When it comes to finding new shoes to fill your closet, finding something stylish and comfortable is likely the main goal. But shouldn't their impact on the earth matter just as much? Here is a roundup of the best eco-friendly and environmentally-conscious shoes.
SUAVS<p>SUAVS makes comfortable, breathable, and sustainable shoes with uppers made of post-consumer recycled water bottles. They put the environment first and use only the safest materials that are better for the earth and you. SUAVS makes a point to give back and donates all extra footwear to organizations such as LifeWorks. </p><p><strong>Why buy:</strong> Planning a vacation? Look no further. SUAVS shoes are known for being lightweight and flexible, allowing for easy packing and all-day wear. Their shoes have been featured in Buzzfeed, Conde Nast, Business Insider, PRNewsWire, and more for being a travel-friendly shoe.</p>
On Running<p>Switzerland-based shoe brand On Running is beloved for its performance-based shoes that offer optimal performance without harming the earth in the process. The brand prides itself on sustainability, ethical sourcing, and transparency. They've even partnered with the <a href="https://sciencebasedtargets.org/" target="_blank">ScienceBasedTargets</a> initiative to ensure they lower their emissions to a level that will support the limiting of average global temperature raising to 1.5°C (34.7°F) above pre-industrial levels.</p><strong>Why buy: </strong>The <a href="https://www.on-running.com/en-us/cyclon" target="_blank">Cyclon</a> is a revolutionary zero-waste shoe. The sleek shoe is made with sustainable production efforts from castor beans and it's fully recyclable. The caveat? You can't own them. Instead, they're available via subscription to ensure that you recycle them back to the brand. By creating this production process, the brand is able to capitalize on <a href="https://www.on-running.com/en-us/articles/what-is-circularity" target="_blank">circularity</a>, effectively keeping materials out of landfills.
Cariuma<p>If you're a sucker for smooth-as-butter leather sneakers, Cariuma is the choice for you. Namely, the brand's <a href="https://cariuma.com/collections/the-oca-high-for-women/products/oca-high-off-white-leather-sneaker-women" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">OCA High Off-White Premium Leather high-top sneakers</a>. Of course, the Rio de Janeiro-based shoe brand offers more than just leather, they sell canvas and suede silhouettes, too. The company is also committed to <a href="https://cariuma.com/pages/about-us-sustainability" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">sustainability</a>, planting two trees in the Brazilian rainforest for every pair of shoes sold.</p><p><strong>Why buy: </strong>All of the materials used in Cariuma's shoe-making process are sourced sustainably and responsibly, from the leather and suede uppers and recycled plastic used in the brand's shoelaces, labels, and laces to the Bluesign-certified dye chemicals (which are non-harmful) and recyclable packaging. As a result of their rigorous eco-conscious efforts, the brand has earned seven sustainability certifications.</p>
Allbirds<p>Known as Silicon Valley's most-beloved shoe, Allbirds are renowned for their versatile wool runners that are minimalist, sustainably-sourced, and cozy as can be. The brand is entirely <a href="https://www.allbirds.com/pages/sustainability" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">carbon neutral</a>. This means that they measure their carbon emissions each year, reduce their impact by using recycled materials, and offset whatever's left over by taxing themselves and putting that money toward projects that neutralize their footprint.</p><p><strong>Why buy: </strong>These Tree Runners are made from FSC-certified eucalyptus trees, a castor bean insole, and a carbon-negative sugarcane midsole. While Allbirds shoes end up being carbon neutral, the company does provide their initial carbon footprint score. These running shoes come in at 9.0 kg CO2e.</p>
Womsh<p>Sustainability meets trendy fashion with Italian shoe brand Womsh (short for Word of Mouth Shoes). The celebrity-favorite sneakers are known for their chunky silhouettes overlaid with bold designs and text. Beyond their truly picture-worthy style, the shoes are created with sustainability at the helm.</p><p><strong>Why buy: </strong>In addition to creating a fully vegan collection, as well as shoes that are <a href="https://www.womsh.com/en_us/action/recycling-76.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">fully recyclable</a>, and producing their shoes in factories that use 90 percent <a href="http://v" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">clean energy</a>, Womsh has teamed up with <a href="https://www.womsh.com/en_us/action/offsetting_co2_emissions-75.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">LifeGate</a> to offset its carbon emissions. They do so by planting trees in areas that have been deforested. Since 2014, they've planted and protected over 118,403 square feet of forest <em>per year</em>. Talk about impact.</p>
Beyond Skin<p>Sneakers aren't the only option when it comes to eco-friendly shoes. Since its inception in 2001, Beyond Skin has been committed to providing the world with luxury vegan footwear in the form of vintage-inspired sandals, mules, loafers, heels, boots, and more. All of the silhouettes are designed in England and brought to life in Spain using luxury Italian fabrics. By creating their products locally—as opposed to sourcing all over the world—they're able to reduce their carbon footprint. What's more, they use <a href="https://beyond-skin.com/about-us/sustainability.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">recycled materials</a> in many of their designs, which makes them even more eco-friendly.</p><p><strong>Why buy:</strong> In addition to paying mind to the materials used, Beyond Skin works very closely with their factories in Spain to ensure their workers are never exploited in the process of production. It is their mission to stand far apart from fast fashion, offering silhouettes that can withstand the test of time—both in terms of wear and classic styles—and practices that benefit the earth and its people.</p>
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
According to the UN Environment Program, up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used globally each year, and because of the material they're made from, most municipal recycling centers don't accept them (more on this below).
The most sustainable option is to skip the bag altogether. You can also make your own reusable produce bags out of old T-shirts. But if you'd rather purchase them new, here are our recommendations for the best reusable produce bags on the market today.
Eco Joy<p>If you're making the switch to more sustainable shopping bags and want a variety of products to use, the <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Reusable-Sandwich-Biodegradable-Eco-Drawstring/dp/B003PK4W3I/ref=sr_1_36?crid=3TDUCB8ZOM7WI&dchild=1&keywords=produce+bags+grocery+reusable&qid=1613484643&sprefix=produce+bags%2Caps%2C189&sr=8-36" target="_blank">Eco Joy Cotton Reusable Produce Bags</a> set is a great place to start. The set comes with three mesh drawstring bags, three muslin drawstring bags, a large mesh tote and a zippered sandwich-size pouch.</p><p>Each product is made with organic, non-GMO cotton that's ethically sourced in accordance with Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) standards. The cotton comes from India and Turkey, and the bags are hand-assembled in Canada by the owner of Eco Joy, so you can feel good about supporting a small business while reducing your environmental impact.</p><p><strong>Customer rating:</strong> 4.7 out of 5 stars with over 300 Amazon reviews</p><p><strong>Why buy: </strong>Zero-waste; Handmade in Canada; WRAP compliant; Machine washable</p>
Organic Cotton Mart<p>Some shoppers prefer to use mesh bags when shopping for fruits and veggies. We recommend checking out <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Best-Reusable-Produce-Organic-Cotton/dp/B07CK2TJKL/ref=sr_1_16?crid=10A7NM0LQ0B7E&dchild=1&keywords=mesh+produce+bags&qid=1613483897&s=home-garden&sprefix=mesh+pro%2Cgarden%2C162&sr=1-16" target="_blank">Organic Cotton Mart's Reusable Cotton Mesh Produce Bags</a> if you're in this camp, as they're made with Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton.</p> <p>Mesh reusable produce bags can make the checkout process easier than muslin bags since you can see what's inside them without having to open them up. Plus, the tare weight (i.e., the weight of the empty bag that should be subtracted from the total weight of your produce to make sure you don't pay extra for using your bag) is printed right on the label of Organic Cotton Mart's bags, making everything that much more convenient.</p> <p><strong>Customer rating:</strong> 4.6 out of 5 stars with nearly 1,000 Amazon reviews</p><strong>Why buy:</strong> GOTS certified; Machine washable; Biodegradable
Simple Ecology<p>On the other hand, if you just want to purchase muslin bags, we like <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Ecology-Reusable-Organic-Shopping/dp/B004UJ0U0C" target="_blank">Simple Ecology's Reusable Produce Bags</a>, which are also made with GOTS-certified organic cotton. Simple Ecology also has a <a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6AUMBG/ref=sspa_dk_detail_2?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B01N6AUMBG&pd_rd_w=MA3ZS&pf_rd_p=cbc856ed-1371-4f23-b89d-d3fb30edf66d&pd_rd_wg=hVunQ&pf_rd_r=G6RTQ1Z5DKEY325MAJZ9&pd_rd_r=5d298b3a-1be7-4ebd-a9e1-d5d672a40497&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExMzc4RVAxWjNLOTdCJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNTc0NTAwMzBDMjFYOVJPTUpWSCZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNjYyOTM4M0s4Vk81SVBPS1NFSyZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2RldGFpbF90aGVtYXRpYyZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=" target="_blank">starter kit</a> that comes with several reusable grocery bags if you're looking for more variety.</p> <p>The benefit of using muslin reusable produce bags is that, unlike mesh, there are no holes for small items to slip through. This means that in addition to larger produce, you can use them to purchase bulk foods like lentils, beans and rice — or even powders like flour or spices — without worrying about anything leaking. They're also best for keeping leafy greens fresh.</p> <p><strong>Customer rating:</strong> 4.7 out of 5 stars with nearly 1,500 Amazon reviews</p><strong>Why buy:</strong> GOTS certified; Machine washable; Biodegradable; Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certified packaging when purchased from manufacturer
ECOBAGS<p>Whether you're buying bread, fresh flowers, produce or all of the above, the <a href="https://www.amazon.com/ECOBAGS-Market-Collection-Reusable-Natural/dp/B08KFGPGN5" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">ECOBAGS Market Collection Reusable Bag Set</a> is ideal for <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/farmers-markets-coronavirus-safety-2645581711.html" target="_self">farmers market</a> shopping or large grocery hauls. The netted bags are durable, flexible, and pack down small so they're easy to keep in your car or purse.</p> <p>ECOBAGS is a woman-owned certified B Corp, which means it uses sound social and environmental practices. These bags come in packs of three or five and have a few different handle lengths and color options, but they're all made with GOTS-certified organic cotton.</p> <p><strong>Customer rating: </strong>Not applicable</p><p><strong>Why buy:</strong> GOTS certified; Machine washable; Biodegradable; Certified B Corp; SA8000 certified for the protection of basic human rights of workers</p>