Brands make claims like "eco", "environmentally-preferable", "green, etc, but what does it really mean? At the broadest level, it's about having a lessened impact on the environment but in order for any claim to be meaningful, it has to be compared to something. Let's take an easy example: concentrated laundry detergent is environmentally-preferable to regular laundry detergent because there is less packaging and there is less weight for each bottle in the transport. So, there is less waste generated and there are fewer GHG emissions in the transport. In this case, the comparison is to traditional laundry detergent. At SOULiers Studio, we do our best to source vegan products that are also "ecological". We thought the best way to tell you what this means is by example. 1. Veja Vegan Sneakers: The Veja sneakers we carry are made of organic cotton which is better than traditional cotton which uses pesticides and insecticides, a leading contributor to pollution. Other styles are made of recycled plastic bottles which, compared to sneakers that are made of virgin materials, means that the bottles that would have otherwise gone to landfill, were actually upcycled! The Veja sneakers all use sustainably-harvested rubber, which is pulled back from the bark, without harming the tree or its growth. 2. NAE (stands for No Animal Exploitation): They use many materials which are environmentally-preferable to synthetic, oil-based materials, like ecological microfibers, pineapple "leather", recycled plastic bottles. The Estela Block Heels that we carry from NAE are made from microfiber materials that are OEKO-Tex certified, which certifies that there is no water or energy waste in making the materials. NAE's manufacturing is also CO2 free, meaning that only renewable energy was used in the making of their shoes. This means that no GHGs contributing adversely to climate change are produced in the process. How cool is that? 3. Minuit Sur Terre: We covet the Minuit Sur Terre styles so much and it's just great to know that their synthetic materials are solvent-free and high-quality from Italy. The inner lining of the shoes are mande from natural cereal fibres which is great because it reduces the amount of synthetic (and often oil-based materials). These are just a few examples, there are many more, and we'll do our best to showcase the "eco" qualities of our footwear styles and purses in upcoming posts. What's more, there's a great big connection between choosing vegan products over animal-based products. Did you know that 18% of the world's GHG emissions are caused by animal agriculture. So stay tuned for an upcoming post where we explore more topics that connect veganism to social and environmental good. "Vegan Whaaat?" is up next!