Tuesday, 7 November 2017

sustainable shopping: how to rock white sneakers in The Conversation


I was asked to write this article for The Conversation, one of my favourite news websites because, as its tagline suggests, the articles are written with "academic rigour & journalistic flair".

So many articles floating around our social media newsfeeds (even from so-called "news" websites) are filled with opinion or hearsay rather than research. I'm not claiming to be a perfect researcher or writer, even I occasionally fall into the habit of making generalisations and assumptions based on things I read years ago. But the team at The Conversation are incredibly dedicated to having references for every claim, making its articles richly researched and backed up with fact. (They came back to me with plenty of questions and requests for sources/references backing up everything I wrote in my first draft of this article - they kept me on my toes!)

It's wonderful to know there are people dedicated to understanding the truth and not just opinion, don't you think? Here's the beginning of the article and link to the complete article on their website - enjoy! And please ask any questions or make any requests in these comments or on The Conversation's website.

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White sneakers look great with nearly everything on nearly everybody, so it’s no surprise they’re having a fashion moment. Adidas sold eight million pairs of their iconic Stan Smiths in 2015 (and that doesn’t include the lookalikes).
Nearly 800,000 Australians buy a pair of sporting shoes in any four-week period. This amounts to a staggering 10.4 million pairs sold every year. Globally, Nike sells 25 pairs of sneakers every second.
But have you ever considered the environmental impact of your favourite sneakers? From materials to manufacturing, they have a hidden cost – but it is possible to find shoes that don’t cost the Earth.

A pair of runners produces 13kg of CO₂

While little research has been done on the environmental impact of fashion, one study has found that the production of a pair of running shoes emits 13kg of carbon dioxide. The production of the materials involved, including leather, nylon, synthetic rubber, plastic and viscose, also takes an environmental toll.

Link to the full article

The only caveat I will add here about my admiration of The Conversation, is that I was disappointed they took out my comments regarding Adidas. Of course I love supporting small, independent, change-making brands (I'm sure you know that by now!), but Adidas has not been resting on its laurels. The company is taking strides toward sustainable material production and ethical labour practices. They are not perfect, but they are making a start, and I think that deserves some recognition.


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