Imagine getting ready for the day, opening your wardrobe to figure out what you should wear, and a whole pile of clothes and unworn shoes rains down on you. You look down to see shirts you’ve forgotten about, trousers so wrinkled you don’t remember the last time you’ve worn them, and shoes cramped together with their tags still on.
What do you do? Well, you could take those and stuff them in a different wardrobe, keep the extra footwear under the bed for the time being, or, you could instead consider this as a wake-up call to change how you use what you have in your wardrobe, and when you need to, shop for new pieces. And we like to call that approach the Earth-conscious approach to clothing, footwear, accessories, you name it.
Let’s zoom in on footwear for the moment. But before we do, what is Earth-conscious footwear in the first place? Earth-conscious footwear is simply footwear that is high quality, serves you for a long time on multiple occasions, promises durability, and pairs super well with a number of outfits without wreaking havoc on your carbon footprint. These could be new pairs that you buy or the ones that you already own! It’s all about a shift in perspective. You’ll see why in just a moment.
Having an earth-conscious approach to your footwear can either mean taking extra care of them (hence, not stuffing them altogether in a wardrobe) to ensure longevity, or going the extra mile to invest in a responsibly produced pair when you need to.
How can an Earth-conscious approach to using and buying your footwear help you?
Sure, it is exciting to buy a new pair of shoes every month as per the rise and fall of fashion trends. But, if you are someone who is looking to curate a wardrobe that serves you, and not the other way around, it may be time to ask some hard questions:
- Can I curtail to just a few pairs of my favorite footwear instead of multiple?
- How can I take care of my shoes better so they last long?
- If I want to buy a new one, is there any I can donate to replace it?
- Can I recycle my old, worn-out shoes so they don’t end up in landfills?
Every year, 23 billion shoes are made, and 22 billion thrown in the landfills. That would not be the case if we simply adopted a responsible approach to our footwear, as many of us may already do to our diet, air travel, energy consumption, transportation habits, etc. Let’s not forget that the footwear industry is, after all, responsible for 1.4% of greenhouse gas emissions (Source: Quantis).
So, besides decluttering your wardrobe, and making your loved pairs of shoes last longer, having an Earth-conscious approach to footwear will ensure that you do your bit to reduce your carbon footprint in your consumption habits.
Buying Earth-conscious footwear
If you are considering buying a new pair of shoes, we suggest investing in a responsibly-made pair that is made from recycled materials, promises longevity, and is awesome enough for you to want to wear for a lifetime.
Besides, the production of conventional footwear involves various harmful processes, such as intensive water consumption, chemical usage, and carbon emissions. Traditional footwear manufacturing also relies heavily on non-renewable resources like fossil fuels and virgin plastic. Earth-conscious footwear, on the other hand, utilizes sustainable materials such as recycled plastics, organic cotton, and natural rubber. Harmful chemicals used in the production process can contaminate water bodies and pose risks to both ecosystems and human health. Earth-conscious footwear brands prioritize cleaner manufacturing methods, opting for non-toxic dyes, water-based adhesives, and reduced chemical usage.
More than a guide to shopping, a claim on a tag, or a buzzword, Earth-consciousness is a perspective shift, a change in approach to not just footwear, clothes, or fashion in general, but how we consume things we love with responsibility and accountability to ourselves, and to the planet. It’s an aspect of a holistically sustainable life that is more than just about buying new things.
However, if you do consider a new purchase, keep in mind that sustainable options are available, and with just a minute’s thought, you could be doing your bit in taking one step forward in reducing the carbon footprint of your wardrobe and opting for footwear that is value for money, comfortable, long-lasting, and of course, stylish.