Sense of Footprint
1. Materials and Packaging
American Made for a Greener Tomorrow
In addition to all of our models being vegan, by using as many America-sourced materials as possible, from our lace bands to our zero-drop soles to the SuperFabric and power knits fabrics that comprise the majority of our footwear, we support manufactures held to a higher environmental standard than other countries.
"Our environmental regulations give U.S. businesses more incentives to innovate and develop cleaner, more efficient production processes..." (Americanprogress.org.).
The majority of our materials are not coming from overseas, but from places nearby that properly dispose of waste, use greener alternatives to coal and fossil fuels, and have restrictions in place for lowering carbon emissions. Where a material is made tells us how that material is made, and we are proud to have so many manufacturers that share our environmental values.
In addition to sourcing our materials from as close to home as possible, we reuse our production scraps, reducing waste and ensuring every fabric, stitch, lace, and sole is used to its fullest.
Now that our Colorado-made, vegan footwear is constructed, how does SOM take its next green step?
SOM Footwear puts as little between your feet and the ground as possible, and this minimalist approach for our shoes holds true for our packaging as well. Fewer inserts and wrapping paper, means less to throw away and less to fill our landfills.
In addition to using less, we reuse our packages as often as possible. By recycling shipment boxes, we lessen our need to order more (which lessens the need to produce and ship more), shrinking our carbon footprint.
Every bit helps, from big to small, but just because a shoe has left our factory, doesn't mean SOM's work is done.
2. Renewable Shoes and Recycling Soles
Our unique ability to renew your favorite pair of SOMs through resoling, means we are not just extending their life for many more miles of adventure, but we are saving a worn shoe from ending up in a landfill.
"According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Americans throw away at least 300 million pairs of shoes each year. These shoes end up in landfills, where they can take 30 to 40 years to decompose" (Waste360.com)
While other brands may think little about refreshing their shoes, and instead push for buying new pairs, we designed our SOM Footwear with renewable soles to ensure the resources used in each pair have the longest, most purposeful life possible.
Our resoling process involves removing the old soles, which are shipped to a recycling plant that breaks the materials down to be reused as crumb rubber for playgrounds and running tracks. We then adhere fresh soles and ship back your shoes for a renewed sense of motion.
For more information, please view our resoling guide for images on how to tell when soles are ready, as well as what steps to take when they are ready for us to resole.
We know, however, that eventually all shoes reach their end, and after your SOMs have enjoyed their extra journeys because of resoling, where do the old go when it's time for a new pair?
3. Responsible Disposal
After their resoling, when it's time to lay your well-traveled SOMs to rest, we want them to be disposed of in an environmentally responsible way.
By using a sneaker recycling origination like Got Sneakers, old shoes can be recirculated to secondhand markets for those in need, and damaged or heavily used shoes can be broken down into reusable materials or converted into new energy.
They take all brands and all styles, including multiple pairs at once, if you're looking to pair down your closest. Once you complete their registration form, Got Sneakers will send you a Clean Out Kit bag with pre-paid shipping label, you'll add your shoes, and drop the bag off at your nearest UPS or Fedex store. The entire process is FREE, and Got Sneakers will even pay you for sending them your shoes.
For more information on how to signup and get your first Clean Out Kit, please follow this link: https://gotsneakers.com/individual-sellers/signup/
Strong feet. Strong Planet.
The more opportunities we have to reduce, reuse, and resole, the less dependent we are on landfills and fossil fuels. Hand-making our shoes from our factory in Montrose, Colorado, we witness every day the splendor that awaits outside our windows.
Our footwear is designed to go anywhere and tackle any activity, and when you choose SOM, you are helping strengthen our natural surroundings for us and future generations to explore.
Click the images below for past blogs on various environmental subjects: