It’s going to be a happy Earth Day. April 22 marks the anniversary of the environmental movement that encourages a public consciousness about pollution and promotes ways to lead a greener and more sustainable life. Throughout the month, brands are launching new initiatives, commitments and products as they renew promises to do their part to save the planet.
Considering shoes and apparel contribute to the massive amounts of waste that end up in landfills, the footwear industry is speaking out and taking action just in time for the annual environmental event.
Keep reading below to learn how brands are celebrating Earth Day and come back to see more updates.
Chaco’s popular sport sandals are getting a little bit greener. Starting this year, the footwear brand, which is a division of Wolverine Worldwide, is replacing the polyester webbings on all of its inline styles with webbings made from 100% recycled materials from Repreve. Specifically, Chaco is updating the Z Sandal, Chillos and Lowdown collections, as well as its kids’ offerings. The new styles will begin rolling out to the market this spring.
Famous Footwear is inviting its customers to consider rounding up their purchase total to support the Gateway Arch Park Foundation during National Park Week and Earth Day. Famous Footwear customers will have the chance to round up in any of the nearly 900 stores around the country and online at Famous.com from April 15 through April 25. Gateway Arch Park Foundation was founded in 2009 to support and coordinate the connection of the Arch grounds to the Old Courthouse and downtown St. Louis. Today the Foundation is the conservancy and official philanthropic partner of Gateway Arch National Park, providing park conservation, preservation, educational opportunities, and community programs.
Melissa x Simon Miller
Brazilian footwear and accessory brand Melissa teamed up with LA-based Simone Miller to create a footwear capsule collection. The collection includes two styles: the Bubble Clog and the Cloud Slides, both available now on Shopmelissa.com. The clog is available in five colorways while the slides are available in three prints including Simon Miller’s logo and a cow print. Both of the shoe styles are vegan and made with 100 percent recyclable PVC, up to 30 percent recycled material and Melissa’s signature “jelly” technology. The use of recycled materials lines up with Melissa’s brand commitment to promoting comfort and style combined with sustainability. To celebrate the launch of the collaboration, Galeria Melissa NY in NYC will kick off an immersive installation. This installation, which is open March 31 through mid-June, will introduce a visual space where customers can enter the Melissa x Simon Miller world.
Merrell announced on April 6 its multiyear sustainability initiative aimed at inspiring consumers “to protect the nature that shapes their everyday lives” dubbed “This Is Home.” The campaign, according to Merrell, will focus on digital, social and connected TV, and showcase its footwear and apparel that is made with sustainable materials. To launch “This Is Home,” Merrell will debut a multinational product takeback and resale program called Merrell ReTread, which the brand said will save 300,000 pairs of footwear from landfills. Merrell said it has partnered with ReCircled to implement Merrell ReTread, which will debut this month in the U.S. and Canada, and allow consumers the opportunity to give Merrell footwear back. (ReTread will expand globally in EMEA this year.) Once received, Merrell said the footwear will be repaired and refurbished for resale, broken down for use in new products or recycled for alternative uses. Merrell is encouraging consumers to visit Retread.merrell.com for a free return label to ship used footwear to ReCircled, and after the shipment is collected, they will receive a $20 off promotion code to purchase new footwear or apparel.
Minnetonka is working with nonprofit organization One Tree Planted to plant one tree for every pair purchased on the brand’s website from April 16 to April 22. If consumers purchase a pair of eco-friendly shoes from the Ecowise collection, Minnetonka will double its tree planting. Visit Minnetonkamoccasin.com to participate. No promo code is needed.
This Earth Day, ethical footwear and accessories brand Nisolo is placing a spotlight on its Sustainability Facts Label it first launch late last year. According to the brand, the label measures a product’s impact on people and the planet across 200 data points, helping to redefine what ‘sustainability’ means and demonstrating the level of transparency required to change the course of the fashion industry. By using this label, the brand is calling for the adoption of labels like their Sustainability Facts Label across fashion products to combat false advertising and greenwashing and to empower consumers to make better choices. Each of Nisolo’s products include the label, which features a QR code consumers can scan to understand the real impact of the fashion items they purchase.
Sperry is introducing a new purpose platform – All For Water, Water For All – in celebration of this year’s Earth Week. According to the footwear brand, the initiative expresses the brand’s commitment to a more sustainable future. In addition to this launch, Sperry has expanded its SeaCycled collection — a range of footwear made with recycled and eco-friendly materials and manufacturing processes. This season’s range includes recycled canvas uppers made with 100% recycled polyester. On average, the equivalent of 12 recycled plastic bottles is used to make one pair of shoes. Reclaimed leathers made from repurposed leather waste and recycled rubber outsoles that keep rubber out of landfills are also used in the SeaCycled range. By 2024 Sperry’s goal is that 50% of the models produced will be part of the SeaCycled collection. Sperry has also renewed its partnership with Waterkeeper Alliance to raise awareness and connect communities to their waterways with clean-up events as well as educational opportunities for Sperry employees and consumers.
Tapestry Inc., the parent company of Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman, announced on April 7 it will donate $3 million to the World Wildlife Fund through its Tapestry Foundation. A portion of the grant will be used to develop a system to enhance traceability of the leather value chain in Brazil, to drive a more sustainable future for the leather-goods industry. In Brazil, cattle farming has contributed to deforestation in the Amazon and Cerrado rainforests. Ideally, a leather certification program would reward and encourage providers to operate sustainably. Tapestry said other portions of the grant will go directly toward reforestation programs in the highest risk areas, helping to fund on-the-ground community efforts to address immediate threats to these biomes.
To celebrate Earth Day, ThredUp has created ‘The Tunnel of Pre-Loved’ — an art installation made up of over 1,000 pounds of used clothes in the middle of Santa Monica Place, a major shopping center in Los Angeles. Following Earth Week, each item of clothing used in the installation will be repurposed and upcycled into a shoppable collection to be sold on ThredUp to further extend the life of each garment. To kick off the installation at Santa Monica Place, ThredUp has partnered with up-and-coming musician Laufey to offer a free show at the ‘Tunnel of Pre-Loved’, open to thrifters only. Aspiring attendees can visit thredup.com/IHeartThrift to commit to thrifting their outfits this festival season and beyond, and sign up to receive a text containing their password into the show.
Ugg has introduced its second carbon-neutral Icon-Impact Collection for spring/summer 2022. The latest Icon-Impact collection features three styles, the Fluff Yeah Terry, Fuzz Sugar Terry Slide, and Fuzz Sugar Terry Cross Slide. These styles feature a looped blend of responsible wool standard-certified wool and Tencel Lyocell sourced from responsibly harvested trees. Ugg also added SugarSole outsoles made with renewable sugarcane. The Icon-Impact collection is now available at Ugg.com, Ugg stores, and select retailers nationwide. To maximize the brand’s positive impact until April 29, 2022, Ugg will once again partner with One Tree Planted to plant 3,950 trees across the USA Pacific Northwest and 10,000 trees in England. The footwear brand has also announced it will launch its first-ever Classic style featuring sheepskin sourced from farms that practice regenerative agriculture in fall 2022.