by Meredith Labuda
In 2016, a study done by Quantis found that footwear and apparel industries contributed 5 to 10% of global pollution impacts. Footwear and apparel also produced 3,990 million metric tons of Carbon Dioxide in 2016. As well, once people are through with their shoes, they end up in landfills. Not only do these shoes take up space, but they emit chemicals into the soil and groundwater. Shoes also do not biodegrade quickly, so buying shoes made of more sustainable materials is important.
Check out our options below before you make your fall purchases!
Cowboy boots have been a huge trend this past year. They’ve been seen on and off runways, worn by it girls like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid. Cowboy boots are a great statement piece, they can add some spice to an everyday look. However, cowboy boots are typically made of leather and are therefore incredibly unsustainable. good on you, a website that investigates the environmental impact of fashion, says that up to 80% of the Amazon rainforest deforestation is related to cattle ranching. Luckily, brands like Free People use vegan leather to make cowboy boots. Free People’s Vegan Ranch Boots come in seven different colors and have adorable embroidering. Good Guys Don’t Wear Leather have some taller boots with more subtle detailing that come in black, white, and, for a flashier look, gold.
Is there more of a fall staple than a dock boot? These are the boots that you leave by your front door and can throw on with any and every outfit when you’re in a hurry. They just work with everything.
For a night out, heeled boots are a powerful move. These shoes give you the height of a heel without the discomfort. If you wear heeled boots, you’ll be serving model-off-duty mixed with femme fatale. The Track Sole Booties from Will’s Vegan Store have an almost 2-inch heel but have the simple and stylish look of a dock or rain boot. Meanwhile, Good Guys Don’t Wear Leather’s unisex Willie Vegan High Top Motorcycle Boots have a bit of a softer shape and more relaxed fit. They come in a honey orange and classic black.
Sustainable Knee High Boots
Uggs, combat boots, ankle boots, so many styles come and go every season, but knee-high boots are always in fashion. They work perfectly with a short dress for a night out, or with a more casual look of skinny jeans and a sweater. Nae Vegan Shoes’ Victoria Black Vegan Knee High Boot is the perfect chunky black boot and has a slip-resistant sole. Will’s Vegan Store has Knee High Boots that come in dark brown and black and have a slight heel. Lastly, Free People carries a more fun knee high, the Tokyo Tall Boot, that comes in hot pink and zebra print and has a much taller and thinner heel, though note it does have some leather.
As much as we all love fall and winter, the reality is that the weather during these seasons can be unpredictable. Rain boots are a necessity for colder months, you never know when you’ll have to walk outside on a rainy day or during the weeks of sludge after a big snow. If you have to wear these clunky boots, you might as well make them cute. Everlane has adorable Rain Boots that come in unique colors such as sage and tawny brown. Hunter Boots have their Original Rain Boots, made of natural rubber and recycled polyester which also come in a wide array of shades, 9 to be exact. Hunter Boots also carry a variety of rain boots in men's styles, including the Gardner Rain Boots, which are army green and are made for flexibility to move.
People often forget about utility boots, but they can be very functional and fashionable. They’re perfect for everyday wear, and of course, they’re the best boots for outdoor use, such as hikes and yard work. Everlane carries a Canvas Utility Boot, made from organic and recycled materials but still incredibly durable. They also have a geometric and colorful design, proving that functional boots can still be stylish. Will’s Vegan Store, meanwhile, has WVSport Insulated Country Boots, which are insulated to withstand negative temperatures. The boots are also made in a plant that uses 70% solar power and recycled removable insoles.
Autumn is upon us, and many of us will be in the market for new boots. There are so many adorable boots in style this year and buying sustainably is easier than ever. When you do your fall shopping this year, make sure to check out these sustainable and stylish boots!
Conscious Living is a Lifestyle. Download our guide with 25 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint