If you care about the planet and you’re concerned about the climate crisis you may have been looking for more ways to live a sustainable lifestyle and do your part to aid in the sustaining of this beautiful earth that we and all the other animals live on.
Fast fashion accounts for a massive percentage of waste and environmental destruction that humans are responsible for these days. While each individual is not at fault for the climate crisis, every act of care toward our planet and sustainability is meaningful, and divesting from the big companies and corporations that enable and contribute to the destruction of the environment is a big step to take toward a greener future.
The fast fashion industry is responsible for the fact that in Canadian landfills, around 12 percent of waste is textiles, aka clothes you bought for cheap, and then threw away after a couple of wears. This isn’t even beginning to mention the energy it takes to produce these textiles, package them, and ship them from places where the labor laws are more lenient.
So what can you do to avoid fast fashion?
Well, you can thrift more, commit to only buying clothes you need, and keeping it for longer, and you can invest in sustainable clothing like upcycled coats or the topic of this article: shoes made from recycled plastic.
Making shoes from recycled plastic tackles a number of environmental issues with today’s fashion industry. For one thing, the shoes are made from a product that already exists, that doesn’t have to be grown from crops, mined, or synthesized. Additionally, shoes made from recycled water bottles are using plastics that already exist and would otherwise simply go in the landfill, not decomposing for thousands of years.
Now if we go further and get these shoes made from recycled plastic bottles picked out of the ocean, where pollution is threatening the existence of so many species of aquatic creatures, this gives us even more of an incentive to participate in sustainable fashion! There are so many environmental pluses to shoes made from recycled products.
Get as much use out of the shoes as possible
If you’re anything like me, you are very hard on your sneakers and shoes. I need shoes that are comfortable for working in, walking in, and dancing in! I am not often one to keep my shoes immaculately clean or to avoid stepping in puddles and dirt. I never intentionally try to mess up my shoes, and obviously, I prefer to own shoes that are durable and last, but because of how much I walk and wear a pair of shoes, I often wear them down until they have holes and I can no longer wear them.
Whenever this happens to a pair of shoes I own I always think what a waste of plastic to throw away, they’re too broken to give away! I do feel good about the fact that I got as much use out of the shoes as possible, but I would feel even better if they were shoes made from recycled ocean plastics!
Knowing that not only did these shoes get worn as long as possible in their life as a sneaker, but they served a different plastic purpose in their previous life, AND I got them out of a landfill or ocean where they could be harmful to animals, now that is something to feel a bit better about. Shoes made of recycled material are the shoes to get for your every day, and here are some brands of shoes made from recycled materials for you to pursue and purchase.
Shoes made from recycled bottles: What are the best-recycled water bottle shoes?
Adidas sneakers and sports shoes are made from more than 50% recycled polyester, but the company wants to increase that percentage to the full 100% by the year 2024. They have also collaborated with the initiative “Parley for the Oceans” to intercept beach plastics before they reach the oceans and create an eco-friendly sneaker from these plastic materials. This can save animals and makes for a great and stylish sneaker.
Stella McCartney has also joined in on the sustainable shoes with Adidas and Parley for the Oceans. Her fashion design influence proved appealing for a lot of buyers and her design for these Adidas sneakers was popular in both the sneaker and high fashion market.
Timberlands’ new line of reuse, recycle, rethink canvas boots are made with a canvas containing recycled plastic water bottles. These shoes which are popularly bought as leather boots show versatility in product material with this new line of recycled plastic canvas.
Shoes from recycled materials
Etnies are a brand of skate shoes that are made to be supremely durable shoes you can wear for things like skating and sports. These shoes are now made with recycled rubber in the soles and recycled polymers in the canvas body of the shoe. Not only are they sustainable because of the materials they are made from, but they’re also built to last, not to be fast fashion! They are sustainable shoes for wearing day to day.
Brazilian sustainable footwear company Cariuma makes their shoes out of biodegradable and environmentally friendly materials and includes some recycled plastic both in the shoes themselves and in the packaging they use when shipping their shoes. They also plant two trees in the Amazon rainforest for every pair of shoes bought. How cool is that?
People’s Movement MOVMT
The MOVMT shoes are made from a range of eco-friendly products including upcycled plastic bags found on the beaches of Bali and removed to prevent harm from the ecosystem and to make a brilliant and sustainable sneaker that’s great to work and walk-in.
The Converse renews recycle Chuck Taylors are a recycled version of the classic converse high top shoes. They are made from a variety of recycled materials including rubber scraps from their own manufacturing facilities. This is a great upcycling of products and a timeless sneaker choice.
Nike also has a green initiative, using old shoes and other recycled materials to make their new shoes and other athletic apparel. The program that collects old shoes has a mission to keep old nikes out of the landfill, which tackles my other issue of not wanting to throw plastic shoes away once they are tethered and worn. If you want to take your environmentalism a step further, you can definitely find a way to recycle your recycled plastic bottle shoes!
So now you have a handful of brands to choose from with stellar options for recycled plastic bottle shoes, go ahead and ride the recycled clothing and accessories wave. In these days of rising global consciousness to the environmental destruction that continues to go on in this world, there is no reason for you not to move in a greener direction with your personal expenses, purchases, and mindset towards consumerism.
The fast-fashion world may try to sell you things marked as “eco friendly,” so make sure you do your research on the garments or accessories you plan to buy in order to get the most out of your dollar and your clothes. Making efforts toward sustainability, even small or imperfect ones, can actually make a huge difference in the world. If everyone in North America just made a concerted effort to throw away a few fewer articles of clothing each year, the carbon emissions saved would be enormous.
This very idea of just saving the clothing you own and not consuming textiles in excess shows how being eco-friendly doesn’t have to be expensive. If you can afford to buy a new pair of shoes, most likely you can afford a pair of recycled plastic bottle shoes, so do it! If you can’t afford brand new shoes and are considering buying cheap fast fashion sneakers, think again! These shoes will fall apart and you will have to buy another pair sooner than you should, putting excess waste in the landfill and making you pay for a cheap pair of shoes twice a year instead of once every two or three!
Read this article as well: Ocean Day: How brands recycle ocean garbage to produce clothing