Summer is in full swing and so is your sneaker collection. Although we’re always looking forward to fresh summer releases (like Giannis’ upcoming Nike Zoom Freak collab), we’re also stepping out with old favourites that have been hibernating in our closets for the winter.
At the same time, we can’t ignore the unprecedented heatwaves happening all over North America — a sure sign that climate change is here and accelerating fast.
It’s more important than ever to do our part, no matter how small it might seem. And that starts with how we clean our kicks. Looking to keep your AJ1s sparkling, without harming the planet in the process? Here’s how to implement sustainability into your daily sneaker care routine.
Of all the Earth’s water, only 2% is fresh. That’s why conservation is key to maintaining our water supply.
Pro tip: you don’t need water to wipe away dirt or even grass stains from your kicks. In fact, the most effective shoe cleaning formulas don’t use any water at all.
Search for a foam-based shoe cleaner that requires no additional water and uses powerful, plant-based cleaning agents. For example, Coco Glucoside is an all-natural cleaning agent derived from coconuts. It’s tough on stains, but easy on fabrics — helping you avoid discolouration and textile breakdown.
So many of our household cleaning and shoe care products are chemical-based, like bleach and polish. But when we use those types of cleaners, toxic chemicals are carried through our air, water, and bodies to wreak havoc on the environment.
To avoid this toxic relationship, stick with natural and plant-based cleaning products across the board. There are so many incredible ingredients found in nature that are just as effective, far cheaper, and way safer for us and the planet.
Choose sneaker care products that are free from harmful toxins, synthetic preservatives, irritating fragrances, and dyes. When in doubt, spring for brands that are 100% plant-based to steer clear of hidden ingredients.
We all know how vital it is to recycle and re-use. But it can still be so difficult to know what can be recycled and how to upcycle things responsibly.
Our best advice? Make the process as easy for yourself as possible. Invest in sneaker care products that are 100% biodegradable, like our handcrafted bamboo and sisal fibre shoe brush. Once you’re done with the brush, you can feel confident knowing the entire product can be returned to the earth.
Find products that are either sold unwrapped or use post-consumer recycled packaging, all the way down to the labels. That way you can recycle the entire bottle or box with ease, knowing it doesn’t have any hidden parts that are meant for the landfill.
Last, but definitely not least, say no to disposable wipes. In 2019, the UK announced that it was using 11 billion wet wipes every year, nationwide. (Yep, billion.) These wipes are not only blocking sewers, but piling up in river beds and waterways. And the issue is just as pressing here in Canada.
The simple solution? Reusable microfibre cleaning cloths that are ultra-absorbent, long-lasting, and designed to clean every corner of your sneaker’s surface.
After falling in love with sustainable sneaker care, why not make it official with eco-friendly sneakers to match? We rounded up our top sustainable sneakers of 2020 on the Shoe Laundry blog.
Learn more about Shoe Laundry’s commitment to sustainability here.
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