There is no firm step towards a sustainable life without paying attention to our feet. It doesn’t matter how much we support clean energies, non-contaminating mobility or recycling , the path towards a society which looks after its environment isn’t worth a dime if it doesn’t pay attention to something so simple yet with such an impact, as the pair of shoes you wear.
What makes them so decisive? Why should you buy ecological footwear? We’ll give a few clues below:
Footwear manufacture – a crushing blow to the environment
With over 20,000 million pairs of shoes produced a year worldwide, knowing what each one means in terms of carbon footprint is critical; i.e. every single pair alone exceeds 10 kilos in emissions on average according to the CO2Shoe project.
Widening the spectrum, the industry emits 250 million tons of CO2 per year. The most harmful stage, although not the only one, is the manufacture of components for an industry, which in addition is not indifferent to delocalization. This circumstance increases the factors in play when wearing either a sustainable shoe or a conventional one.
The greater distance between production centers and markets increases emissions, in this case through transport. Moreover, the history of many shoes displayed in shopwindows is the abundance of chemical products used in production.
With lax labor and environmental regulations, places like China or India have become manufacturing epicenters. There, they resort to fossil energies for production processes or the application of toxic products to glue or dye parts is standard. This can be prevented; however, to do so, we must prioritize proximity markets and manufacturers who are transparent regarding their production chains. This demand is on the increase and led to the launching of initiatives like this.
However, so that changing shoes can change this dynamic we must also support handcrafted footwear manufactured with natural recycled and recyclable products, meaning glued becomes sewn; vegetable dye instead of chemical, and organic materials instead of plastic. But let’s not forget packaging because that also adds to the emissions.
Vegetarian for food only?
Not only the environment and people suffer with the conventional footwear industry but also animals. Are you a vegetarian who hasn’t paid attention to the kind of footwear you use? If that’s the case, then start checking the labels, because there are many species which can’t avoid being exploited in this industry, in addition to others of animal slaughter.
Sustainable footwear, which includes vegan footwear, offers alternatives for those who no longer wish to use shoes unless they are 100% free of animal components.
In this sense, El Naturalista has a vegan footwear line, characterized by not having any trace of animal components, in either the lining and cut or in the treatment and finish of the end product.
Old shoes? Add contamination non-stop
Now, that you know more about ecological footwear, are you going to replace your old shoes with some more ecofriendly? Well, beware, because the impact is non-stop, because old footwear is frequently thrown into the trash and from there to the tips.
During their decomposition, which may last 2 centuries, those chemicals used in the manufacture will impregnate soils and water once the shoe has disintegrated yet its print will persist. You don’t want to be a part of that, do you? So you have yet another reason to go for ecological footwear which is chemical free and manufactured with natural biodegradable materials.
At El Naturalista we are responsible and environment friendly through ongoing research, creating and innovating to achieve top quality sustainable footwear. In fact, all our production centers develop initiatives aimed at reducing climate change effects; energy saving ; efficient water use not to mention all resources, likewise correct waste management.
We have also improved use of materials, by using more natural raw materials and reusing all surpluses.
If among these reasons you’ve found the one to convert you to this kind of footwear, prioritizing conscientious shopping and product durability will also lend a helping hand. Just think that in Spain alone 102 million shoes year are sold per year. How and what are they made with? These questions should pop-up automatically to advance with your feet as well, towards a responsible sustainable society.