Happy Earth Day, Everyone! Here at Stan’s, our love for the Earth is more than a one-day event; it’s a full-time endeavor. Our respect for our beautiful earth and the environment is very important to us when choosing the brands we want to carry in our stores. We are proud to carry many brands that have dedicated themselves to protecting our environment. But what exactly goes into a sustainable shoe?
A lot of resources are needed to make your shoes, so many brands are working hard to ensure that these materials are good for the environment and that they’re used efficiently. Whether it’s Birkenstock’s use of renewable cork or vegan materials, Keen’s switch to nontoxic chemicals instead of PFC, or Clark’s sourcing of leather from tanneries certified by the Leather Working Group, or Dansko’s Kane that is the first Dansko clog with uppers made from I’m green™ Biobased EVA (over 50%), you can trust that these brands are good for your feet AND for the earth!
What do you do when you wear out a pair of shoes? Many people just throw them away, filling up landfills with shoes that could’ve been reused or recycled. That’s why some brands have started recycling programs: you can send your used shoes back for free, and the brand will either donate or recycle the shoes so that nothing goes to waste. The Merrell Retread program, Native Shoes Remix Project, and Teva Forever Initiative are all great places to start protecting the environment! If you want to donate locally, check out our Share-A-Pair Shoe Drive!
Sustainable Production Processes
As you may have noticed by now, there are a whole lot of shoes in the world (and even just in our store!). To create all these shoes in ways that don’t harm the environment, many companies have made their production processes more energy efficient, with cleaner resources, and with less waste. Hassia, for example, uses a geothermal system to power their machinery with renewable energy; Teva has reimagined their packaging in a way that has reduced the amount of plastic used, saving 4.1 million pounds of waste in under five years. Little steps make a huge difference!
When you buy a pair of shoes, you want them to support your feet and last for a long time—so does the earth! The longer your shoes last, the fewer pairs are thrown away, and the fewer that have to be made, which reduces waste across the board. One way of creating durability is by high-quality craftsmanship and materials, a strategy employed by brands like Josef Seibel; another is to make shoes machine-washable and easily cleanable, so they can endure whatever life throws at them, like Hey Dude and the Vionic Beach Collection.
Now that you know what goes into a sustainable shoe, let’s look into some of our favorite sustainable brands here at Stan’s!
KEEN Elsa Lite:
The more comfortable and durable a shoe is, the more sustainable it is because the less likely you are to replace it. So KEEN updated their bestselling outdoor women’s sneaker for an even lighter footprint. By fusing the Better Cotton Initiative cotton canvas upper to the sole, less glue is used while creating a longer-lasting construction. The Elsa sneaker is light and flexible (and comes in really fun colors!) Lighter on your feet, lighter on the planet. It’s why they called it Elsa Lite!
Merrell Antora 2:
The most colorful hiking shoe you will ever see! Everyone on the trails will be asking you about this rainbow shoe. Featuring sneaker-like comfort and hiking shoe-like durability, Antora 2 is your go-to side kick for your next adventure. Merrell inspires you to get outside and breathe the fresh air while looking and feeling amazing. Merrell’s goal is to provide rigorously tested, sustainable, thoughtfully designed products that over-deliver on performance, versatility, and durability.
Vionic Groove and Oasis:
Our newest Vionic shoes, the Groove and the Oasis, are made with 20% recycled content! Bright and fun on the outside, adorable patterns on the inside! Eco-conscious fabric and recycled materials will bring brightness to your outfit (and your day!) Shop Vionic at all three Stan’s locations or The Vionic Store in Brookfield.
Your new go-to travel sandal! Invented on the shores of the Grand Canyon by a raft guide, Teva sandals have always been meant for the adventurous soul. Hailed as the original modern sport sandal, Teva is known for its iconic straps (now made out of environmentally-friendly recycled plastic) and durability across terrains. Experience the great outdoors in comfort and sustainability with Teva!
Birkenstock Vegan Collection:
Did you know Birkenstock has an entire Vegan collection? The Birkenstock vegan category consists of shoes that utilize no animal-based materials during the manufacturing process. The line is entirely animal-friendly and delivers the same reliability and great style of the Birkenstock shoes you know and love!
HOKA is also a brand with a broad range of vegan options available. HOKA joined the United National Global Compact (UNGC) in 2016, which requires an annual statement of progress on their sustainability journey. This Men’s HOKA Clifton 8 is made with 100% vegan materials!
Smartwool is doing some amazing things for Earth Week by sharing a list of ideas and events to be impactful even from home! Take a look here.
Last but not least, our own bags are fully recyclable! Save your Stan’s bag for every time you shop, or even bring your own reusable bag to take home your new shoes!
When you visit us in-store, make sure to check out our I’m Green or I’m Vegan notations on the shoes. There are so many stylish, comfortable earth-friendly shoes! These brands are taking a step in the right direction to making the world a better, cleaner, more sustainable place. Let’s hope this inspires us all to focus more on our environmental footprint in this world!
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