TEXT BY FLORENCE TROTT | PHOTOGRAPHY BY MIKKO PUTTONEN
One step at the time.
The 2010s was a big decade for shoes. If footwear had an Instagram memories story, dad trainers, the launch of the Rockstud (and the rage that followed), Gucci’s fur-lined loafers and those Balenciaga Crocs would feature heavily. Nostalgia and crimes against fashion aside, we’re leaving 2019 with an urgency to do more to look after the planet, and one place to begin is our wardrobes. The climate emergency means putting an end to fly-by-night trends and pieces that won’t last. Throwaway fashion contributes more to climate change than air and sea travel combined, so we’re starting the ‘20s with a commitment to being more sustainable.
A huge part of this is changing our habits. Our ‘treat-yo-self’ culture encourages impulse purchases and we’re all guilty of falling victim to hype. But, however tempting the dopamine hit of an instant fashion fix, the environmental impact of those one-hit-wonders is devastating. Instead, by carefully selecting the pieces we choose to bring into our wardrobes, we’re helping the environment and developing our personal style in a way that is far more significant than simply buying another pair of heels.
So how to make more sustainable choices in 2020 whilst still indulging our passion for shoes? We’ve broken it down into some easy-to-follow resolutions for the new year.
Invest in high quality pieces that compliment your style so you can wear them season after season. Luxury shoes are made to last, and good design is timeless, even when it makes a statement. Prada Dior and Chanel, we’re looking at you. Buy the best you can (without maxing out your credit cards) and enjoy them.
Knowledge is power. We’re here to help you make more informed purchases, with honest reviews and sustainable insider style tips. Sites like good on you, a directory that aims to empower consumers by rating the sustainability practices of some of the world’s best known labels, are also a good place to start your research.
How you shop is a reflection of your style and your values, and buying less will help you cultivate your wardrobe in a meaningful way. Before you make a purchase, weigh up the excitement that a must-have style inspires in you, and the likelihood of those shoes making it past next season. Will you wear them again and again? Is this a fling, or a long-term commitment? If the answer is the former, leave them on the shelf.
CLEAN & REPAIR
An attitude that your grandmother would approve of, make do and mend is an old-fashioned approach that’s back in style. Increase the longevity of your luxury shoes by using their aftercare package, or go to your local cobbler for re-heeling. Boutique service The Restory specialises in luxury aftercare and will collect shoes from anywhere in the UK. Prepare to fall in love with your old favourites all over again.
BUY SECOND HAND & VINTAGE
We don’t expect anyone to develop an immunity to the ‘new-in’ section, but buying vintage and second-hand pieces combines the sustainability benefits of pre-loved fashion with the thrill of the vintage hunt. Try Vestiaire Collective for the best pre-loved designer shoes that are guaranteed to be genuine and in good condition.
RECYCLE & RESELL
When having a closet clear out, make it a party and host a swap shop with your friends, or do some good and send unwanted items to your local charity shop. Many charity shops to pick ups too, so do your research and make it a recurring thing to donate. Alternatively, resell your shoes on eBay, the Depop app or vintage designer sites like the aforementioned Vestiaire Collective. Aim for a one-in-one-out policy to avoid running out of space.
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