Earth Science: Sustainable Sneakers - Go For The Globe

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With the world’s resources slowly decreasing and an increased focus and public awareness on humanity’s impact on the planet, it’s time to reconsider sustainability as an option in all aspects of life, including sustainable footwear.

Importantly, for a product to be considered sustainable, it must be able to be manufactured and distributed without negatively affecting the potential for its manufacture and distribution again in the future—more information about how shoe quality can be sustainable can be found here.


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Materials

The aspect that most people first think of when considering sustainable sneakers is the materials that are used. However, there are now guidelines and benchmarks that brands make use of to ensure that their materials meet the criteria for sustainability:

Using recycled materials reduces the need for more production, which negatively impacts landscapes and habitats. However, some recycled materials cause more harm due to the environmental impact of processing them.

Built with certified organic materials, meaning that the whole supply chain is free from chemicals such as artificial fertilizers and pesticides. Having low-impact materials, such as those requiring less water to produce, and which travel shorter distances.


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Growing and Moving

Vast swathes of forested land may be decimated to provide the space for growing materials, such as cotton, for sneakers. Therefore, sustainable sneakers will be sourced from companies with a commitment to reducing deforestation.

Many products are moved by air. This should be reduced for sustainable sneakers as airplanes emit greenhouse gases directly into the stratosphere, meaning they are immediately embedded into the greenhouse gas layer, exacerbating climate change. Some brands will choose this regardless because it’s an easy fix to meet tight deadlines. However, with better planning and time management, more sustainable options are available.


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Restricted Substances

It is vital to monitor and, where possible, eliminate the use of any restricted substances throughout the entire supply chain of sustainable sneakers. Solvents are particular villains for this, often without the producers knowing that the chemicals being used contain restricted substances. There is support available for brands seeking advice about the presence of restricted chemicals in their factories and products.

Producing and shipping sustainable sneakers and skate shoes can be a minefield because there are many facets. However, with care, consideration, and planning, sustainable production of skate sneakers can: Make sure that materials limit harm to the environment; Reduce deforestation and habitat loss; Lessen the potential for enhanced climate change; and remove the use of dangerous and harmful chemicals.


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