How to choose sustainable shoes: A guide for conscious consumers

by David Teitelbaum on Apr 18, 2023

How to choose sustainable shoes: A guide for conscious consumers

As we all become more mindful of the impact our purchases have on the environment, sustainable footwear has become more popular. But, with so many options on the market, choosing the right pair of sustainable shoes can be overwhelming. In this guide, we’ll break down the top 5 qualities to look for in sustainable footwear to help you make an informed decision.

1. Eco-friendly materials: Sustainable shoes are made from materials that are environmentally friendly and don’t harm the planet. These materials include recycled rubber, organic cotton, hemp, and giving recycled/upcycled materials a new life. When choosing a sustainable shoe, look for materials that have been sourced in a responsible and ethical way.

2. Durable construction: Sustainability is not just about the materials used, but also about how long the shoe will last. Look for shoes that are well-made and designed to last, so you don’t have to replace them frequently. High-quality construction, reinforced soles, and a sturdy sole are all important features to consider.

3. Ethical manufacturing: Sustainable shoes should also be produced under ethical conditions. Look for shoes that are made in factories with fair labor practices and safe working conditions. Many sustainable shoe brands offer transparency about their manufacturing process, so you can feel good about your purchase.

4. Minimal environmental impact: The production of footwear can have a significant impact on the environment. Look for shoes that have a minimal environmental impact, such as those made using renewable energy sources, using a small variant of materials, and or with minimal water usage. 

5. Versatility: To truly make a sustainable purchase, you want to choose shoes that you will wear often and for a long time. Look for styles that are versatile and can be worn with a variety of outfits and in different settings. This will ensure your shoes get plenty of use and reduce the need for multiple pairs of shoes.

By keeping these five qualities in mind, you can make a more conscious and sustainable choice when it comes to purchasing shoes. Not only will you be reducing your environmental impact, but you'll also be supporting ethical manufacturing practices and investing in a durable, versatile pair of shoes that will last for years to come.

Remember, sustainability is a journey, not a destination. Small choices, like choosing sustainable shoes, can add up to make a big impact over time. So, next time you're in the market for a new pair of shoes, keep these qualities in mind and choose a pair that aligns with your values and goals for a more sustainable future. Your feet (and the planet) will thank you!