Fast fashion is nothing new to any of us- we have all heard about it! With the way things are in the world right now, a lot of people are turning to sustainable fashion. It is, for lack of better words, the “new in thing.” A lot of people see that fast fashion is becoming a bigger problem day by day. After all, the demand for fast fashion is increasing at a rate where the total carbon footprint of clothing will reach 26% by the year 2050. Shoes play a huge part in this problem. Millions of shoes will eventually end up in a landfill; this is why we want to buy sustainably and buy ethical shoes.
The Problem with Fast Fashion
The definition of fast fashion is the mass production of cheap, poor quality, disposable clothing. The fashion industry produces more clothing than we could ever imagine within a year. In order to keep up with trends, the production of clothing has to be fast due to high demand. The average clothing piece is probably worn a total of 10 tens before it is thrown away. This is the reason fast fashion is such a problem. Don’t throw your clothes away. DONATE! Thrifting can be a great experience. People lack caring for their clothes due to trends always changing. They know their clothes will soon be outdated. Your outdated clothing could be someone’s best find of the day when thrifting.
A lot of us do not put shoes in the same category as fast fashion, but the shoe industry is key when it comes to climate change. Shoes are bought just as much as clothing is. The fast fashion industry manufactures things very cheaply, uses scarce resources and toxic materials, and we cannot forget about the exploited workers. Let’s be honest, shoes are only worn so many times before we want to buy a new pair because our old ones look bad and we want to keep up with trends.
In order to make shoes the way we like, manufactures have to use a lot of different combinations of plastics and other toxic materials. The sole of a shoe alone could take up to 1,000 years to fully break down in a landfill. So much waste gets dumped into rivers, causing the water to be toxic. Microfibers are bad as well and with every wash we lose thousands of those microfibers. These microfibers are consumed by fish, which are consumed by us. Greenhouse gases are affected tremendously. Producing and transporting within the fashion industry uses a lot of energy. To add to this list do not forget about deforestation and emitted toxins. The list could go on and on. These situations are what make shoes so unsustainable, which is why a lot of shoe brands are looking ahead in order to beat this problem. Check out Soles 4 Souls by Timberland to see how brands can combat some of these issues.
Not only is fast fashion a problem for our environment, but it is also inhumane. The conditions the fashion industry has people work is a problem in itself. Whether it is long hours, low pay, or hazardous working conditions.
3)Sustainable Fashion Is Not Trendy
This is a common misconception. A lot of ethical brands are following the so-called trend guidelines. The slow fashion brands are able to keep up more recently. A growing demand for slow fashion is happening due to the recognition that fast fashion is becoming a serious problem. These sustainable companies are becoming widely available to consumers all over.
Every piece of clothing cannot be 100% ethical, sustainable, and environmentally friendly. Ethical brands focus on several of the ethical areas and try to incorporate the rest as best as they can. Look for credentials on a brand’s website. You will come to find that it is not very common. What makes a brand ethical comes down to us as consumers. Some things that are important to you, may not be to another consumer.
What Makes A Brand Ethical
There are many factors that could deem a brand to be ethical. The biggest thing to look for is how a brand treats its workers. This looks like a fair, living wage, reasonable working hours, guaranteeing safe working conditions, no child or forced labor, and no restrictions of freedom for the workers. Keep an eye out for wasted resources as well. Look at a brand’s carbon footprint, that will tell you all you need to know, the biggest way to test this area is to see if the brand’s clothes are made locally. See who their supplier is. A little research will go a long way in helping you recognize ethical brands.
Production of Sustainable Shoes
Although this process can be very difficult, it is a very important factor that should be considered during this time in this world of climate change and activism. The modern mass production of shoes made of textiles, leather, plastic, and rubber parts all glued together is not very environmentally friendly. This makes shoes very difficult to recycle. Shoes are almost impossible to break down into useful components. Shoe designers have options (sustainable shoe materials, environmentally friendly production process, and waste reduction) they can and should consider in order to help reduce the harmful effects shoemaking has on our Earth.
Okay, So What Shoe Brand Is Ethical? We get it, shoes are essential to tying an outfit together. Whether that is a tennis shoe, European style shoe, heels, flats, boots, etc. It is not always easy to get a pair of good-quality shoes at an affordable price. But, what if I told you there is a way to buy quality shoes at an affordable price? Menina Step makes that thought become a reality for you. You get to buy classy, handmade, European-style shoes at an affordable price. Ensuring top-quality shoes for any event in your life, without having to hurt your bank account. Check them out on Instagram @meninastep.usa or take a look at their website for their full selection of handcrafted and ethical shoes made in Spain.