Ok the title is a pun, because the two brands I discovered are called Simple Shoes and One Moment. Simple, a California label, has made all sorts of technological advances in eco-friendly footwear including its EcoPure mixture of microbes that break down the shoe in the landfill. Treehugger’s Emma Grady explains:
EcoPure — a pellet mixture containing millions of tiny microbes — is added to the plastic, rubber, and EVA mixtures used for the midsoles and outsoles of the BIO-D collection — and to all plastic shoe hangers and shoe bags. Under conditions specific to landfills and compost bins, the microbes begin to eat away at the compounds that hold these materials together until all that’s left is dirt. The process takes twenty years and Continue reading
During her “post-college breakdown,” Massachusetts native Kristen Lombardi took a trip to an Arizona Apache reservation. While there, she wanted to buy a pair of authentic handmade moccasins. No such luck: the people on the reservation wouldn’t sell them to her. All she found were the mass-produced Minnetonkas in the tourist shops.
Having studied fashion design at the Massachusetts College of Art (which, incidentally, is the nation’s only state art school), Kristen was undeterred. When she got back from her trip, she took out a book on moccasins from the library and figured out how to make her own. Now, years later, she is the owner and designer of Manimal, a line of locally-produced moccasins and accessories inspired by the American Southwest. I met Kristen in her Brooklyn studio last week.
What’s in a Moccasin?
Rather than using a specific, traditional tribal design, Kristen has drawn on different styles from different tribes to create something that is all her own. Inspired by the natural world, the line is produced thoughtfully and with low-impact. Everything is handmade in New York, by Kristen in her studio and two women that take home piecework.
The Great Leather Debate Continue reading
I got a pair of TOMS shoes in the mail last week (thanks Mom). They’re super comfortable, and I got them in this snazzy gold herringbone pattern:
I know there are issues with give-away philanthropy, so I did a little digging to see how sustainable TOMS Shoes really are. Putting aside TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie‘s accidental speech to the anti-gay Christian group Focus on the Family in June, there are several fundamental problems with the way TOMS gives back.
Giveaways Don’t Solve the Problem
As Kelsey Timmerman, author of Where Am I Wearing, reminds us, this is a classic case of giving someone a fish vs. teaching him/her how to fish. Giving children shoes is all very well and good, but does nothing to address the root causes of the poverty that makes them shoeless in the first place. In fact, Continue reading