Kicking it Green

Kicking it Green: The Rise of Sustainable Footwear

 

2019 was the year we saw a rise in climate-consciousness and social responsibility. Everyone was trying to do that little bit extra to help the environment and rightly so. We saw footwear brands make a transition too and begin working towards making sustainability a priority. But why?

 

It all starts with materials. Leather is made by tanning animal hides (skin) to stop the leather from degrading. Unfortunately, a lot of leather is tanned using processes that are harmful to the environment. Alongside this, deforestation is exacerbated by clearing space for livestock, and, not to mention the *ahem* greenhouse gasses produced by herds of livestock. Hence, the increasing demand for an eco-friendly alternative!

So, like me you’re probably wondering if there is an alternative and yes, there is! Vegan leather, the ethical and sustainable alternative, but how? First, to state the obvious vegan leather is not made from animal skin. The process to tan is also better as it is tanned with tannin, a natural substance that is found in tree barks, leaves and seeds etc. As tannin comes from nature it will of course be more environmentally friendly. But it must be noted that even if a material is faux leather AKA pleather, it does not mean it is 100% Vegan or environmentally friendly. Pleather still rely heavily on fossil fuels, so although it may not be using animal skin, it is still creating a negative impact on the environment, whereas vegan leather can be used with natural materials such as cork.

Bearing this in mind, we’ve pulled together a list of brands that are currently making moves to do their bit for the planet;

Veja

The French brand first introduced the V-10s in 2016 to celebrate Veja’s 10 year anniversary and has since been a staple piece in our wardrobe. The V-10 boasts a clean white leather pared-back silhouette with the signature V-shaped logo as a prominent feature. The trainer is crafted from sustainable and ecological materials, including organic cotton, wild rubber and recycled polyester.  Who said you can’t be sustainable and stylish, ay?

 

Dr. Martens

The iconic 8 eyelet boot boasts style and attitude whilst ticking the box of social responsibility. The Vegan 1460 is constructed with a Cambridge Brush non-leather material. The boot is a Doc through and through, as it features the DM’s signature branding, the yellow heel-loop, grooved sides and yellow stitches.

 

Vans

Serving shoes since the ’60s, Vans are easily one of the most loved footwear brands across the globe. The all-time classic can be worked in any wardrobe. The shoe is constructed with 100% Canvas meaning, yep you guessed it, it’s 100% Vegan.

 

Converse

Established in 1908, Converse is another brand that is favoured worldwide, whether you wear it beat down or box-fresh Converse will always remain to be cool and classic. Although the product is not constructed with canvas 100% the brand is consciously taking actions to take sustainability into account.

As the emphasis on sustainability continues in 2020 and beyond we will no doubt see more brands moving towards more ethical and sustainable practises.
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