Innovation That Matters

Eco cheap: green shoes for under $30

Fashion & Beauty

We’ve written about many eco-fashion initiatives in recent years, most of them undertaken by premium brands for distinctly guilt-assuaging prices. Like Wal-Mart’s Love, Earth line of environmentally conscious jewelry, however, a new line of affordable eco-minded shoes from none other than Payless ShoeSource vividly illustrates how far–and how mainstream–green fashion has come. Last week Payless announced a new line of green footwear due early next year that will feature prices less than USD 30 on average. Summer Rayne Oakes, green fashion and beauty expert, has signed on as eco consultant for the green footwear brand, which will use sustainable and eco-friendly materials such as organic cotton and linen, natural hemp, recycled outsoles and eco-smart packaging. Women’s offerings will debut first, followed by styles for men and kids; all will be seasonally refreshed to reflect the latest trends. The shoes will be available online and in about 500 stores, with select styles appearing in 1,000 Payless stores, the company says. Matt Rubel, CEO of Payless parent company Collective Brands, explains: “The sustainability movement is pervasive today and is touching so many elements of consumers’ daily lives. But green items are often expensive and inaccessible to so many. With our mission to democratize the latest ideas in footwear and accessories, we are in the best position and proud to bring forward a green footwear line that is affordable and accessible to all.” Translation: the eco-iconic world has arrived, so now it’s time to expand beyond the original core of affluent, green-minded consumers and give the eager masses some eco-credentials of their own. In other words–time to make it affordable to be green! (Related: Nike: made from scraps.) Spotted by: Sarah Nill



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