Eco-Conscious Footwear: How we Reduce our Carbon Shoeprint - COMUNITYmade

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Eco-Conscious Footwear: How we Reduce our Carbon Shoeprint

by Shannon Scott April 23, 2024

Shoes – they protect our feet, cushion our body weight, and allow us to play sports. But what if your next pair could do more than tread, becoming a silent champion for Earth? COMUNITYmade is stepping up to redefine the relationship between footwear and the environment. In a world where fashion often overshadows sustainability, the shoe company is carving out a niche for eco-conscious footwear that not only makes a style statement but also leaves a minimal carbon shoeprint. Let's find out how.

Understanding Carbon Footprint

A carbon footprint refers to the amount of greenhouse gases that an organization, product, event or person emits to the atmosphere. It is a measure of how much our actions contribute to climate change. For example, traditional shoemaking processes can result in emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane. These gases act like a blanket around the Earth and trap heat from the sun, causing global temperatures to rise.

Environmental Impacts of the Shoe Manufacturing Process

The shoe-making industry makes about 24 billion pairs of shoes every year and only sells 20 billion pairs. According to Stuart Jenkins, a Co-Founder & CEO at Blumaka, there are 4 billion pairs of shoes that are doing nothing but adding to the carbon footprint, wasting raw material and sucking up resources. Blumaka was speaking at the Clean Footwear Summit held at COMUNITYmade in 2022.

Shoe manufacturing and shoes generally pose a range of threats to the planet’s well-being as fossils, chemicals and toxins are produced and leaked into the environment in the first and last phases of the shoe life cycle. These toxins can harm humans and animals alike and cause many health complications. Beyond that, here are some more impacts:

  • The extraction of raw materials for shoe production, including leather, rubber, and synthetic fabrics, contributes to resource depletion. Deforestation, habitat destruction, and intensive water use are common consequences that impact ecosystems and biodiversity.
  • The entire life cycle of a shoe, from material extraction to production, transportation, and disposal, contributes to its carbon footprint. The emissions associated with each phase collectively impact climate change.
  • Shoe manufacturing involves energy-intensive processes, particularly in mass production facilities. The reliance on fossil fuels for energy contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, exacerbating climate change.
  • Climate change can cause extreme weather events, sea level rise, ocean acidification, food security challenges, health risks, global migration and rising temperatures.

How COMUNITYmade Minimizes its Environmental Impact

COMUNITYmade is leading the way in sustainable fashion. But how exactly are they minimizing their carbon shoeprint? Let's dive into their innovative approach:

Eco-Friendly Materials

One key way to minimize CO2 emissions in shoe production is by selecting sustainable materials. COMUNITYmade works with premium, eco-friendly alternatives that are carefully curated to offer the ultimate in comfort and style. These choices, which include plant-based and other recyclable materials, help lower carbon footprints compared to traditional options like synthetic fabrics.

The company also uses more recycled and upcycled materials in their shoes. Recycled materials are less impactful than virgin ones because they negate the need to get new raw materials and also prevent the old ones from ending up in the environment or landfill. Shoes made from recycled polyester, nylon, etc., use fewer resources and energy. A shoe made with more recycled materials has the least impact on the environment.

Energy-Efficient Manufacturing Processes

The production phase is what consumes the most energy in a shoe’s life cycle. So, it goes without saying that the most significant reduction in impact a shoe manufacturer can get is by minimizing the energy used in production.

COMUNITYmade takes a bold step towards energy efficiency in its manufacturing processes. It predominantly relies on artisanal handcrafting, deviating from the conventional mass-production business model that exploits both labor and resources. This is a conscious effort to minimize reliance on damaging energy sources.

Many fashion brands use fossil fuels to power their operations, adding to the carbon footprint. But as more consumers learn about sustainably made footwear, we’re hoping to see more companies in the fashion industry shift to renewable energy sources.

Supply Chain Optimization

Traditional supply chains involve the transportation of raw materials and finished products across long distances, contributing to increased fuel consumption and emissions. COMUNITYmade disrupts this pattern by strategically sourcing most of its materials locally and manufacturing its shoes within the community. The emphasis on community-centric manufacturing reduces the carbon footprint associated with long-distance transportation and fosters a sense of responsibility and accountability within the local DTLA community.

Durability

COMUNITYmade shoes are meant to last for years. The company believes that instead of making shoes more recyclable, the best approach is to make them stronger and more sustainable. This means using high-quality materials that stand the test of time.

They also design their shoes in a way that makes them easy to re-sole, and they are consistently looking at materials they use to strike a balance between sustainability and durability. This explains why COMUNITYmade shoes may come with a little bit of a higher price tag. But then again, these shoes last for a long time and often end up being more cost-effective than fast-fashion shoes in the long run.

The Significance of Change

COMUNITYmade's vision extends beyond a single brand. They set a precedent, and serve as an inspiration for the entire footwear industry. Their bold steps demonstrate that style and sustainability can coexist and that every conscious choice, every eco-friendly material, and every local partnership leaves a lighter footprint on our planet.

When we support brands like COMUNITYmade, we are demanding transparency and accountability from the industry. As we embrace mindful consumption and durable shoes, we all can collectively rewrite the narrative of shoe manufacturing. We can leave the invisible footprint of a greener future, one stylish, earth-conscious step at a time.

Get Your Eco-Conscious Footwear at COMUNITYmade

As the consumer, you have the power to drive positive change through your choices. When you opt for sustainable and ethical options, you contribute to a greener, more responsible world. Make a statement with every step you take. Choose footwear that aligns with your values and supports a brand committed to environmental and ethical production practices.

With COMUNITYmade, you not only get quality, stylish shoes but also become a part of a movement towards a more sustainable and eco-friendly fashion industry.




Shannon Scott
Shannon Scott

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Find Your Perfect Size


We want to help make sure that your new shoes have the best fit possible.  

We have created a separate fit for men and women to provide the ultimate foot hugging comfort.  Our sockliner and upper materials will naturally mold to your foot and stretch out after a short period of time, so do allow for this when trying our shoes on initially.

 

 In general, our shoes are running closer to an everyday shoe fit vs. an athletic shoe fit and can be worn with or without socks - but the socks have to be eye catching for best results.

 

Any variances from this chart will be noted on each individual product page.

 

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