A couple months ago while strolling or rather avoiding the Bay Bridge rush hour type traffic masses in the Green Festival we spotted a shoe company. No dahhling, we didn’t spy any sustainably made Manolo Blahnik pumps (we wish) but rather some shoes that caused a Chuck Taylor déjà vu. Even more than the shoe, a sign caught our eyes – FSC certified soles. What? How can shoe soles be FSC certified? That’s a wood certification. Then we had one of those “oh yeah” moments. The soles come from rubber trees.
Okay, we’ll admit that the last things you would mistake us for are “fashionistas” but we can spot sustainable shoes when we see them. Don’t get on our case about shoes and sustainability. Okay, going barefoot would be the best way to go but for the rest of us we just wear our duds as green as possible. The still relatively unknown Autonomie Project creates the eco-friendly Ethletic footwear, as well as other clothing and accessories. They offer the classic low-top as well as flip-flops but the Organic Chucky Ts got us.
So what’s in their sustainable shoe? The soles come from FSC certified all natural sustainable latex which means that someone actually tapped a rubber tree in well managed forest rather than creating a shoe bottom made from chemicals like most other shoe makers. The canvas upper comes from 100% certified organic cotton and all dyes used on the canvas lack PCP and AZO. And for those of you considering whether to eat your houses for your feet consider that they are 100% vegan.
We didn’t forget about the social justice angle either. No sweetshop for these shoes. The Autonomie Project uses only Fair Trade labor and they never use animal products and encourage cruelty-free purchases. They assist their workers to development and market their products so that they may live long and prosper in a soon to be reconfigured global marketplace.
We're lacing our vegan babies up and heading out. Imelda Marcos eat your heart out.