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Simple: Shoes for a happy planet

Posted on 17 January 2010

Simple shoes for a happy planetI recently became the lucky owner of a pair of Simple shoes. Sadly, because of all the snow here in the UK for the past couple of weeks, I’ve  not been able to wear them out and had to stick to boots, but I have been able to find out about the company that made them.

Simple was established in 1991. They wanted to be the antithesis of the over hyped, over produced and wasteful shoe manufacturers out there. Recognising that the shoe industry was, on the whole, damaging to the planet they rejected the status quo and began with the ‘Green Toe’ shoe collection made from natural fibres. Later they added recycled car and bike tyres and plastic bottles to their shoe-making materials as well as certified organic cotton, hemp, bamboo and eco-certified leathers and suede. The packaging is stripped right back to just shoe forms and boxes made from recycled post consumer card and biodegradable bags too.

Simple’s manifesto is:

“How we make our shoe is just as important as why we make them. we’re committed to making our products 100% sustainable”

The thing I like about Simple is their recognition that creating an innovative and sustainable product doesn’t happen overnight and there is always something new to learn on the journey. They know that they still have lots to do in achieving their 100% sustainable product and have been insightful enough to experiment, assess and change where necessary. To me that looks like a company who is committed to what they do and have the creativity to achieve it. Their plans for the future includes their latest campaign ‘less > more’ which you can find out about on their website as well as details of their ethical supply chain and restricted substances policies.

Simple - eco friendly shoesSo, what about the shoes? Well I went for the ‘Pinwheel’ shoe because its vegan and made from hemp. Hemp is a fantastic plant, with its own built-in pesticides and needing much, much less water than cotton to grow. It’s really tough but soft and comfortable at the same time. Hemp production used to leave us with a nasty, scratchy fabric but those days are long gone and its just lovely now.

The Simple shoe designs are cool and could rival the other well known brands any day of the week. They come in lots of different styles (sneakers, boots, sandals, slippers) for guys, girls and kids and the prices are pretty good too.

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This post was written by:

Vicky - who has written 234 posts on Green Girls Global Blog.

Vicky coordinates the GGG blogs and is co-founder of the ethical website design team Make Hay. Make Hay build beautiful, accessible websites and provide a green website hosting service run on wind power. Vicky is involved with a local Fairtrade campaign group and loves crafts, design, animals and nature

3 Comments For This Post

  1. Brenda says:

    Great looking shoes and a great company ethos

  2. zsa zsa says:

    I admire Simple Shoes’ company philosphy and shoe selection! Love the colorful sneakers — they all look really comfortable! If I had my way, I’d get the ecoSuede and organic cotton velvet sneakers. Their bags are nice too!

  3. Vineeta says:

    I bought the boots from simple shoes two years ago and they’ve been fantastic. Recycled rubber soles, and lovely canvas top – They look as cool as they did when I bought them.

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