I have a problem at the moment, something that’s niggling. I need a new pair of shoes for work. My current ones are wearing out and it’s getting a bit desperate. Trouble is I don’t want to buy them from shops anymore. I’ve got a bit of a conscience now and a sudden obstacle has developed in what used to be a fairly straightforward task. All this learning I’m doing on sustainability and permaculture has got me thinking twice about stuff I buy. Questions like what are the shoes made from, how far have they come across the world and how much fuel was used to transport them and manufacture them are now assailing me. And the biggest question of all – who has made them? The thought of some child squashed into some factory, working unfavourable conditions for a measly wage, to make me a pair of shoes for work has become a horrific thought. I just can’t be a part of that.
So I chatted with my daughter about this. Turns out she knows of a good shop called ‘Vegetarian Shoes’. I must admit the words vegetarian and shoes had never associated themselves in my mind before. But I tapped the phrase into Google and sure enough there is a shop with that name. Instead of leather, yachting fabric is used. The shoes are also made in the UK and Europe only so no long journeys to get them here. And working conditions are fair and lawful so no child labour involved.
Excited! I may well be in possession of an item of footwear that addresses my problem and which I can feel good about having bought.