You wouldn’t think shoes would be dangerous, would you? But they can be - for the environment, and for the people who make them.
The Better Shoes Foundation aims to promote sustainable development and practices across the global shoe industry by providing an open-source platform where people can be inspired by the advances others are making.
The footwear industry has never been particularly well known for its sustainable practices, and as the pace of fashion has quickened we’ve begun buying more shoes, and throwing the away more easily. Traditional shoe-crafting has given way to mass production, eating up resources and sending many to landfills every year. That’s an awful lot of waste! Plus, the quest for
cheaper and faster production has also encouraged the exploitation of vulnerable workers through long hours, low pay and dangerous working conditions.
While the fashion industry as a whole has begun to consider theissues surrounding sustainability, footwear remains a highly polluting trade. The combination of a lack of awareness, loose standards, product complexity and fierce competition makes it a highly challenging shift.
The online platform breaks down the sustainability and ethical issues of each stage of a shoe’s lifecycle: the design process, material selection, manufacture, transportation, consumption and post-consumer life.
Each lifecycle stage outlines the associated problems, alongside colour-coded infographics, case studies and referenced sources.