Green shoes – more options, and footwear recycling
The fashion industry is the second largest polluting industry after fossil fuels (oil and gas).
Footwear is a considerable component of fashion, and formed much of the discussion at the 2021 APodA conference Sustainability Panel, which you can view here: https://www.smart.unsw.edu.au/news-events/news/podiatry-and-sustainability – a good overview of the basics of recycling, waste reduction, reuse, repurposing, ethical manufacturing, fair trade and other aspects that promote a circular, sustainable economy.
From this panel discussion, you may like to look at other ways of reducing the footwear carbon footprint, including:
- Take back programs, eg Etiko: https://etiko.com.au/pages/take-back-program
- Footwear leasing, eg On Cyclon: https://www.on-running.com/en-au/cyclon
- Recycling – Tread lightly: https://treadlightly.asga.com.au/what-we-take/
Did you know that Treadlightly now recycle sports shoes, school shoes, work boots, and thongs[ https://treadlightly.asga.com.au/what-we-take/] with collection depots Australia wide [ https://treadlightly.asga.com.au/collection-locations/].
What a great idea to share with your patients, and friends!
Waster have an overview about footwear recycling options too, including shoe banks: https://waster.com.au/shoe-recycling-australia/
It is heartening to see substantial and increased activity in the ‘green shoe’ space. Even my rudimentary Green Shoe lists reflect this expanding interest, which is great, as long as it is transparent, eg Nike’s ‘Move to zero’ program states:
“Apparel labelled “sustainable materials” is made with at least 50% recycled content and shoes with the same label are made with at least 20% recycled content by weight.” [https://www.nike.com/sustainability]
The following lists will continue to change as green footwear evolves, and are representative rather than comprehensive. That said, the lists may be a helpful resource for podiatrists.
- Rolling Stone – June, 2022
- It’s a Shoe-in! Recycle your pre-loved footwear
- Ask a sustainability expert: how do i recycle my worn-out shoes?
Please join the Green Podiatry campaign: https://angelaevanspodiatrists.com.au/green-podiatry/
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Thank you for reading this Evidence Essentials blog post.
Dr Angela Evans AM
PhD, FFPM RCPS(Glasg)