to be comfortable and supportive. They can help to prevent foot problems such as blisters and corns. In addition, they often feature breathable materials that keep your feet cool and dry.

Why should you consider buying sustainable shoes?

There are many reasons why sustainable footwear is a good choice. It can help to reduce your carbon footprint and save resources.

In addition, you will be doing something positive for the environment by purchasing these products!

Eco-friendly footwear is often made from recycled materials such as plastic bottles or old tires.

These materials would otherwise go into landfills where they will take up space and may even release harmful chemicals into the air if burned instead of being recycled properly.

By choosing to purchase shoes that use recycled materials, you are helping to reduce your impact on climate change.

There is less waste (e-waste) produced during their production than with traditional methods used in manufacturing other types of footwear.

The environmental impact of the footwear industry is significant.

The footwear industry alone is responsible for a high proportion of all carbon emissions, which contributes to climate change and global warming.

The use of leather requires large amounts of energy and water to produce and causes pollution due to tanning chemicals.

In an MIT study, it was found that manufacturing a typical pair of running shoes generates approximately30 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, which is the equivalent of burning a 100-watt light bulb for seven days.

If we all make a concerted effort to buy shoes made of sustainable materials whenever possible, we can help to reduce this number!

Guide to buying sustainable footwear – How to know if footwear is sustainable or not

Sustainable footwear is becoming more and more popular. However, it can be difficult to know which brands are truly sustainable and which ones are just using greenwashing as a way to make money off of consumers who care about the environment.

To help you find the best footwear made from sustainable materials, we have created a guide with three questions you should ask yourself before buying any new pair of shoes.

1. Do they use recycled or natural materials?

The first question is whether or not the brand uses recycled or natural resources rather than synthetic materials in their products. This typically means less strain on resources like water and energy because it takes less time to produce something using recycled materials than it does to extract and process new resources.

For example, some of Nike’s sustainable shoes use what they call ‘Flyleather’ which is made from at least 50% upcycled leather scraps that would have otherwise gone to waste.

The company estimates that for every pound of Flyleather produced, they save twenty-five gallons of water.

Patagonia shoes are made from recycled plastic water bottles, while Adidas creates running shoes out of old ocean waste.

Although you could class leather as a natural product the leather industry and the global leather supply chain is responsible for releasing toxic chemicals during the processing of leather shoes.

Look for alternatives like vegetable-tanned leather or alternatively vegan leather shoes where possible.

So if you’re looking for a shoe brand that is mindful of the environment and its resources, look for one that uses recycled or natural quality materials, rather than man-made process-intensive materials.

2. Do they have a commitment to sustainability?

The next question to ask is whether or not the company has a commitment to sustainability.

This means that they are not just using recycled materials in their products, but also working to reduce waste and energy use throughout the entire manufacturing process.

Fair trade practices, ethical working conditions, and fair labor practices also figure strongly here. Although ethical manufacturing is not strictly linked to sustainable manufacturing processes in respect to working conditions.

Ethical production does however link to minimize negative environmental impacts and an ethical supply chain. Ethical shoe brands are usually looking for continuous improvement in all of the above areas.

For example, Reebok has a program called “Eco-Design” which works with suppliers who share its values of reducing environmental impact while maintaining quality control standards.

Another example is Timberland’s “eco-index,” which rates its products on a scale of one to three based on how well they meet certain sustainability criteria.

3. Do they use renewable energy?

The third question you should ask yourself when looking at sustainable footwear brands is whether or not they are using renewable energy sources in their manufacturing process.

This means that the company is not only reducing its environmental impact but also offsetting it by using energy from renewable resources like wind or solar power.

For example, Allbirds uses a combination of recycled materials and renewable energy in their production process.

Their “Wool Runners” are made from sustainably sourced wool, while their “Tree Runners” are made from eucalyptus trees that have been grown without pesticides or herbicides.

The future of sustainable footwear

The future of sustainable footwear is bright. There are many options out there for eco-friendly shoes and the footwear industry is growing rapidly, so keep your eyes peeled for new sustainable brands as they pop up!

As you can see, there are many different ways to make sustainable footwear. It is not just about finding the right brand but also asking yourself what your values are when it comes to sustainability and what you are willing to compromise on.

So next time you’re in the market for a new pair of shoes, keep these questions in mind and find a pair that is good for both you and the environment.

Sustainable shoe brands

Where can you find sustainable footwear that’s affordable and stylish?

1. Able

When it comes to sustainable fashion, Able is a brand that you can trust. The company produces shoes made of ethical materials that are sourced sustainably and manufactured responsibly. In addition to being environmentally friendly, Able’s shoes are also stylish and comfortable.

Able take the environment into account in every step of the shoe-making process. For example, the company uses organic cotton and recycled polyester in its footwear to reduce waste.

The sole of each shoe is made from a rubber compound that includes repurposed tires as an ingredient, which saves plastic from ending up in landfills or oceans around the world. Able also donates shoes to those who need them most through its One for One program.

If you’re looking for a pair of shoes that are good for your feet and the planet, Able is a great option. With so many styles to choose from, you’re sure to find a pair of sustainable sneakers, sandals, or boots that fit your needs and look great too!

2. Allbirds

Allbirds is one of the leading brands in sustainable shoe production, and they offer a wide range of products for both men and women. In addition to being environmentally friendly, Allbirds shoes are also stylish and affordable.

Founded in 2014 by Tim Brown and Joey Zwillinger. They use wool from New Zealand merino sheep to make their shoes. The wool insulation helps regulate temperature and manages moisture. In addition, all of the dyes used in the shoes are non-toxic.

Allbirds also partner with Trees for the Future to plant a tree for every pair of shoes sold.

One issue with sustainable clothing brands is that they can be more expensive than traditional brands. However, Allbirds offers competitive prices given the quality of their products.

If you are interested in buying shoes made from sustainable materials, Allbirds is a great option. They offer a wide range of products for men, women, and children. You can also order their shoes online or in-store.

3 Nisolo

Nisolo is a sustainable shoe brand that creates beautiful, high-quality shoes. Nisolo focuses on using environmentally friendly materials and ethical production practices.

All of Nisolo’s shoes are made in Peru, which allows the company to have close relationships with its shoemakers and support local economies.

In addition to being environmentally friendly and ethically produced, Nisolo’s shoes are also affordable, making them a great choice for those looking for sustainable footwear.

Check out Nisolo to learn more about its mission and see its collection of stylish shoes!

4. Veja

Veja is a sustainable shoe brand that offers high-quality, stylish shoes at an affordable price. The company uses sustainable materials like organic cotton, wild rubber, and recycled plastic to create its shoes.

What’s more, Veja partners with the Rainforest Alliance to ensure that its materials are sourced responsibly. In addition, for every pair of shoes sold, Veja donates money to charity.

Veja also offers a variety of styles and colors so you can find the perfect pair of shoes for you.

If you’re looking for a stylish and affordable shoe brand that is environmentally friendly, Veja is a great option. Check out Veja to learn more about their products and how they help the environment.

5. Thousand Fell

Thousand Fell is a sustainable shoe brand that creates shoes out of natural materials like cork, wool, and organic cotton.

The company uses recycled and upcycled materials whenever possible in the construction of its shoes.

They are also a cruelty-free brand, meaning they do not use any animal products in the manufacture of their shoes.

In addition to being environmentally friendly and cruelty-free, Thousand Fell’s shoes are also stylish and comfortable.

If you’re looking for a sustainable alternative to your current footwear collection, be sure to check out Thousand Fell’s line of shoes! You won’t be disappointed.


One of the most popular sustainable shoe brands on the market is TOMS. The company was founded in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie, who was inspired to create a business model that would help those in need.

TOMS is a company that focuses on the social and environmental benefits of buying fair-trade products. For every pair of shoes purchased a new pair is donated to a child-in-need through their One-for-One initiative. TOMS also takes sustainability into account throughout its manufacturing process.

They use recycled and reclaimed materials whenever possible, and partner with factories that meet high environmental standards. By choosing TOMS shoes, you can feel good about helping others while also supporting sustainable practices.

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Authored by: Mila

Mila is passionate about living sustainability and encouraging others to do the same. Writing about practical steps we can all take to reduce our impact on the environment.