With climate change accelerating, it’s time to take action and help our planet out.
The fashion industry, including the shoe industry, is among the most polluting industries, and many companies do not care about anything other than profit, resulting in poor labor practices and environmental pollution.
Switching to ethical brands will do our environment a big favor, so in this article, we will share 5 tips to help you buy your next pair of sustainable sneakers that have reduced impacts on our one and only planet.
1. Buy From Eco-Friendly Brands
The easiest way to get sustainable sneakers is to buy from eco-friendly brands.
Eco-friendly brands strive to reduce the negative impacts their products have on the environment. Their raw materials come from ethical sources that are responsibly managed, like organic cotton and recycled polyester.
These brands make an effort to decrease energy and water consumption during the production process, they avoid harmful chemicals, and process waste responsibly. They often offer responsible packaging and carbon-offset shipping to reduce their carbon footprint and protect our planet.
Go to those brands’ about page and see if they are taking action to aid environmental protection. To make sure they are eco-friendly, here are some certifications to look out for:
- GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard)
- Cradle to Cradle Standard
Brands with those certifications meet high environmental and ethical standards, and they offer you assurances that the sneakers you’re wearing are environmental-friendly. So, next time you’re shopping for shoes, pay attention to these details.
2. Buy From Brands That Care About Their Workers
The shoe industry produces over 24 million pairs of shoes each year, and that contributes to a considerable percentage of CO2 emission. With lots of materials sourced unethically to reduce cost, not only our environment is harmed, but labor rights are also often violated.
Ethical brands care about their workers and they make sure an hour worked is an hour paid, and that workers receive a living wage. They fight against forced labor, child labor, harassment, and abuse. They create safe working environments for their workers and even give back to the local community.
Brands that treat their workers right won’t hide that fact, and you can often see it on their web pages. To make sure workers are treated fairly, here are some certifications to look for:
- B-Corp (Identifies brands that want to do good)
- Fair Trade Certified
- WRAP (World Responsible Accredited Production)
- SA8000 Standard
Companies with these accreditations meet high ethical standards, and their workers work in safe environments and are paid fairly. When looking for your next pair of shoes, don’t just focus on their style, pay attention to how companies treat their workers as well.
3. Shop Pre-Owned Goods
Give your neighborhood second-hand stores a visit and hunt for your new kicks there!
By giving second-hand goods a new life, you save them from ending up in landfills. Second-hand goods are also very affordable, so not only do you reduce waste, but you could also save some serious cash. Plus, you might also find a designer pair with a much cheaper price.
With vintage fashion in style, there are also many online second-hand shops available, so you can upgrade your style and save our planet (and your money) at the same time.
4. Invest in High-Quality Products
Many sustainable sneakers are pricier than those from regular stores, but your money goes to a good cause.
Ethical brands pay their workers more than their competitors do, and they use materials of better quality. For example, footwear brand Baabuk pays their workers in Nepal 25% more than the national average salary, and the washing process of our wool is environmentally friendly because the water is recycled.
To reduce waste, most of these brands also offer high-quality products. Shoes you buy from them won’t be good for just a season. Instead, they are timeless pieces that go with everything.
If you do the math, you might find that it is more expensive to buy a pair of shoes every year than investing in a pair of shoes that lasts for years.
In the end, high-quality sustainable shoes are worth every penny you spend (and might even save you some).
5. Look into Sustainable Collections From Your Favorite Stores
Even though most big sneakers brands are not 100% eco-friendly, many of them are starting to catch up with the rise of ethical fashion.
Many brands have sustainable collections or are taking steps to be more eco-friendly. Nike currently uses the most recycled polyester in the industry and releases sustainable collections every year, and Adidas aims to use 100% recycled materials to make shoes by 2024.
These are just a few examples, so if you are a loyal customer of your favorite brands, switching to their sustainable collections is a good way to be more eco-friendly.
Our planet needs our help now more than ever, and it is up to us to make a change.
Sneakers are everyday essentials to all, and by wearing sustainable ones, you are doing our earth a huge favor. Next time you’re shopping for sustainable shoes, keep these 5 tips in mind and you will find your next best pair of eco-friendly go-tos.