Friday, August 13, 2010

Eco-friendly Shoes from...

I've mentioned that I was interested in recycled shoes and found this cool company: Simple Shoes. The company doesn't say on their site where they manufacturer shoes so I asked. Guess what: China. Also a while back I listed some other recycled shoe companies. One was gracious enough to say on their website that there shoes are made in China: Jumba. And I asked another company that did mention that they have a head quarters in Hong Kong.

How can a company say they are eco-friendly and care about sustainability but have such a heavy carbon footprint? Please explain.

Update: A Letter that can be used with all manufacturers
Dear Nanci,

Thank you for your honesty. I believe that Simple Shoes' mission to make simple shoes from sustainable/recycled products is a great one. But if you are making shoes in China, I believe that your company has room for improvement. Shipping shoes from China to the US carries a heavy carbon footprint.

I've spoken to several eco-friendly manufacturers who tell me over and over again how they use fair trade practices in China. I think that this is noble. However, I can't support a government that has taken over Tibet, makes claims to Taiwan, hacks into peace activists e-mail accounts (Google incident), and constantly and consistently monitors and censors what its citizens are privy to.

I understand that it is cheaper to make shoes in China, but there are other alternatives: Taiwan, Mexico, Vietnam, Indonesia, and of course the United States, where we are hurting for jobs in this economic downturn.

I have been looking at your shoes for months now even so far as to locating a store that carries them. But I boycott and try to avoid products manufactured from China for the reasons that I've discussed above. It's regrettable that I haven't been able to find eco-friendly shoes that are not manufactured in China. I have to make the decision to either to purchase eco-friendly shoes from China to help the environment in some small way or make the decision to purchase regular shoes that are made in a country that does not have a history of human right's abuses. I hope that you can see why it is so difficult for me and others with similar convictions to have to make this choice. It's choosing between slowly killing or quickly killing people all over the world.

I hope that your company takes my thoughts in consideration when you renew your contracts with China. I understand that you can't make this decision instantly, but I hope that in the future that your products will be made in a country that treats its all its citizens with the respect and dignity that they deserve just like I'm sure you treat your workers.


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