If you're like me, knowing which materials are safe (and which brands use them) is a mind-boggling mystery. Sure, we know that plastics are bad and we avoid toxic glues. But what about cotton, leather and latex? Are they Eco-friendly? Here's a hint ... not always.
The situation becomes very complicated when we consider a material's origin, how it's processed, it's life cycle and how long it takes to biodegrade (if ever). Add to that the final product and how it is packaged and transported.
Shoes are made up of different parts ... the heel, feather, puff, quarter, seat, etc. Each part comprises several materials. For example, the sole includes three layers ... the insole, midsole, and outsole. Each of those layers is made from a combination of items. Common athletic shoes contain over 20 different materials.
At this point, if your head hasn't already exploded, you're sure to feel the headache of researching ethical, sound options.
Good news: there's a company which does all the research for us ... Planet Shoes. They believe that Eco-friendly and beautiful shoes are not mutually exclusive. They sell products manufactured by ethical companies who care about the earth. Taking it a few steps further, they have partnered with organizations such as World Wildlife Fund, 1% for the Planet and The Conservation Alliance ... and they offer clients carbon-free shipping.
- Natural Crepe Rubber Sole
- Latex foam Cushioning
- Recycled Board
- Blend of organic cotton and Hemp
They arrived in a cardboard box which appears recycled (the inside of the box contained a different company's logo). There were cardboard inserts to help the shoe hold it's shape and the shoes were wrapped in tissue paper.
To my pleasant surprise, the Palm is much prettier "in person" than the online photos. They go well with casual clothing like jeans, shorts and summer dresses.
How do they feel? Great! They come in whole sizes. I take a half size so ordered the next size up. The fit is perfect. A good arch offers comfortable support ... a feature missing from many slip-on shoes. The sole feels "cushy" (a technical term) when I walk, rather like floating on air. I like these shoes.
Planet Shoes has a number of brands and styles in their Eco Store. It's shopping without hurting the earth! What could be better!!
I received a pair of PUR Palm Shoes in order to write this review. I received no other compensation. All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone and reflect my honest opinion of the product reviewed.