Ever since I started this blog, I have been on the lookout for a perfect pair of truly green stilettos, both in form and in substance. I must say this has not been easy! Footwear remains one of the toughest fashion categories in terms of sustainability as most shoes are made either of leather (generally bad news for the environment as tanneries are among the worst polluters) or plastics such as PVC (generally bad news for your feet!).
So today I am launching a crowdsourcing challenge to find a perfect pair of green-and-glam stilettos. The rules are simple: they have to be green in colour, have a heel, and also come with sustainable credentials – either ‘vegan’, handmade, fair trade or otherwise sustainably produced. And, needless to say, they must be glamorous! Over the next four weeks, I will be posting my best finds on this blog and invite all fashion bloggers, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram users to showcase their own green-and-glam finds using the hashtag #greenstilettos.
To start us off, here is a wonderful photo of unidentified – but oh, so pretty! – green satin peep-toe heels by photographer Antoinette Collins, who has graciously given me her permission to use this image for my blog. Thank you, Antoinette!
Among the few sustainable footwear producers is soleRebels, an Ethiopian company which is committed to “making the world a better place, one step at a time”. They produce shoes based on traditional Ethiopian designs, using locally sourced organic cotton and jute fabrics and even recycling old tires into shoe soles! They have been paying fair wages since their establishment in 2004 and are creating valuable community jobs while keeping the country’s rich traditions and unique craftsmanship alive. I just wish they made stilettos!
There couldn’t possibly be a green-and-glam footwear list without some Stella McCartney shoes. As a vegetarian, she does not use animal fur or leather, nonetheless keeping us on trend with her faux-python and plexi-glass creations like these Valierie Faux Suede Plexi Wedges, available here.
Next on the list is the luxury shoemaker Manolo Blahnik, who in the past created eco-shoes made of tilapia fish skin. While these gorgeous four-inch-heel open toe green sandals are made from patent leather rather than a more sustainable alternative (for example, eel skin), they have been handmade in Italy and therefore get the credit for social – if not environmental – impact. You can buy them at Barneys.
Finally, Danish brand ECCO has been a sustainable footwear pioneer for forty years. While I appreciate their philosophy of choosing comfort over conformity, I am not so convinced about their claim of ‘not compromising on style’. Here is the only model, ECCO Oshima, available from Zappos, that I found to be just about OK to be featured on this green-and-glam footwear list.
I hope these heels have inspired you to join the global search for the perfect #greenstilettos!
Ready? Steady? Start searching!