Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sustainable Shoes

The most popular keywords searched on our site are "sustainable shoes." Although we have highlighted the following companies before in our "Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week" feature, we thought they are worthy of a second look.

Keen Footwear began in 2003 with their Hybrid design: part shoe, part sandal. Their Ventura shoe line is 100% vegan and created through environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes. Their Transport bag collection is created from mostly recycled aluminum and reclaimed rubber from factory floors. Shoe boxes are made of 100% recycled materials, soy-based inks, water-based glues, biodegradable materials, and are smaller than standard shoe boxes, resulting in less materials, labor, and waste. They are currently preparing their first Accountability Report, following the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines, they are seeking Fair Labor Association accreditation, and The Keen Foundation supports environmental and social causes.

Simple Shoes is a company of Deckers Outdoor Corporation and since 2005, they have sought to be the leader in sustainable footwear design and manufacturing. Their vast line of products use recycled plastic, organic cotton, cork, recycled car and bicycle tires, recycled inner tubes, jute, bamboo, hemp, natural crepe rubber, latex, and felted wool. Boxes are made from 100% recycled materials. Through their Toepeeka line of shoes, they donate $5 to for each pair sold.

TOMS Shoes began in 2006. For each pair of these comfy shoes purchased, they will give one pair to a child in need in Argentina or South Africa. To date, TOMS has donated over 60,000 pairs of shoes during Shoe Drops. In 2008, they plan to give away 200,000 pairs of shoes. Shoes are manufactured in China and Argentina following fair labor practices. They have created the nonprofit, Friends of TOMS, where you can give aid to those in need or apply to participate in a Shoe Drop. For Tomorrow: The TOMS Shoe Story, a documentary, recently previewed at the Tribeca Film Festival.

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