Shopping has become part of our lifestyle, a pastime, a social interaction. This has encouraged fast fashion brands grow and means we own more than we ever have before. The average person owns 19 pairs of shoes alone.
With men owning an average of 12 pairs of shoes and women owning an average of 27, it is no surprise that the footwear industry is so large. And it continues to grow, it is expected that by 2023 the manufacture of footwear revenue in the UK will have almost doubled from 2011. Despite the growing demand, as with any fashion items, these shoes will all end up in landfill. It is estimated that 300 million pairs of shoes are thrown away each year in the UK alone, most of which end up in landfill.
Consumer’s demand for the next big thing has created a new problem in the fast fashion industry. Clothing and accessories are produced as cheaply as possible to meet demands. Consumers buy these goods at an affordable price just to throw them away at the end of the season, 85% of women own a pair of shoes they’ve never worn. This consuming culture is having a negative impact on the workers, factory communities and the environment.
20 billion pairs of shoes are produced each year, with most of these being produced by fast fashion brands. The shoes will be low quality and trend led, making them likely to end up in landfill within the year. Fast fashion brands not only negatively affect the workers and their communities but also have an astronomical impact on the environment. Even with people selling or donating old shoes, it all eventually ends up in landfill. On top of this the majority of the shoes will be made of plastic, taking hundreds of years to break down.
Inspired by some sandals on a market stall in Tanzania, Laura Zabo started creating sandals out of old car tires. Eventually, starting the brand ZABO. By up-cycling readily available resources, ZABO makes the most of other people’s waste while reducing the amount of tires left in landfill. The sandals are hand made and also completely vegan.
Why are these shoes better than fast fashion alternatives? These sandals are built to last, the durable tire soles mixed with the hand craftmanship means the shoes will still be as good as new in years to come. As well as this, you can stay in style. The interchangeable ribbon straps can be changed depending on current fashion, the weather or even just your mood. Whatever you feel like, these shoes can be styled to your needs.
Continuing with the theme of interchangeable shoes , the brand Zipz create high quality shoes with interchangeable canvas. These unique shoes reduce waste and production pollution, while encouraging customers to express themselves. Zipz make comfortable insoles out of materials designed for support, comfort, and durability. Once you buy a pair of the Zipz, you only need to buy the interchangeable covers to fit trends and your mood.
The shoes work by zipping the covers to the sole of the shoes. When you get bored of one style you can swap the cover, getting that new shoe feeling. By purchasing a pair of Zipz and a few Zipz covers you help the environment while saving money and space.
If you’re wondering how you can stop contributing to global warming and make a positive change, up-cycled interchangeable shoes are a great step in the right direction. These eco-friendly shoes allow you to keep up with the trends without contributing to fast fashion. Invest in a pair today and get shoes that will last for years. Make your own adventure!
written by Rebecca Coleman