Shoe Brands

Sustainability in fashion is a hot topic for companies and consumers, as both sides of the retail market look for ways to reduce their carbon footprints. That commitment to environmentally conscious manufacturing practices has reached footwear, with some boutique brands leading the way. Whether due to pressure from competition or from customers, top name brands such as Nike, Adidas, and asics shoes, have also made changes in materials and production to reflect this emphasis on sustainability. Here are just a few ways that shoe brands are bringing an innovative approach to improve environmental friendliness.

Smarter Materials

If you visit Reebok or puma online, you can see some of the steps that shoe brands have taken to utilizing more sustainable materials in some of their sneakers and trainers. Several manufacturers rely on recycled leather or fabrics made from recycled plastic to create their shoes, while others work with plant-derived materials for vegan-friendly products. By using recycled or innovative materials, these shoe companies have managed to keep their footwear out of overflowing landfills.

Better Collaborations

Well-established brands and industry leaders cannot just scrap their entire production system in favor of greener practices. One way to work around this issue is by partnering with other designers or businesses that have ecologically sound manufacturing already in place. By working with these smaller companies, shoe brands can gain access to vegan leather, organic cotton, or other niche eco-conscious materials as well as more sustainable energy sources used in production. Those smaller companies also stand to benefit from these collaborative relationships through increased visibility and marketing.

Greater Transparency

Whereas the shopping public before exercised brand loyalty, today’s consumers use their buying power in conjunction with their values. They may not mind paying more for sneakers, for instance, if they know that the brand supports environmental causes or has a philanthropic culture. Companies also know it takes more than just saying they are eco-conscious; they should also be prepared to share clear evidence of their philosophies in action. A good example of this is new Balance sneakers, a brand that has concentrated on improving energy efficiency and protecting water supplies. Today’s informed consumers expect honesty and clarity about manufacturing details that would have been unheard of even a decade or two ago.

Newer Strategies

Another way shoe companies have thought outside the (shoe) box is by focusing efforts on what happens after a sneaker has reached its lifespan. With over 23 billion pairs of shoes manufactured every year, plenty end up in the trash heap after they have been used. Companies like Nike and Adidas have instituted buyback programs, offering consumers incentives such as loyalty points, gift cards, or discounts by essentially trading in their old kicks. The brands may then recycle the materials for use in new sustainable shoes.

If environmental issues are important to you and your family, do a little research to learn how your favorite shoe companies are joining the conversation. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that recycling and sustainability efforts are mainstream concerns, with big names in the sneaker industry taking note and making changes. Ultimately, consumers have more options to put their money where their principles are, and shoe brands understand that customer loyalty has more to do with style and performance.