According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), discarded clothing and other textiles account for nearly 10% of all municipal solid waste produced in this country every year.
Fast fashion knows the transient nature of most trends and seeks to capitalize on these short-term fixations. This explains why it's easy to find a t-shirt for a few dollars or a pair of sandals for less than a cup of coffee.
Biodegradable fashion, on the other hands, seeks to take a more eco-conscious and earth-friendly approach, helping you make smart clothing investments you can feel good about. In particular, biodegradable shoes are changing the way shoppers search for their new favorite footwear.
What are these shoes and why are they worth a second look? Read on to discover 10 benefits of biodegradable shoes and learn exactly why they deserve a space in your closet.
What Are Biodegradable Shoes?In short, biodegradables shoes are accessories that you could, in theory, plant in the ground, leave there and return to find that they have grown into quite a different form!
You see, biodegradable textiles are made of living organisms. Once you have outgrown them or no longer need them, you don't have to toss them in the trash. Rather, you can compost them or yes, plant them, and discover that they'll naturally decompose!
Why should you choose these over other pairs? Let's take a closer look at 10 reasons why it's wise to invest in these today.
1. Fewer Resources UsedNot only is fast fashion not meant to last, but most manufacturing processes that follow this model rely on heavy water use, as well as high energy use.
In addition, they can also emit a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to water pollution. Companies committed to creating biodegradable shoes, however, will make an effort to minimize their carbon footprint and follow more earth-conscious manufacturing processes.
2. Less PollutionOf course, one benefit of keeping your shoes and other textiles out of the landfill is that you can do your part to help curb pollution rates! Landfills emit what's known as "landfill gas", which includes methane and carbon dioxide, along with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as surrounding bacterial decomposes.
Planting your biodegradable shoes turns them into non-toxic, plant-based material that's actually good for the Earth!
3. Less WasteModern companies embracing the biodegradable movement are recognizing that the organisms used in these items can be formed to fit specific molds. For you, this can help ensure a more exact fit.
For manufacturers, this means a more precise creation process. Each pair of shoes can be made with exactly the amount of textile required -- nothing more and nothing less. Ultimately, this reduces the amount of waste that goes into the manufacturing and production process.
4. Less Plastic UsedLook down at your feet. Chances are your shoes contain more forms of plastic than you realize. In addition, many pairs also contain accents of leather. As such, they may have a carbon footprint that exceeds necessary limits.
Recycled shoes and biodegradable shoes help curb our reliance on plastic-based footwear. These pairs feature a lower number of embedded emissions and are setting a plastic-free trend that looks to continue well into the future.
5. Eco-Friendly InnovationAs you might imagine, the process of designing and manufacturing a fully biodegradable shoe is no easy feat. There are myriad materials, from rubber and plastic to leather and metal, that are common mainstays in conventional footwear.
Plants are beautiful, but how can they turn into shoes? Future-focused manufacturers are getting creative, and the fashion industry is watching. From pineapple husks and vegetable jute to rubber tree sap, the materials they're eyeing and using are incredible. This is setting a trend and laying a pattern that makes it easier for other brands to follow suit.
6. Reduced Reliance on PesticidesMany of the organisms used to create biodegradable shoes and clothing, including alga-based fabrics, can be grown without the use of pesticides. Not only are these materials naturally fire-resistant, but they also biodegrade quicker than cotton. This makes the entire supply chain greener and easier to manage, and requires the use of fewer chemicals overall.
7. Different DyesAccording to experts, the commercial textile dyeing process uses around 3,500 man-made chemicals. These include lead-based substances, as well as petroleum-based ones. Once manufacturing is complete, finished clothing products contain around 2,400 of them.
The same experts explain that 5% of those chemicals are potentially hazardous to the environment and 10% pose a threat to human health. With biodegradable shoes and clothing, modern industry leaders are using more natural sources of dyes to color the items you wear.
8. Cleaner WastewaterWhen textile dye factories rely on conventional manufacturing and dyeing methods, the chemicals used often go straight into their facility wastewater. Many times, this water is dumped directly into the local environment without proper treatment. Making the switch to a more natural alternative can help keep the water in our community cleaner and safer to use.
9. Less Reliance on Fast FashionIt can be difficult to commit to investing in your wardrobe, rather than filling it with low-quality, low-cost thrills. Yet, when you do so, you help reduce your carbon impact, limit your waste production and do your part to help curb the cycle of buying, using, and tossing after just a few months.
10. A Step Forward in a Global MovementFinally, buying biodegradable shoes is a major step forward in a direction that can help save our earth and improve our ecosystems. Yes, it's only a pair of sneakers or some vegan boots, but it sends a major message. Shoes are instant conversation starters, and imagine how many opportunities you'll have to discuss why you chose the brand you did, and what their eco-friendly approach looks like. Discover the Sustainable Difference Now that you know a few of the top benefits of biodegradable shoes, are you ready to find your new favorite pair?
We are committed to carrying the most earth-conscious shoes in our online shop, featuring sustainable options that include vegan, recycled material, responsibly sourced shoes and more. Feel free to start shopping today and contact us with any questions.