As the dormant ground starts to wake up and go from brown to green and trees starts their cycle of vibrancy, I find that Earth Month and Day are appropriately placed in our calendar cycle. The signs of Spring starts when I hear birds chirping in the mornings; next comes an awareness of red buds on trees and then seeing daffodils and tulips sprouting. The days get longer and the sun seems more pronounced as temperatures start to gradually rise. As a result, my annual ritual of energetically putting sweaters, turtlenecks, puffy coats and my boots away begins. This is followed by an all out splurge on a premium pedicure to so my toes are prepared for their spring sandals debut.
As much as I love shoes, I also care about the environment. I've had to face the painful truth that the shoe manufacturing industry and the many stages involved are among the top environmental offenders. As an avid shoe shopper, I have contributed to that environmental impact. I've learned that footwear plays a significant role in the fashion industry's overall pollution. According to TheShoeIndustry.Weebly.com, one shoe produces 30 pounds of carbon dioxide. The last step in the shoe life cycle, which is disposal, also contributes greatly to the environmental impacts of the shoe industry.
Some of the things we can do to be stiletto stylish AND reduce our carbon footprint are:
1. Educate, evaluate, understand and demand supply chain transparency and sound social and environmental responsibility from the makers of the shoes we buy. Consider researching carbon offsets opportunities.
2. Support shoe designers/manufacturers committed to sustainable practices. Brands I love: Melissa Shoes, Sylven NYC, and Live Fashionable. Melissa shoes can be disassembled and recycled all over again.
3. Support shoe resellers, shop vintage or sell with consigners. There are sites like Poshmark and neighborhood boutiques that carry and accept gently loved and even never worn shoes. One of my favorites to follow on Instagram is @NYZendazzle. She's a top consigner that accepts merchandise from all over and has a great eye for finding popular designer brands.
4. Just like the earth, love your shoes and take care of them both so that they will last beyond our years.