Making the Right Kind of Statement with Your Shoes

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Face it: you’re a shoes man. What you put on your feet if far more than just a simple foot covering; it’s a statement about who you are, where you’re going, and what you have to say when you get there. Yet far too often, that statement is only viewed from the prospective of fashion. The truth is that without your knowing it, your shoes are also making a statement about the condition of the manufacturing industry. More often than not, that statement isn’t a good one.

Every year, millions of pounds of textile waste are sacrificed in the name of industrial automation in the making of shoes. That automation is the result of countless treating processes, each of which contributes to waste, pollution, and unnecessary energy consumption. All of this is done in the name of putting a single pair of cross trainers or dress shoes on one ignorant of just what they cost to get there.

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Five of the Best Ethical Footwear Brands

Now you may be thinking “What can I do? What other choices in footwear do I have aside from the major brands?” Well, the truth is that actually, you have quite a few. Each of the following five ethical footwear brands offers stylish and trendy footwear made using eco-friendly processes and materials:

Novacas: Made on Portugal, Novacas offers men’s shoes made from completely vegan and PVC-free materials that wear just like comparable products. Even the name implies the ethical standards of these shoes. The name “Novacas” represents both the Spanish and Portuguese term “no cows.”

Macbeth: While not an exclusively ethical footwear manufacturer, Macbeth offers one of the most extensive ethical footwear lines in the industry. Macbeth shoes are made in factories throughout the world that adhere to most strict labor laws, protecting against the exploitation of workers.

Freerangers: Freerangers are made in the U.K. by hand, and each pair carries with it the Vegan Society insignia.

Keep: The makers of Keep shoes work strictly with third-party auditors to ensure that working conditions of their factories in Asia and South American remain compliant with international standards. Plus, they use only animal-friendly components in their shoes.

Noharm: A leader in men’s professional shoes, Britain-based Noharm shows their commitment to ethical footwear by using biodegradable materials in both their shoes and the boxes in which they’re shipped.

You stand on your feet, yet have ever thought about taking a stand with your feet? Shoemaking has come a long way from craftsmen cobbling simple shoes in a shop. The sporting shoe juggernaut has contributed to many of the industrial problems seen throughout the world today. If you’re looking to show that you want no part of such industrial waste and exploitation, any one of the aforementioned shoe brands will help you do just that.

My name is Angela Ricardo Bethea and I am the founder and editor behind ( and many other online publications ) ... I love the finer things in life, I'm quite a shop-a-holic and a certified jet-setter. So if I am not behind my laptop to blog, I'd probably be shopping if not traveling.

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