by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC
Sometimes, consumer trends come along that feel more like an invasion rather than a fun fad or good idea. Crocs managed to appear on the – dare I call it “fashion” – scene at warp speed. I barely had time to take in the sight of this obtrusive, brightly-colored, space-age-looking footwear before it seemed to land everywhere on earth. Whole Foods Market already stocks a glaring, overflowing rack of these things in every color and size, stealing space from their usually earth-friendly products.
Attempting to decipher the vague description of ingredients in these fully plasticized shoes makes them all the more suspect. Although I found information about a material called, Croslite PCCR (proprietary closed cell resin), it told me only that it is a petroleum based foam. Not good news for the environment or the animals and people in it.
I’m sure this stuff wears well (meaning it will last forever in a landfill) but the marketing that comes with it encourages consumers to own a pair in every color. Of course, accoutrements followed – stick-ons made of more Croc material, sold for $8.00/set. How long can these things stay “fashionable”? After all, just how many pairs of acid-washed jeans are hanging out in landfills as we speak?
Ok, I know these shoes make some sense if you say, live on a boat or, for growing little kids who always need durable shoes at a reasonable cost. I suppose they can be handed down as they grow out of them and are actually a little bit cute on the foot of a of a five-year-old. But, can we grown-ups just – well, grow up? If you have other, um, observations to make, go to IhateCrocs.com and let it out.
Instead of unthinkingly jumping on another brain-washing trend wagon, look into the generous selection of sustainably-minded, eco-friendly shoe companies who are establishing their reputation for quality, fashion and consciousness. My feet are particular to Blackspot and Earth. Also check out Simple Shoes and Worn Again.
Got another Earth-friendly favorite in Footwear? Let us know about it!