Not too long ago (okay, a year and a half ago -- time flies when you're blogging!), I shared my best eco and economical shoe-shopping tips for cute high heels. By going for quality, classic styles, then scoring bargains at consignment stores, pre-loved designer shoes can be had on the cheap -- and are worth fixing up so you collect compliments year after fashionable year.
With comfy, everyday shoes though, thrifting and consignment shopping doesn't come so easy, since most people wear sneakers and other casual shoes until they're worn out. But while you'll likely have to get these shoes new, you'll be happy to know that many companies are working to put greener kicks out there for the uber-eco-conscious consumer. And some are quite stylish! Here are a few pairs to consider:
Simple Shoes Retire. Last year, I bought a pair of these Simple Shoes -- with a "Stop Global Warming" tie-in -- for $60. I logged on today to find that these greener kicks are now on sale for just $9.90! It appears that Simple Shoes is trying to get rid of this line -- which bodes well for would-be eco-fashionistas who haven't been able to afford Simple Shoes' designs. The shoes are made with hemp and organic cotton, recycled PET, recycled car tire, and 100% post-consumer paper pulp foot forms. I love the comfy pair I got and still wear them all the time!
Keds Green Label. I don't think I've actually worn Keds since junior high, but I guess these basics are still popular because new lines are still coming out! Keds Green Label launched in March this year, featuring greener classic Keds made of organic cotton and recycled rubber, in 6 colors that get their hues from non-toxic dyes.
If those basic colors don't suit your style, you can get more colorful Keds designed by eco-fashion company Loomstate at Barneys New York. Pick from five designs, but be prepared to pay more for the branding ties. The one-color Keds Green Line shoes cost $55 a pair, while the Loomstate-Keds sold at Barneys cost $75 a pair.
TOMS Shoes. This eco-ethical company's well-known for tying philanthropy into its business model: Buy a pair of TOMS shoes, and a pair of shoes will be given to a child in need! A few of TOMS' styles are made of eco-friendly materials — hemp, recycled PET, and recycled rubber -- though these can be a bit tough to find. Try looking for them at Whole Foods stores. Cost: $44 - $70 a pair.
New Balance 070. Environments who love the outdoors have a greener shoe option for light hiking and trail running. The New Balance 070, new this summer, are airy, comfy and light. Green features include textiles made with recycled content, water-based adhesives, rice husk fillers, and an “interlocking design” that's said to reduce material waste during manufacturing. Cost: $79 a pair.
>> MissMalaprop shares her thoughts on the recent TOMS shoe drop in her neighborhood:
Apparently their state-side shoe drops work a little differently than when they distribute shoes to children outside of the US. The thinking is that kids in the US, even if they’re living below the poverty line, probably have at least one pair of shoes, but they might be hand-me-downs. So TOMS fits them with a pair of brand new white canvas shoes along with art supplies to encourage the kids to decorate them and make them their own. I love that concept.
>> Lil Sugar names Simple Shoes for kids among her five favorite things to make a mom's life easier.
>> Don't wear flats? EcoStiletto always has a drawing for a free pair of greener high heels. Enter to win -- and good luck!
Top two photos by Simple Shoes, Keds; bottom two photos by Siel
BlogHer Contributing Editor Siel also blogs at greenLAgirl.com.
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