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How used sneakers are promoting a better environment

Editorials

Onyeishi Ebube
September 12, 2022

The uncommon truth about your sneakers

Sneakers are all about love and light. They give out that euphoric feeling that makes you feel confident while out in public. So we are all concerned about our love for sneakers and the confidence they imbibe in us that we fail to see how they harm the environment. Sneakers are one of the subtle things harming the ecosystem, and few people are taking steps to control them.

Image credit: New Balance

Most people are less concerned about the chemicals that go into producing the sneakers they purchase. Because we are more interested in aesthetics, we neglect environmentally friendly shoes just because they may not be the best looking at the time.Should Sneakers be ignored entirely just because they are made of harmful chemicals? That’s like saying cars should be avoided entirely because of their accidents. We all know that is impossible, but what is possible is a control measure -this is where used sneakers come in.

Image credit: Nike

Carbon Footprint of Sneakers

With the uptrend in fashion, the demand for sneakers increases steadily, causing anincrease in production. An estimated 24.3 billion pairs of sneakers areproduced annually, and scientists believe the global footwear industry will be worth more than 90 billion dollars by 2025. The manufacturing process of these sneakers releases large amounts of carbon dioxide, accounting for over 1.4% of Green House Gases (GHG) emissions worldwide. This shows that your pair of sneakers comfortably emits 30 pounds of CO2.

Image credit: Make Fashion Better

Anatomy of Sneakers

A sneaker is made of three parts: the upper part of the leather, the midsole made of elastic, and the soleof abrasion-resistant material. Different chemicals are employed in the production of different parts of your sneakers. Titanium oxide gives a sneaker its bright white color, and dyes used in making different logos on your sneakers are made with heavy metals. Most shoelaces are made using non-recycled polyester. A more dangerous component is Polyurethane, which is the major component of the spongy insole. Polyurethane powder is equally harmful to production workers because itcan be easily inhaled. Workers must wear masks when using the power to minimize the risk of respiratory problems.

Image credit: Make Fashion Better

Shoes are made of syntheticmaterials that biodegrade over a long time. So, their impact may not be felt onthe environment immediately, but from their moment of production, till theycomplete their life cycle, they harm the earth.

Recycling sneakers is theonly way to attain a cleaner and safer environment. That is what we are promoting at Ox Street. When used sneakers are thrown away, they degrade and contribute todamaging the earth, which is why buying and selling used sneakers should be promoted.

Image credit: Nike

Used sneakers promote a environment by reducing the production of new ones annually and eliminating the degradation rate of disposed of sneakers. With your ecological footprint in mind, rather than disposing your used sneakers, you can sell them on Ox Street. This way the number of sneakers thrown away are reduced and the environment is saved.

When next you are about to cop some nice kicks, think about the environmental impacts of them and what you can do to lighten your impact on the planet while softening the planet’s impact on your joints.

Onyeishi is a Nigerian-based content writer and a lover of art and culture. His industry experience ranges from community management and content marketing to content writing/Strategist for major international brands.