“Footglove Earth,” is the first line of sustainable footwear from Marks & Spencer. Part of the British department store’s so-called “Plan A” environmental strategy, the shoes comprise a variety of post-consumer waste, such as coffee grounds in the fabric lining, rice husk–blended natural rubber for the soles, plastic bottles for internal reinforcements, and recycled foam for padded comfort. Recycled polyester thread embellishes each component, while low-impact water-based adhesives hold everything together.
Although the collection is far from vegan-friendly, Footglove’s sandals, flats, pumps, sneakers, and boots feature “premium” leather uppers; the leather is produced in tanneries accredited to Leather Working Group standards.
“Every element of these shoes has been made in a more sustainable way,” says Rachel Pedley, a footwear technologist at Marks & Spencer. “And of course, because this is M&S, they’re great quality, beautifully comfy, durable and look great.”
An endeavor 18 months in the making, Footglove has at least one convert: the factory that makes the shoes. Marks & Spencer’s supplier is now up to Plan A standards, according to Pedley, meaning that it’s more waste-, water-, and energy-efficient than it was before.