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What’s the impact of the traditional footwear industry on the environment?
28 February, 2019

It is no news to anyone that Portugal is a reference in the footwear industry, the so-called “sexy industry”.

However, we all know that the footwear industryis mostly related to leather footwearand 100% cruelty. My question is: and where is the sexiness in the middle of it all?

Just so you get an idea: those leather boots that you may have already had, or that you’ve seen a relative of yours showing off with great pride in the fortune they spent or even, in the worst of scenarios, that you’re wearing now…

These boots have an ecological footprint of about 88.36 m2 …??Unbelievable, huh?!

But this is the real space that one, just one of the millions of leather footwear that are produced only in Portugal and per year, occupies for the environment.

And you are asking yourself at this moment: Why? What does a simple, helpless pair of traditional footwear have that’s so damaging to the environment?!

Therefore, and so that you have no doubt, I will make a small overview of all the most significant environmental aspects that certainly will not leave you indifferent:

Large production of solid waste: footwear goes through various production processes and in each of these processes are generated various wastes such as leather, paper, oil, etc. Also, the footwear itself, at the end of their “life” becomes a residue, because it’s not recyclable, nor can it be reused.

Air and noise pollution: there are countless diseases from bacteria in the air, which we have heard talk in traditional media and, in fact, they do not happen by chance … In the traditional footwear industry, the application of finishing products, glues, hardeners, and even the heating boilers generate VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) substances which are quite harmful to our health and, at the same time, to the environment. The well-being of the populations is also compromised by the noise pollution, since, a lot of the factories are in urban centers, in garages, generating a lot of noise for the population.

Water and soil contamination: footwear factories discharge waste water from sanitary use, paint booths and particle extraction and cleaning systems, where there is obviously a high concentration of chemicals. This situation is harmful to the human health and to the environment. The soil fertility is affected, as well as the plants that serve as food for humans and animals.

Animal abuse: behind thetraditional footwearindustry is the tanning industry which supplies the materials for the leather footwearproduction. A lot of the times the skins are imported from countries of the Asian continent, where the extreme animal abuses are well-known. Animals are enslaved and held hostage and the way they are disrespected and deprived of their dignity is at least shocking and devastating …  All of this has a gigantic environmental impact, resulting in species extinction and serious changes in the food chain.

Now what? You wonder… How will I know what to wear? Get to know better alternatives to the environment and animals in our online store.

And the question remains: How sexy do you consider this industry?