I’ve yet to see a “fair trade” shoe that didn’t deserve a name like “The Blister” or “The Air Blister.” I don’t care where you stand as an engaged consumer, if you’re looking for a shoe that you actually want to perform, your options are pretty much limited to the big boy shoe manufacturers.
National Geographic’s Green Guide helps us determine which one of the big boys we want to support.
Do we want to support a company that publishes a list of the names and addresses of their suppliers, but places a higher volume of orders in non-union factories?
Or do we want to support a company that Oxfam notes “has probably done the most research and thinking” about living wages for Asian factory workers, but does not publish a list of their factories and suppliers?
I’m in the market for a new pair of kicks and you can bet that I’ll be consulting Maureen Ryan’s piece in the Green Guide: Sizing Up Athletic Shoe Makers.