04 Mar Eco Footwear Favorites
What is it about shoes that we love so much? Maybe it’s because shoes are a great outlet for self expression..
But what can you do with the pairs that just can’t be mended anymore? Every year we each send an average of three pairs of shoes to the landfill. It provides some pause for thought about the materials that our shoes are made of. We love shoes here at Emi &Eve and we have taken on the challenge to find brands that are making efforts to be eco friendly while at the same time coming up with super stylish designs.
Here are some heroic eco footwear brands that have passed the stringent Emi &Eve style test:
Sometimes you want to look low-key, and sometimes you want to make a statement. Beyond Skin collections range from classic wedges through to statement heels – and most importantly, every single pair of Beyond Skin is vegan and produced with the environment in mind. Ten years ago founders Natalie Dean and Heather Whittle wanted to prove that stylish shoes don’t have to come at the expense of animals or the Earth. Ten years later, these inspiring entrepreneurs have done just that. Beyond Skin has been awarded eco style prizes (including the last year’s Observer Ethical Award) for its innovative, recycled materials and locally-based production processes. Small surprise the brand is a favorite amongst no-meat celebrities like Natalie Portman and Anne Hathaway. Beyond Skin is also worn by Red Carpet Green Challenge ambassadors on the red carpet at the Oscars proving the versatility of the brand as a commercial as well as evening wear supplier of great style.
PoZu does so many good things, it’s hard to know where to start. This eco shoe brand (whose name translates as “pause” in Japanese) wants you to stop and smell the roses – or at least stop and think about the environment from time to time. It’s about stepping out of our busy lives to remember the beauty of nature and the importance of protecting it. The designers behind PoZu shoes are concerned about the modern problem of mass production, and mass rubbish.
PoZu also fights against dangerous labor conditions and unacceptable pay. Instead of turning to low-wage factories, PoZu collaborates with traditional shoe artisans who are comfortable and safe at work, and paid well. Made from organic cotton and chrome-free suede, PoZu trainers are durable, environmentally-friendly and fiercely unique. And you can even design your own pair!
Back in 1975, the first ever Camper shoe was made of used canvas and recycled tires. Based in Spain, Camper has developed very strict sourcing policies and uses recycled rubber and plastic waste in various styles. Their passion for sustainable production led them to extend the brand reach by opening an eco friendly hotel in Barcelona that uses solar energy. While we are not too fond of their general hippy style, watch out for their collaborations that produce some very cool kicks. Below Camper x Bernhard Wilhelm.
Did you know that Melissa has been around since the 80’s? For nearly 30 years, Brazilian shoe brand Melissa has been working hard to design eco-friendly fashion footwear. Their shoes are manufactured from eco-friendly mono materials that can be easily disassembled and recycled, as well as being completely cruelty-free and non toxic. Production is 100% efficient, with no excess waste. Besides, this brand truly knows how to rock a designer collaboration, with the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld and even iconic architect Zaha Hadid coming up with unique styles each season.
A long time proponent of sustainable production methods, Nike is making great strides in eco friendly technologies. Last year Nike introduced the Flyknit runner: each pair of shoes comprises the equivalent of five recycled plastic bottles, stitched together using Nike’s waste-reducing “Flyknit” technology. This year they have gone one step further and recycled the yarn leftover from the Flyknit to create the Roshe Flyknit Reimagined trainer. Created by knitting together 12 colours of yarn left over from making the other Nike Flyknit shoes, the Roshe Flyknits end up having completely unique uppers. We love the unique result!
Where do you go for style conscious eco friendly shoes? We’d like to hear from you!