Trainers Go GreenPosted: May 17, 2012
In the global effort to create ethical fashion, anything from fairtrade labour agreements to using recycled materials, trainers have finally found a way to step up (pun intended).
A history of highly publicised unethical production stories has haunted athletic shoe production for quite some time. The horror stories began over 10 years ago with the discovery that major shoe producers were employing child labourers, underpaying them, and forcing them to work in unsafe conditions. Thankfully, many of these companies have cleaned up their act since then. Most have publicly declared their commitment to safer labour laws and some have switched to using more earth-friendly materials. While there has been improvement, none of the big companies are able to offer trainers as ethical as smaller operations such as REMYXX, Jinga and Fair Corp.
REMYXX claims to be the first landfill-free trainer producer by making their products 100% recyclable. Meaning, once you’ve worn out your REMYXX trainers, you can simply recycle them. They may even be reused to create a new pair of REMYXX trainers! The trademark recycling logo featured prominently on the upper part of the trainer helps the wearer make a statement about their commitment to eco-friendly footwear and helps remind them to recycle their trainers once their worn.
REMYXX is committed to keeping it out of the ground by creating a product that is eco-friendly, sustainable, and available in many fashion-forward prints and patterns. REMYXX trainers are now available for pre-order on KickStarter.
Jinga, a UK based company, boasts a lightweight, flexible shoe that was produced under environmentally-friendly and socially-conscious business practices. All of the material that goes into Jinga Shoes is produced in Brazil. Jinga works with other like-minded producers all sourced out of Brazil. They also provide above standard working conditions for their employees such as education bursaries, childcare and free dental. In addition to their commitment to their employees, Jinga is also committed to helping out in their community by spearheading projects to help combat poverty and dedicating 25% of their profits to these efforts. On the environmental side, Jinga has been awarded the Green Seal, locally sources all materials and ensures all waste material is recycled.
Fair Corp , another UK-based company, is committed to putting people and the planet first by producing ethical and fashionable footwear. They work with organic and fairtrade cotton and rubber, the first in the footwear industry to do so. Fair Corp also carries the FAIRTRADE mark and FSC logo on all of their trainers. Their trainers have been awarded the Best Buy label, meaning they are leaders in ethical standard and quality. Fair Corp also boasts a social enterprise warehouse in the UK, a preference for sea freight over air freight (more fuel efficient), banking with Tridos (an ethical bank), and eco-hosting on their website. Fair Corp pays their employees in Pakistan double minimum wage, supports micro-credit loan programs and trade unions to promote women in the work force.
In addition to trainers, Fair Corp also produces ethical wellies, flip flops, sports balls, clothing, and home products. All of these items can be viewed and purchased on their website.
Now that trainers have officially joined the “greener” side of things, supporting eco-friendly materials and socially responsible business practices, is all of fashion ready to make the leap? Let me know what you think and if you’d buy a pair of ethical trainers in the comments below or on Twitter.
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