Understanding what goes into the products we buy—ingredients, materials, packaging—is one of the first steps of being a conscious consumer. But when was the last time you thought about where all the stuff in your shoes came from?
Footwear is responsible for as much as a third of the environmental impact generated by the entire fashion industry, despite accounting for less than a tenth of the industry's total value. In other words, your shoes are probably leaving a big footprint, and footwear brands have been heading back to the drawing board for solutions to offset the damage. Some, like the Santa Barbara, California–based company SeaVees, are racing to do it.
The making of a more sustainable shoe.
"Not to be dramatic, but this is less of a light bulb moment and more of a hazard warning light," SeaVees product line manager Ashley Tammietti Aceves tells mbg. She's talking about the brand's idea for the new SeaChange collection, SeaVees' first almost entirely recycled iteration of their classic, bestselling sneaker. "Being based on the coast gives us a real front-row seat to the destruction that is happening to our environment both on land and at sea."
Each SeaChange pair that's sold helps support the conservation nonprofit SeaTrees, which works to reverse climate change by regenerating kelp forests that sequester carbon and help restore coastal ecosystems and ocean health. It's a natural move for SeaVees, a 1% for the Planet partner since 2012.