The Footwear Industry is Making Strides Towards Sustainability


Resistance to composting is just one of many challenges facing designers hoping to reduce the negative environmental impact of shoes, but it is a challenge that designers and footwear companies are taking on.

 Leather poses a problem to landfill sites because of the harmful chemicals used in the tanning process. Some of the glues used in production are also hazardous, containing volatile organic compounds like toluene and benzene. Biodegradable materials such as leather and wood also produce methane, a greenhouse gas, if they are allowed to compost in landfill. Trainers can contain leather, rubber, foam, textile, metal and other materials, which are hard to separate.

Analysis: This article shows the different challenges that shoe manufactures are facing when trying to become more sustainable. It also outlines how shoes can be made up of many different materials and made with many different chemicals that are terrible for our environment. Lastly, this article gives some perspective from the designer’s point of view stating that designers need to work towards designing for disassembly.