ECO-KNIT COLLECTION - THE PLASTIC EPIDEMIC IN OUR OCEANS
In early February, Hey Dude Shoes announced the launch of our new Eco-Knit Collection comprised of shoes constructed from recovered plastic trash from our oceans. As a brand, it is important for us to constantly find ways to not only educate people on issues affecting people and the environment, but also take real action. Over the past few years the global awareness for this plastic epidemic in our oceans has grown tremendously. While staggering information on the amounts of plastic and how it is destroying wildlife have continued to pour in, Hey Dude Shoes felt the need to do our part any way possible.
It is estimated that almost 18 billion pounds of plastic waste flows into the oceans every year. This is equivalent to five grocery bags covering every foot of coastline in the world. Enormous quantities of trash are not only ruining the gorgeous beaches covering our planet, but more importantly causing major damage to countless marine species. Scientist estimate more than half the world’s sea turtles and nearly every seabird on Earth have eaten plastic in their lifetimes.
Recycling began in the US in the 1960’s when a Philadelphia papermill started recycling linen and cotton rags to produce materials used for newspapers. The momentum to educate people to recycle continued with the celebration of the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, followed shortly after by the adoption of the universal recycling symbol. Over the decades that followed the importance of recycling has grown very strong with tools designed to assists with the process and many different campaigns around the world. The sad truth is less than a fifth of all plastic is recycled globally.
The United States is one of the worst countries in the world with around 9% of recycled plastic. The challenge in recycling starts with the difficulties of collecting and processing all of these materials, while trying to keep up with the production of plastic globally. Nearly a million plastic beverage bottles are sold every minute around the world and in 2015 alone Americans purchased about 346 bottles per person. The idea of recycling is no longer enough, but instead eliminating wasteful products for convenience is becoming a major push and the concept of “reusing” should now be the foundation for making real change.
There are many organizations and companies who’ve either made reusing plastic their core business or have sustainable fashion as one of their main marketing pillars. There is now an International Coastal Clean-up Day celebrated on the third Saturday of every September (9/21/19) encouraging volunteers to clean-up local beaches, rivers, creeks, and parks. In addition, there are huge initiatives, like the group at 4Ocean.org that have taken it upon themselves to organize massive clean-ups around the world, turning this collected plastic into bracelets sold, to continue investing in these efforts.
Our eco-friendly shoes are also constructed from collected plastic from the ocean that is melted down to create a material known as polyethylene terephthalate (aka PET fibers). These recycled PET fibers are strong and lightweight allowing us to provide an environment changing product, while keeping our signature comfortable shoes. The addition of the Levante to our Wendy and Wally Eco-Knit collection is a promise to our consumers that we’ll make our best efforts to create change, while continuing to focus on adding new styles to this line-up.
To strengthen our commitment, we've also invested in 10,000 biodegradable cornstarch bags that we’ll place in every shoe order until we run out. The purpose of providing the bags is to encourage our followers to use them to clean-up local areas in their community, negatively affected by trash. Even if we all don’t live near a beach, there are many other beautiful places in our surrounding areas that are also experiencing this issue like lakes, parks, and rivers.
Hey Dude is more than just a shoe company. We are also dedicated to providing products, activities and educational tools that positively impact our local environment and community members. Our Eco-Knit collection is just one of many programs that will honor this promise with the hope it makes people think and take their own actions to make true change.
To Shop for our Eco-Knit Shoes click here: https://www.heydudeshoesusa.com/collections/eco-knit