Whether you manufacture barefoot running shoes like Vibram or sell them like us, or if you make any other product, being kinder to the environment is something every business of any size should have high on their agenda. Both Barefoot Junkie and Vibram are working hard to make sure our carbon footprints become smaller than the physical footprints we leave on our planet with our barefoot running shoes. We still have some work to do but we’re well on the way.
We understand that our barefoot tribe takes all matters green very seriously and we do too. Connecting with the ground and the environment is one of the many pleasures from wearing thinner, less restrictive footwear, such as our barefoot running shoes.
Together we’re making great progress towards providing a product that better aligns with the whole barefoot ethos. Let’s take a look at some of the ways we are both working on being kinder to the environment and what work we still have left to do.
Reducing scrap and waste is a really important piece of the puzzle and Vibram have already made some great progress here.
Already, Vibram are saving 500,000 sheets of paper by the digitisation of documents. They are aiming to reduce this even further.
At Vibram’s USA site water recycling has become a part of daily life. They've been recycling large volumes of water for the cooling tower to reach a target of ‘zero waste of industrial water’.
Vibram are using more renewable energy now, without any waste by reducing energy consumption. This is made possible with more efficient processes and state of the art systems that only use clean energy.
The USA Vibram HQ is now using 100% renewable energy. Some of the steam presses have been replaced with more efficient electric presses.
In China a solar energy system has been installed and elsewhere lighting has been gradually replaced to LED lights, some sites are already lit with 100% LED lighting.
Vibram's barefoot running shoes are changing too. Take a look at the KSO ECO!
The newest product in the Vibram FiveFingers range is a really big leap forward for sustainable footwear production. The KSO ECO uses brand new technology called N-Oil to produce a sustainable upper material made with hemp which is designed to reduce overall impact on the environment. It’s the first FiveFingers shoe to use this more sustainable material which is made from more than 90% natural ingredients.
The KSO ECO doesn’t compromise on quality or comfort either. Barefoot Junkie’s own reviewer, Paul, had this to say about them:
“I’ve worn many shoes in the Vibram FiveFingers range and have my clear favourites that I find myself going back to time after time. The V-Alpha for instance is my go to for a trail run, I’ll head for my V-Treks when the weather’s a little colder or wetter. However, since my KSO ECO’s dropped on my doorstep I’ve seldom worn anything else.
Out of the box they felt softer than any of the other shoes in my rack, even though some of my favourites have had plenty of use. With any Vibram FiveFingers shoe I’ve never experienced any of the problems commonly associated with other new shoes like rubbing or blisters, but the KSO ECO took this to a new level. They felt as if I’d been wearing them for ages right from the start.
They are surprisingly warm too, despite being very minimal and very light. If it’s a little colder outside they play very well with a pair of Vibram Toe Socks. I haven’t yet felt the need to reach for my V-Trek’s but I’ll still be grateful for the extra grip if things get slippery underfoot.
Overall, these are a real winner for me and tick many boxes on my own quest to be kinder to the planet. I’m excited to see how Vibram will use these new, greener manufacturing methods to improve their range further”
Click here to take a look at the new, greener KSO ECO and try them for yourself.
We’re looking to do more!
Even though we are really pleased with our greener efforts so far we’re not quite where we want to be. For example there are many things we can do to improve our delivery process and packaging for our amazing range of barefoot running shoes. Rest assured we are working hard to find more sustainable materials and more cost effective solutions.
If you have any suggestions for ways that we can do more to become kinder to the planet we’d love to hear from you.