We are hearing more and more about vegan shoes, sustainable shoes, or eco-friendly shoes. However, in the middle of so many names, do you really know what eco-friendly shoes are? If you're not sure, no problem, we understand and we're here to explain!
Eco-friendly shoes are any footwear that is related to the protection of nature and the environment. In this sense, for a shoe to be considered eco-friendly, it must comply with certain criteria:
The materials used in ecological shoes are what will differentiate a traditional shoe from an eco-friendly shoe.
For eco-friendly shoes, materials are chosen in order to reduce the consumption of carbon, the amount of water consumed and synthetic chemicals, as these are essential factors to be considered for the production of these shoes. What materials are used then? There are essentially three types of materials:
- Recycled materials: here, the aim is to reuse materials from recycling, instead of using raw materials;
- Vegetable materials: in this case, vegetable materials that are not fit for consumption, such as apple scraps from the food industry, are reused and transformed into leather;
- Natural materials: in this case, natural materials are used, such as organic cotton, which is less polluting.
The packaging should also be ecological, to be consistent with the concept of the eco-friendly shoes that will be inside and will go to your home. In this sense, it is important not to use plastic and to favour recycled materials.
Why is the place of production taken into account? Well, simply because if a brand produces eco-friendly shoes, it is because it is concerned with reducing environmental impacts. In this sense, it is not enough to produce shoes with more eco-friendly materials, we must also think about the environmental impacts related to all phases, from the moment of production until the order arrives at your home.
Proximity to the production location is very important because on the one hand it supports local businesses and on the other hand it also reduces the carbon consumption related to transport.
Have you ever wondered what happens when you throw away a pair of shoes? It's something most people don't even think about, but the final destination of traditional shoes is landfill. Also, these shoes take many years to decompose, making the environmental impacts even worse.
With ecological shoes, we don't want that, so we recommend donating them or selling them to second-hand shops if they are in good condition. If, on the other hand, they have arrived at the end of their life, they can and should be recycled so that they can be reused in new shoes.
Who should buy eco-friendly shoes?
It sounds like a stupid question, but the truth is that many people still think there is a specific public. You want to know the truth? There is no specific target public. Certainly, those who care more about the environment will certainly look more for this type of shoes, but anyone who likes the models can and should buy them. Besides, if nobody tells you that they are eco-friendly shoes, you won't even know the difference, because nowadays it is very easy to find models that follow this 'trend'.
And can vegans also buy eco-friendly shoes? In this case, it depends, because the eco-friendly shoes are related to the reduction of environmental impacts, not always implying the protection of animals. So, vegans should always inform themselves about the brand and the products before buying.
Eco-friendly shoes are therefore shoes that are, as far as possible, environmentally friendly at all stages of manufacture. However, it is also important to note that eco-friendly shoes should not be seen as perfect or as having no impact on the environment, as this is unfortunately impossible. Eco-friendly shoes should be seen then as shoes that try to minimise environmental impacts and are an alternative to traditional footwear!
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