The fashion industry is one of the world's worst polluters, accounting for around 10% of our carbon emissions.
If you're aiming at lowering your personal carbon footprint, you almost have to reevaluate your entire life. Everything from the food you eat to the way you seek comfort in your own home can contribute to a higher carbon footprint, so it's understandable if you haven't thought about the shoes you wear yet.
Sustainable living isn't easily achieved when the entire framework of our society is set up for us to be wasteful. It starts with becoming more conscious of your carbon emissions and taking small steps to lower them.
One of the steps you can take is to wear different kinds of shoes. Here, we'll look at organic shoes and how they can help reduce your carbon footprint. You may not have realized that organic shoes are an option, but keep reading and you'll see that not only are they better for the environment, but they're also better shoes.
Your Carbon Footprint Explained
What is a carbon footprint?
Your carbon footprint is the number of carbon emissions you personally account for. According to The Nature Conservancy, the average American carbon footprint is 16 tons per year. This is significantly higher than the global average of 4 tons, which is still too much.
To avoid the perilous 2°C rise in global temperatures, the global carbon footprint needs to dip below 2 tons. You can find your carbon footprint by inputting a few key pieces of information on this online calculator.
Ways to Lower Your Carbon Footprint
If you're startled by your carbon footprint, you're probably wondering exactly how to lower it. It really comes down to small lifestyle changes, especially for those of us in America who are accustomed to convenience.
There are big polluters, like driving and flying, that we can individually cut out to lower our personal emissions. We saw the impact that fewer flights and cars on the road had on the environment when we went through the Covid-19 pandemic.
For those that don't fly or drive much, it comes down to the way you live at home. Switching off the lights when you leave a room, unplugging idle electronics, taking shorter showers, and doing larger loads of laundry less frequently all help.
What you consume is another huge contributing factor to your carbon footprint. Eating non-organic meat, using lots of plastic, and yes, buying certain clothing and shoes raises your carbon footprint.
How Sustainable Footwear Enters the Conversation
The carbon footprint of footwear is easily broken down into five categories. The manufacturing of shoes, including sourcing of materials and production, accounts for most of the carbon emissions. The rest is tied up in packaging, assembly, distribution, and end-of-life.
Very few pairs of shoes are recycled. When they're thrown into landfills, they take years and huge amounts of energy to degrade. Most footwear is unsustainable, harmful to animals, and harmful to low-income laborers in poor countries.
Thankfully, there are companies out there like FootHemp that aim to change the conversation. To lower the carbon footprint of a shoe, they have to be made with sustainable materials, manufactured with less energy, and distributed more efficiently.
Why Hemp Shoes Are the Way to Go
All of our shoes are made of industrial hemp which restores the soil's nutrients while using less water and fertilizer. They're 100% vegan, so you don't have to worry about any harmful animal products or plastics in your shoes.
Hemp is a carbon-negative plant. This means that it absorbs more carbon than it puts out. All of this is particularly handy because it contains strong natural fibers which are perfect for manufacturing things like paper, clothing, and yes, shoes.
More people need to wear hemp shoes because leather and leather substitutes are incredibly harmful to the environment. These remain the most common materials for shoes, which accounts for the slaughter of countless animals.
Not only is this an issue of animal welfare, but these farms also emit massive amounts of carbon. Once the animals are slaughtered and skinned, the leathers are sent to shoe manufacturers, where even more carbon is pumped into the atmosphere.
Hemp is easily farmed. It takes up virtually no space and regenerates quickly to be harvested again. There are also numerous benefits of wearing hemp shoes.
Benefits of Wearing Organic Shoes
When you purchase a pair of our hemp sneakers, you're not just getting sustainable footwear. You're also getting some of the most comfortable and durable shoes you've ever worn.
The team at FootHemp put in countless hours of research and design to make shoes that can be worn daily. Hemp requires almost no chemicals because it's antibacterial and antimicrobial. This helps to keep your feet healthier and odor-free.
These plant materials also conform to the shape of your feet, which makes the shoes more comfortable. Whether you're a skater or someone who's on their feet all day for work, you'll never tire of wearing them.
They're recyclable. Many companies will take in used vegan footwear and repurpose the fabric for new shoes. This offsets your carbon footprint in a few key ways: repurposed raw materials, less manufacturing, and taking something out of the landfill.
One of the biggest benefits of wearing sustainable footwear is supporting eco-conscious brands. The more consumers defect to these smaller brands with lower carbon footprints, the more pressure is put on the bigger brands to change their ways. Not only is it a fashionable choice, but also an ethical choice.
Sustainable Living, One Shoe At a Time
We hope we've educated you on the impact sustainable footwear can have on your carbon footprint. Being mindful of your carbon footprint is a huge first step, but these small lifestyle changes can have a great impact.
To learn more about FootHemp and to purchase your first pair of sustainable hemp shoes, head over to our online shop today.