Nu IPath Sneakers Are Cooler Than Me

Becuase I’m such a cool skateboarder (ahem) I received some great Nu sneakers (or trainers) from IPATH.

“IPATH (pronounced eye-path) was founded in 1999 as a clear divergence from the over-tech trend in performance skate shoes. IPATH sneakers are as durable and grippy as other similar priced footwear intended for skateboarding, but they tend to have a more understated vibe that appeals to a different consumer. ”

Nu IPath

The pair I received were the cream ones, though they’re more green than cream. There is also a green pair available but they’re much darker green. Very, very comfortable they came with a green and cream set of laces in case you wanted to switch and also have Velcro sealed pockets below the tongue, for stashing keys, money or whatever.

They also apparently feature triple-stitched construction in the toe and outside foot area that helps ensure durability and prevent blow-outs as skaters slide their feet against harsh griptape (I’m no skater, but I’m told with confidence that when you ollie, your lead foot turns sideways, so the outside of the upper is sliding against the board). The elasticated tongue also ensures an snug and comfortable fit.

I couldn’t find any downside to them, they do what is asked of them and look good too.

Price-wise they are not cheap at nearly $80 but the quality seems outstanding. Plus they’re made from materials such as hemp, ramie, organic cotton and other recycled and/or sustainable materials. Check them out at IPATH.

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Autonomie High-Top Shoes Eco Product Review

As well as trying out their ethical flip flops, I also have a pair of Autonomie Project Black & White High-Top Sneakers. A really short video of them is below (if you can’t see the video please go here). Autonomie Project is a new Fair Trade fashion company offering stylish sweatshop-free & eco-friendly footwear, clothing and accessories.

The soles of the sneakers are made from 100% all natural FSC-certified rubber. The FSC-certification guarantees that the rubber was tapped from a sustainable forest in which the trees are taken care of in balance with their natural surroundings without any major clear cutting. In addition, the FSC ensures that no indigenous wildlife or people were displaced during the production of our rubber. This rubber is the only kind like it in the entire world. (Most other rubbers are man-made in a chemical factory).

The canvas and shoelaces of the sneakers are made with 100% organic cotton canvas and the dyes are water-based and PCP and AZO free. They also came with a little story about Shiran Gunadasa who is a rubber tapper on the Frocester Estate in Sri Lanka (who supply FSC certified rubber for the Ethletic range), and what their estate did with their Fairtrade Premium.

Also available in all black and olive green, I really like the trainers. Comfortable and smart they are a great ethical alternative. Plus they came in recycled packaging that I always like to see.

Autonomie Project also sell some ethical flip flops that I’ve reviewed here and also sell bags and purses, so why not take a look?

Autonomie Ethletic High-top Sneakers

Green Store News: Face, Feet and Holidays

At Life Goggles we do a lot of product reviews so have a great deal of interaction with online stores and get loads of press releases. So following on from the previous Green Store News, here’s some more snippets for you.

Natural Beauty
A new holistic beauty store has opened for the UK. The Natural Beauty Store offers organic skincare and beauty products – and the ingredients to make your own. The site also includes a section with articles about natural and holistic beauty care.

Green Feet
Male Organics has started selling shoes. Shoes from Terra Plana, Worn Again & Vivo Barefoot Terra Plana uses a variety of eco-friendly materials including: chrome free leathers, vegetable tanned leathers, recycled materials, pure latex soling materials, recycled rubber soles and recycled foam foot beds. And there’s 25% off if you grab them quick, I’m going to.

Shoes

Going on holiday?
Nigel’s Eco Store has a few tips for you to make it as eco-friendly as possible. “British tourists, planning to fly this summer, should make an effort to reduce their impact on the environment because by jumping on a plane, they are adding a huge chunk – nearly a half a tonne for one return short haul flight – to their carbon footprint,” says Nigel from Nigel’s Eco Store. He recommends the FreeLoader or Solio portable solar chargers for PSPs, iPods etc. And for those sun filled afternoons by the beach, he suggests the EyeMax Wind Up LED Solar Radio.

How Can You Wear Leather And Be Green? An Interview With Katleen From www.georgette.be

Katleen Baum and her twin sister Liesbet run georgette, an online and real world shop in Antwerp which specialises in animal friendly footwear. The website is a delight. Handily written in English, you navigate with a flea circus and clicking on a link can give you a nice surprise. Oh, and the shoes are great too. Here Katleen spoke to Life Goggles about reconciling veganism with wearing leather.

“Ever since we were kids, we were always fascinated with fashion and shoes. And also with animals. From the moment we realised that the animal we saw in the country, ended up on our dinner plates, we did not want to eat it anymore. So we became vegetarian and evolved to veganism. No biggie, right? But as time progresses, you start to question other things…

Georgette

Every vegetarian or vegan, some day, will be confronted with the same dilemma: how to reconcile a strict vegetarian-vegan diet with wearing leather?

Especially for fashion and shoe addicts like us, this is quite a hard nut to crack! So at first, you try to ignore the issue. It’s just too hard to find a nice nonleather shoe, right? But your conscience doesn’t leave you alone. So you start to do some research.

Apparently leather, as often stated, is not just a slaughterhouse byproduct, it is a booming industry. Wearing leather shoes contributes to factory farms, slaughterhouses and a lifetime of suffering for the animal. The meat and leather industry is no friend of the environment either. According to a UN report from November ’06, the livestock business is among the most damaging sectors to global warming and land and water degradation. Animal wastes, antibiotics, hormones, fertilizers and pesticides cause serious water and land pollution.

The process of turning animal skins into leather shares all the environmental destruction of the meat industry: dangerous mineral salts, formaldehyde, coal-tar derivatives, cyanide-based oils and dyes, chrome and other damaging products are used. Also the tanning is an intensive chemical process that causes toxic waste.

Fashion, for us, should be fun, not cruel, nor harmful…so the decision not to wear leather then came quite easily.

But where to find stylish, high quality shoes without leather? Most nonleather shoes have a bad reputation: they are ‘unfashionable’, from ‘poor quality’ and made with ‘cheap, exploited labour’. Encountering ‘stylish’, ‘high quality’ shoes that are ‘completely animal-free’ and ‘handmade in Europe’ seems not so easy!

Georgette

After a long and unfruitful search for vegan shoes according to our strict demands, we decided to explore the shoe sector ourselves and investigate the possibilities. Many shoe factories believed we were crazy… quality shoes without leather? Impossible!

But after a while we were blessed to meet a few Italian and Spanish, mostly very small and family-run shoe companies who decided to give us a chance. We encountered nonleather materials that have evolved so much: they are soft, durable, absorbing, and gentle to the environment! They had nothing to do with cheap, unbreathing plastic (pvc) that is also highly polluting to the environment. Those new materials could be used for elegant, high quality vegan shoes…and georgette was born!

We named our shoe store after our grandmother Georgette. She always was a true shoe addict. We were always playing dress-up in her fabulous pumps and sandals. Now, she is 80 years old and she still wears ‘over the top’ stiletto-heels in lots of different colours and patterns. Our friends and family were convinced our shoe-obsession was of a genetical kind. Hence the name.

With georgette, we aim to prove that wearing high-quality and chic footwear can easily be combined with a compassionate lifestyle. Together with small family-run companies in Italy and Spain, we work out exclusive collections that are made in the best nonleather and eco-friendly materials, like natural fabrics and luxurious Italian faux leathers. Super-stylish, animal-friendly and 100% sweatshop-free!”

Again the website is www.georgette.be and I can’t wait for them to start doing men’s shoes too.