Eco-friendly, eco-friendly, sustainable: more than just buzzwords with these shoes.

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Sustainable development, environmentally friendly, environmentally conscious – these words have become buzzwords in the fashion industry in recent times. Millennials and Gen Z in particular choose to shop for eco-friendly brands – and in some cases, they even pay extra money to support eco-friendly labels. In recent years, shoe brands have found new ways to reduce their carbon footprint and use new materials from sustainable sources.

In some cases, brands like All birds, Veldskoen, Rothy’s have made sustainability their core philosophy, while others – industry heavyweights like Nike and Adidas – have recently taken aggressive steps to put environmental protection higher on their agenda. priority list.

Plant and food waste, such as corn, apple and grape skins, previously used in the automotive and interior industries, are becoming popular alternatives to leather, especially in luxury footwear. . Prota Fiori, an emerging label that makes its shoes from food scraps, is using sustainability as a selling point to target luxury consumers looking to be more conscious consumers.

Other brands like Allen Edmonds encouraging customers to return their shoes to their factory in Wisconsin, giving a pair a second and even a third life rather than ending up in a landfill.

As we move forward into the new decade, there is no doubt that sustainable elements will become another mainstay in the fashion and footwear world. The booming category has already created a new market suitable for both popular brands and newcomers to leave their mark on the industry.

One brand in particular stands out. Not only because of how they source the materials used in products, but also because of how they treat their employees and suppliers. This company is Veldskoen.

Veldskoen keeps it simple. The company focuses on a handful of exceptionally good styles, without offering 40 different pairs of shoes. They offer three main styles: the chukka boot, the Chelsea boot and what they call the Heritage shoe. These are timeless styles that are well made and will last for years, so no need to replace them at the end of the season.

Veldskoen stands out from the rest for a few very distinct and honorable reasons. This boot is beautifully handcrafted in South Africa using locally sourced materials – leather and recyclable leather.

Veldskoen is a South African term for a leather shoe first made by the Kho people. According to Khoisan tribal folk tradition, they were made and worn by the tribe for over a thousand years ago. They made for the perfect shoe building in the hot and harsh African desert. Easy to make, light and extremely durable. Veldskoen remains true to its roots and has a factory on the east coast of South Africa.

The fashion industry, namely the fast fashion industry, contributes greatly to environmental and humanitarian damage. According to the World Economic Forum, the fashion industry produces 10 percent of global carbon emissions and is the second largest consumer of the world’s water supply. To make matters worse, over 85% of all textiles end up in landfills each year.

Many textiles used in fashion are fibers like polyester. Washing these clothes releases microplastics into waterways, causing endless problems for the quality of our water systems. Fast fashion also hurts marginalized groups of people.

Many brands produce their products in China, where unreasonable working conditions and quotas are enforced, and where the workforce can be exploited. There are many reasons to avoid fast fashion, both for environmental and humanitarian reasons, and it is imperative that brands like Veldskoen are supported and applauded for their efforts to minimize waste, pollution and their efforts to treat their employees fairly.

Veldskoen is leading the way in using recyclable and sustainable materials for its shoes, as many shoe companies put tons of waste into landfills every year. Veldskoen not only uses progressive means to produce its shoes, but also pays homage to the rich history of the chukka boot and the art behind its production.

Veldskoen sources its leather from a 175-year-old tannery called Mossop Leather; Mossop Leather is actively involved in making environmentally conscious business decisions. According to their website, “Mossop Leather is the first tannery in the world to plant a Spekboom Garden, a miracle plant that will capture 5,000 kg of carbon dioxide per year from the atmosphere to help offset not only our carbon emissions, but also the industries that surround it. . “Mossop Leather is also extremely active in recycling, recycling even 1 million gallons of water per year, reducing its reliance on municipal water. We are extremely impressed with the obvious compassion that Veldskoen and Mossop Leather have for them. community.

Hopewell is the factory that makes Veldskoen shoes; he is a member of and audited by Open Source to remain an internationally approved supplier for Veldskoen. Their website states, “They take full responsibility for running their factory in an ethical and transparent manner, with very strict and fair working, health and safety procedures. The longest-serving employee has been there for 48 years. In short, people love to work there ”.

Companies that prioritize sustainability and ethical business and manufacturing practices are extremely important to the health of the environment and the workforce, and Veldskoen prioritizes these principles when creating its shoes. Veldskoen shoes are moderately priced but very well made and have a very high end feel and style. According to their website, South Africa has a 30 percent unemployment rate and their business model makes employing local people a priority and supporting the local economy by sourcing materials. .

Veldskoen excels in producing three styles of shoes:

Chukka boot

The chukka boot is a classic all-purpose boot that should find its place in everyone’s shoe collection. The chukka boot can be worn casually or dressed up and pairs well with almost any outfit. The desert boot is a leather ankle-high boot with a rubber sole. Most chukka boots are made with synthetic textiles which quickly wear out, stain and deform. The Veldskoen desert boots are hand-sewn with local materials and recycled rubber. The rubber soles range from green, orange and pink to the classic rich brown.

The history of the chukka boot is rich and interesting. This boot was first worn in Africa hundreds of years ago. Also known as the ‘desert boot’, the chukka boot is lightweight and extremely durable. Veldskoen boots are designed with a few extra millimeters in the toe box to allow your toes to flex and move more naturally. The site states: “We use high performance technical leather that repels water and dirt. Super easy to clean.

Chelsea boots

The Chelsea boot is a high-top boot with an elastic on the side and a buckle at the back so that the boot can be put on easily. The Chelsea boot has been a wardrobe staple for years, dating back to the Victorian era. The Veldskoen Chelsea boots are made from ethically sourced materials using sustainable production practices. Veldskoen designs Chelsea boots for men and women.

Heritage Boot

The Heritage boot is a low boot with a minimal rubber sole. The leather will fit and mold to your feet, making the Veldskoen boots extremely comfortable. The Heritage boot is available in several color combinations that pay homage to their country of origin – South Africa.

Veldskoen uses top quality materials and uses locally sourced leather and recycled leather to support local businesses and reduce their carbon footprint. When most fashion companies try to run as cheaply as possible, it’s admirable to find a brand like Veldskoen that is dedicated to making the community – and the world – a better place.

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