Shoes. Everyone needs them, but most of the ones that are available are unethically made and unsustainable sourced.
In fact, our carbon footprint may as well be a shoeprint, as roughly 23 billion pairs of trainers are produced each year with 300 million of these shoes end up in landfills every year.
And that’s only our athletic trainers – yikes.
What’s the problem with unsustainable sneakers?
Everyone knows that there are many problems with fast fashion.
While many think of fast fashion mainly affecting clothes and accessories, shoes also fall under this bracket.
Since 2005, the UK spending on shoes has nearly tripled, with 2021 seeing £11,186 million spent.
So, all this money is put into what goes on our feet, for good reason – but the downside is that most of the big players in the shoe industry are incredibly unsustainable.
The linear cycle of a shoe’s life cycle being wasteful (hence the 300 million pairs ending up in landfills each year), and often shoes are made using modern day slave labour methods, the initial production of shoes are harmful to the planet.
Most mass-produced sneakers are made using harmful materials, like synthetic textiles, synthetic rubber and other plastics that harm the environment through all stages of their lifecycle.
All plastic-based products that are not reduced, being 91% of plastic in the UK, ends up in landfills or our oceans, which wreak their own personal havoc on the environment.
Ultimately, unsustainable shoes are putting an incredible burden on the planet, people, and entire ecosystems.
What makes Miret sustainable?
The sustainable shoe brand, Miret is owned by two brothers from Croatia, they inherited the shoe business from their father. As time passed, and their experience grew, they realised that they had to change how they were doing business – that they needed to be greener.
Miret strive to make sure that their impact on the planet is minimal, and that the shoes are long lasting so as to support slow fashion.
Miret’s sneakers are made from 97% natural materials, of which the shoes are mostly:
- New Zealand wool
- Natural rubber latex
Miret also designed shoes with the aim for them to be worn, worn without care and for outdoor adventure, and for them to last beyond the standard year-long lifecycle sneakers often have.
The wool allows the shoes to be naturally waterproofed as well as being sustainably sourced.
Hemp is one of the most eco-friendly, carbon absorbing and sustainable plants that can be grown, as well as being a great material for clothing.
Of course, comfort and style also play a big role in how the sneakers are designed and made, and the hemp allows extra breathability as well as durability to the shoes.
Miret’s Sustainable Shoes Review: Don’t let them sneak past you
I received Miret’s ISOLA Sand which are a low-top, sand-coloured sneaker, currently retailing at €139,00. The ISOLA Sand are a part of their ‘Agave Is Life’ Spring 2022 Collection.
They arrived in a FSC certified shoebox made locally to the brand in Croatia, and made entirely from recycled cardboard – this was already a good sign.
Once opened, I was greeted by a smell that is not common for shoes – it smelt a lot like lemon. An odd note to make, but one that added to the experience of the unboxing. Perhaps this is due to the odour-resistant materials.
On the tongue of the shoes, they have two different labels for left and right, which add a lovely touch of subtle colour to the sneakers.
Trying them on
Boxes aside, the shoes themselves have a unique texture to them. This is because the Miret sneakers are made from a blend of their EU-Ecolabel® certified pure Wool and un-dyed hemp textile inside.
The wool makes the shoes naturally waterproof, which seems impossible for a shoe that texture, but it is the case. It is also detailed on a note that came with the box that the shoes are sprayed with a ‘water and stain repellent coating, 100% natural’.
The shoes came mostly unlaced, leaving the wearer to style the shoes to their preference. I did, however, find the laces surprisingly short compared to similar styles of shoe I have worn before – so bear in mind that no big bows can be tied.
The laces are made entirely from eucalyptus and feel good quality, so I don’t expect them to wear down any time soon (as this tends to be the case with laces, especially how tight I wear my shoes!).
Once I tried the shoes on, they were sturdy and rather solid; however, this did not phase me as I prefer harder soles. They fit me perfectly.
The soles are made from 100% natural rubber that is sustainably sourced, and the footbed is ergonomically made from natural cork.
These are not the shoes for those looking for support, as the sole is not very cushioned and adding an insole would leave no room for the foot.
Overall, I am very pleased with these sneakers. The gorgeous colour and snug fit are comfortable and effortlessly go with my wardrobe – hooray for slow fashion!
The quality of the shoes make me believe that they truly will stand the test of time, and are a perfect sneaker for the hot, summer months.
What normally deters me from low top shoes are the blisters that can often form, but these shoes genuinely fit perfectly and are causing no friction. Bonus!
If sand-coloured shoes don’t float your boat, check out the other gorgeous colours and styles Miret offer, including a stunning deep green and high-topped sneakers.
Pros: Sustainable materials | Ethically made | Comfortable | Variety of colours | Waterproof | Stain proof | Sturdy
Cons: Flat sole with no room for insole | Relatively short laces | Somewhat thin soles | Does require re-spraying of Miret’s waterproof spray
If you still want more…
- See our Sustainable Fashion Buying Guide
- Read our article on What’s Wrong With Fast Fashion
- Our top picks for Ethical Shoe Brands