According to a study conducted by Quantis International, footwear production is responsible for about 700 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, or 1.4% of total global climate emissions. The negative impact of athletic footwear in particular includes problematic waste stream and labor practices, as well. So what can you do when you want to be responsible but you need new kicks? This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with the founder of Rens Original, Jesse Tran, about his company’s unique method of manufacturing shoes from spent coffee grounds and recycled plastic. Then, we revisit our discussion with independent journalist Brett Simpson as we imagine a world without traffic cops.Read the show transcript
Take a look at the shoes you’re wearing right now. You’ve probably logged more than a few miles in them already. But what kind of journey did they take before they ended up on your feet? This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to Spencer Wise, an author whose debut novel, The Emperor of Shoes, is set in an international shoe-manufacturing enterprise. We discuss the labor conditions of the Chinese shoe factories Wise visited, explore the environmentally treacherous practices of leather tanning, and talk about how over generations a small family business moved into the modern global economy.