Shoe Industry Steps Into Green Manufacturing

In a world where one individual can own up to fifty pairs of shoes, the footwear industry has begun to see the need to adopt eco-friendly practices. Shoe manufacturers are improving their production methods to reduce the size of the carbon footprint they leave behind. However, recognizing that green assembly is not enough, the industry has incorporated recycled and biodegradable materials into their production of eco-friendly footwear.

Eco-Friendly Shoe Manufacturing

In the late 19th century when factories sprung up in the United States, domestic footwear manufacturing boomed. Due to inexpensive overseas production practices in recent years, shoe manufacturers have largely vacated the U.S. However, the creation of green footwear is bringing some of that business back home.

Less Energy, More Profit

Shoe manufacturers can actually save money by going green! The following production practices are becoming more and more popular in manufacturing because of their ability to cut costs:

– Wind energy
– Solar energy
– Waste-to-energy conversion
– Energy conserving machinery

Environmentally Friendly Materials

The use of green textiles and post-consumer materials within eco-friendly footwear manufacturing has already made a significant impact on reducing the negative effects of the industry on the Earth. Around since the late 1800’s, St. Louis based Daniel Green Company is one American shoemaker keeping pace with the green times. Their women’s Callie and Kenzie slippers are made from 100% recycled wool, more eco-friendly styles are expected soon, energy use and material waste have been reduced in their manufacturing processes.

Green Textiles:

– Recycled Wool
– Recycled Polyester
– Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
– Organic Cotton
– Bamboo
– Hemp

Recycled Textiles

Making a shoe entirely out of recycled materials is nothing new. In 2008, Nike released its Trash Talk, the brand’s first-ever basketball sneaker made entirely from manufacturing waste.

Because the average textile mill consumes about 35 million kilowatts of electricity per hour, it is easy to see the benefit of reusing the materials that were initially produced. Some green footwear manufacturers have bypassed textiles entirely, using plastic bottles or old tires as main components in producing their footwear.

Other Eco-Friendly Practices in the Footwear Industry: Streamlining Processes, Green Packaging, and Overstock Donations

Functioning as a successful shoe company can take a toll on the environment simply, but today manufacturers have choices and economic success does not have to come at the expense of the planet.

Eco-friendly footwear companies are applying the green initiative to all aspects of their business by implementing sustainable corporate policies and green packaging methods. Boxes are being made out of recycled materials and catalogs are being printed on post-consumer paper with soy ink. More and more companies are choosing to eliminate waste by donating overstock and outdated shoes to organizations round the world.

Italian Shoes Made in China

Most of us don’t associate “Made in China” with luxury brands or designer brands, but the more Italian shoes you like that are actually made in China. You might not find the tag in the shoe saying that.

Especially in the current economic market, sales of luxury goods have declined significantly and some designer brands suffer. One of the most effective ways to cut costs is by moving base operations abroad, and China provides one of the most attractive markets to open stores.

The fact that “American” or “European” shoes made in China is not a secret. Nike has long been associated with “Made in China” shoes; In fact, about one in three Nike shoes are equipped with a “Made in China” sticker. This compromise is more difficult for designer brands like Chanel, Prada and Armani who have built their brand success on “European expertise” through and through. One of the reasons why someone spends 300 extra dollars buying Prada shoes is because they want a European piece of art. They want to believe that what they buy is the real deal – Italian leather shoes built by someone who knows and loves the art of shoe making, not by factory workers in China.

So which company jumped over the continent? Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Bally and Prada, to name a few brands. But not all of these companies are willing to publicize this new operating base. In fact, in some of these shoes you will find the label “Made in Italy” where maybe the label “Made in China” instead. This is possible thanks to a number of highly flexible labeling laws that base product labels at the end point of production. So shoes made in China will have leather soles installed in Italy and Voila! Legally “Made in Italy” shoes.

That does not mean that these shoes are of poorer quality than when produced in Europe. His claim is that workers in China are fast and precise. That is, they are able to make high quality shoes in less time and with less money.

According to Giorgio Bonacarso – a supplier of chemicals that sells products to Chinese factories that produce Italian shoes – nine out of 10 Italian luxury shoe companies now make at least part of their shoes in China. You, the consumer, might not realize it, and that’s because designer brands are afraid of reactions and loss of images that make them stand out from the pack in the first place.

Getting Exact Performance Running Shoes

What is the best running shoe or cross-trainer for you? Depends on many factors and you need to ask yourself a few questions first. It would be easy to outfit every foot in the world with running shoes for men if every athlete’s feet were exactly the same. Since every foot is different, and every runner or athlete is different, it goes without saying that you need to get the shoe that is just right for you.

Finding the high performance running shoes does not have to be difficult, but you need to ask yourself some questions. What kind of sport you do, where you workout, how many times a week, your age, your relative health, your level of fitness, your dedication to working out, all of these factors come into play when picking out the right running shoes.

Have you lost weight? Are you recovering from a disability? Are you training for the Olympics? This last one is just pie in the sky imagination. If you’re from a backward and poor isolated country, if you are competing for an Olympic medal you will have had your shoes selected for you by a team of scientist, that is unless you are from Kenya and run barefoot. Finding the best running footwear need not be that difficult.

If you are an average American man somewhere between 34 and 56 years of age and you are selecting your running shoes for your early morning jog around the park, then you can probably just go to your local Foot Locker and pick out a pair of Reeboks or Nikes that fit your feet. However, if you’re looking to save money (and who isn’t these days) you can get some of the very same name brand running shoes for women or men at discounters like Nordstrom Rack, Marshalls, Burlington Coat Factory, TJ Maxx, or your neighborhood facsimile to these stores.

Those superstores have gigantic aisles upon aisles of great running and training footwear for you to choose from. It can be hard coming across your size at these places but if you don’t mind the crowd and have some patience, then you could purchase smart bargains. Marshalls, for instance, carries Nikes, New Balance and even some Reeboks, among other off-brands. They also have a nice selection of hiking sandals. Even BJ’s Warehouse has some great shoe bargains, however a light brand selection.

When it comes to running shoes for men, it is all about comfort. I find that the most comfortable shoes are those without back handles because I have found that this cloth handle hits my Achilles every time due to my foot’s shape. If you have a club foot you may want to shop somewhere else. Those with fallen arches may want to consult your foot doctor first or get prescription insoles.