two sisters. one year. a new year's resolution.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The search for shoes

Shoes that are made in America are the Unicorn of the clothing industry. They don't exist. Okay that's not true, there are some leather moccasins and orthopedic shoes that are made in the US.

So what's a person to do who is trying to not buy anything made in China and also trying to make ethical conscious shopping decisions she won't feel guilty about but still needs cute shoes?
Start searching.

I love sneakers, like vans and keds.
However, all keds and all vans are made in China.

I found this adorable company named Keep. I wrote to them asking where their shoes are manufactured, and they wrote me back they are made in China but assuring me they were very involved in the factories over there with frequent audits and yadda yadda...
Of all the big shoe companies, New Balance is the only one who makes any shoes in America. What I found is that they make about 80% of their shoes in the United States, and the rest over seas. The shoes they make here, are mens. Okay, cool, atleast they are trying.

Toms are also outsourced to several countries. They do say on their website how they are dedicated to fair labor practices, and all that jazz. But that just isn't enough for me...

Then I found Osborn Shoes. A small shoe company who works directly with cobblers in Guatemala. Each pair of shoes is signed by the cobbler who made them, and they are beautiful. Buuuut they are $150, and I can't spend that much on shoes....unfortunately....not day....maybe...

There is also this shoe company named Terra Plana, who makes really cute shoes and uses all eco-friendly shoe materials. They are made in China, but they say they partner very closely with the factories there to ensure fair labor practices. But they are also more than $100....

So then after much more hunting, I finally stumbled upon The Autonomie Project. A website dedicated to "organic fair-trade fashion", and they had cute converse-looking sneakers made by a company named Ethletic. They are cute, they are fair trade, they are organic, they are vegan, they are made by a company dedicated to doing things better. I didn't have to go scrolling through the "about us" section of the website to try and find where the shoes were made and I didn't have to email or call the customer contact line because it wasn't even mentioned. It was there at the top of the home page, which means a little more to me.

AND THEN like a day after I saw them online and was debating buying them, I happened to stroll into Moo Shoes in the lower east side before work, AND THEY WERE THERE. So I got ot try them on, and I bought them. At $55 they were just barely in my budget.

So after much searching and searching and deliberating, I finally have a much needed new pair of shoes.

1 comment:

  1. oh, these are so dang cute. they're by big buddha. made in china. fine. fine. i'm sure i don't really need them anyways. (i wonder if i could make something like this???)