eco footwear

im no ardent environmentalist, but its hard to ignore the rising trend of sustainable development memes across the media and industry.

nike considered, etc.

how do you see ecological/sustainable policy with respect to footwear design, development and sourcing?

Just came across this new brand, Terra Planna which seems to be based on an eco policy…

another interesting business case is Toms shoes which donates a pair of shoes for each pair sold (if i understand correctly)

Im sure all would love to be positive in an enviromental impact sort of way, but of course business is also not so clear cut. Ive been forced to cource PVC products where i wouold rather go PVC free but for the fact of costs and bottom line.

comments, thoughts?


Richard, something like this has to start somewhere. I agree that the costs are not always inducive to moving forward in a positive manufacturing direction. The more people who at least try, the better(and more affordable) it gets.

Here is a green version close to home here in Santa Barbara, this is Simple’s take on the green shoe:

They look a bit hippy to me, too literal in their ‘green’ approach. It will be interesting to see what other shoe companies and shoe lines people post up here. Can’t wait.

parallel to a thread going on now in the transportation forum,

should a green solution look like a green solution?

I for one, just cant stand the thought of any kind of sandals and most of those green shoes just turn me off aesthetically speaking.

I agree with the intent 100%, but am cetain that there is no need to make a design so green that that turns the mass (enviro ignorant?) consumer off?

cant a sustainable pair of footwear look just like a normal pair of shoes without a huge toebox, brown leather and crepe sole for once?

Im no SUV fan, but I applaud in parallel the recent SUVS from lexus and others that are the same as std but run with a hybrid engine…

aesthetics v.s economics vs. conservation i suppose.


I think the “green looks green” outlook is #1- it can be used as a marketing scheme. #2- the environmental issues surrounding the production of footwear has to start somewhere. #3- some people just aren’t too concerned about what the look is on their feet (crocs?!).

I’m sure that dress footwear (and others) could be producing shoes in a more environmentally safe fashion but there is a cost issue. I also don’t think that companies such as Gucci, Chanel, etc. would market their use of environmentally safe materials because that’s not their marketing image. That being said; there really is no NEED for them to use such materials unless it be required by law.

Hopefully with the use of technology and new materials being developed; PVC, glues and other harmful materials to the environment can be vanished and be replaced with more effective materials. Quality DOES have a price. I think we’ve all seen that with China being the new forerunner in footwear and Italy suffering.

p.s. the closest I’d ever get to the green hippie approach is a Ralph Lauren driving moc. :wink: