Steps towards a greener future: Importing shoes sustainably

How eco-friendly practices are redefining shoe fashion

Sustainability is a hot topic in almost every industry, and the shoe world is no exception. With growing awareness about environmental impact and ethical production, the footwear industry is evolving. In this blog we look at the trends and innovations that are paving the way for a more environmentally friendly approach to shoe production.

The importance of sustainability in the shoe industry

Shoe production traditionally has a significant environmental footprint, from water use to waste production and emissions. As consumers become more environmentally conscious, demand grows for shoes that are not only stylish and comfortable, but also responsibly produced.

Innovative materials: Beyond leather and synthetic fabrics

  1. Recycled plastic: Many shoe brands have switched to using recycled plastic, such as PET bottles, to make new shoes. This helps reduce plastic waste.
  2. Plant-based leather: Materials such as Piñatex (made from pineapple leaves) and Mylo (made from mushrooms) offer sustainable and vegan alternatives to animal leather.
  3. Biodegradable materials: Some manufacturers are experimenting with fully biodegradable shoes, which can be composted at the end of their life.

person wearing white sneakers standing on top of brown brick ground

Sustainable production processes

In addition to materials, the production method itself is also examined. Energy-efficient production processes, reducing water use, and minimizing chemical waste are just some of the ways shoe manufacturers are trying to reduce their impact on the environment.

Transparency and ethical practices

Consumers are increasingly asking for transparency in the supply chain. This means fair working conditions, fair wages for employees, and the avoidance of child labor. Brands that embrace these values are gaining popularity. You can choose to become a member of Amfori and become BSCI or BEPI certified there.

Read more:

Turkey flag on pole with bell

Importing shoes from Turkey

This blog highlights the dynamics of the Turkish footwear industry and provides practical insights for importers looking to take advantage of the high-quality, fashionable footwear that Turkey has to offer. 

Read more

Leading brands in sustainable shoe fashion

Several shoe brands are at the forefront of this green revolution. Brands such as Allbirds, Rothy's, and Veja are examples of companies that integrate sustainability into every aspect of their production and operations. It may pay off to follow their example for your own shoe brand.


The future of the shoe industry appears to be green. With the rise of sustainable materials, eco-friendly manufacturing processes, and a greater emphasis on ethical practices, the way we think about shoes is changing. These changes promise to be better not only for the planet, but also for the people who make and wear our shoes.

Do you need help importing shoes from China sustainably?

Westwood Sourcing offers specialist support and expertise to make your import from India successful and efficient. Contact us today for more information! 

Share this post
Leather and sustainability: A critical look at importing leather shoes
Balancing quality and environmental responsibility