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Greenwash

20 January, 2010
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Running shoes may only last hundreds of miles, but once we discard them, unless there’s a way to recycle, they may sit in the landfill for hundreds of years. Not only that, but the manufacturing process is notorious for the use of toxic resins and glues. Many manufacturers are apparently beginning to take note of consumer’s increased awareness of their ecological footprint and sell shoes that claim to be environmentally friendly (e.g. Brooks Green Silence, New Balance 70, END Footwear). They often seem to be orange, strangely (which is fine by me).

Now, at risk of {ahem} jeopardizing a future sponsorship deal with my favourite brand, I have to say that Mizuno is either being very modest about their efforts, or those efforts are pathetic. I asked their shoe guy on the Runner’s World forum what they were doing in this direction, and I was referred to their web site, where ‘green shoes’ don’t even get a mention. Apparently this company’s initiatives amount to recycling their office paper and encouraging employees to carpool. Perhaps they think that with so many loyal customers they don’t need to clean up their act, that it’s enough to pronounce the tetrahedron (low surface area = goodygoody greendrops) the symbol of their efforts to ‘to gain the greatest productivity from the least amount of resource’. Whatever that means. I, for one, will consider my options next time I’m in the market for new shoes. This runner says, ‘not good enough’!

No running today. Hence the rant.

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