In the past decade, we've seen a lot of fashion brands start to rethink their production methods. We live in a society where mass production rules, however many consumers are becoming more conscious and aware of how they shop. Many buyers want to know more information about how their products are made, who's making them, and how it affects the environment. For this reason, we've seen a trend of brands becoming more transparent about production methods as well as switching to more sustainable practices. How about the footwear industry though? Big brands such as Nike and Adidas produce millions of shoes and many of them aren't recycled or biodegradable. We've seen smaller brands such as Keep Shoes (which we even carried on our shop at one point) create vegan and cruelty-free shoes. Is this feasible for major shoe companies though?
Well, we have started to see major shoe companies explore sustainable production methods. For example, Adidas partnered with Parley to release a shoe made from recycled plastic. In addition, Reebok made a plant-based compostable shoe out of Cotton and Corn. The only drawback is that these releases are framed as exclusive releases and almost resemble a collab capsule drop. At times, it seems like these releases are publicity stunts to gain good press around being sustainable, meanwhile the brand as a whole is still making millions off of mass-producing shoes. It's hard to tell the true intent of these sustainable releases, but we hope that it comes from a genuine want to be more environmentally-friendly. So what is the future of sustainable footwear? Well, it's hard to say. On one side, there are many small brands coming out with innovative and sustainable shoes, but there are still major shoe companies taking part in unsustainable practices. It's difficult to say how long these major companies will go on before a full overhaul happens, but one thing is for sure.. we as consumers have a lot of power. What we choose to buy gives us the power to change what companies produce. So be mindful of the purchasing decisions you make; they could decide the future of sustainable footwear.