Soft Shoes Make Soft Footprints
“Environmental sustainability is in the fibers of Soft Star Shoes culture, whether it is the materials we buy, the processes we use or the resources we consume.”
That environmental statement has always been the standard at the Soft Star workshop. We’re lucky to have so many eco-conscious elves making their own efforts to help us maintain our sustainable practices. Recently, a new idea was suggested that we feel helps us reduce our carbon footprint even more.
Elf Cindy, with extensive background knowledge about different recycling processes, put quite a bit of work into researching less wasteful methods for shipping our shoes. The result: Tyvek® envelopes and Ecobags.
Tyvek® is a thin, pliable material that is both lightweight and extremely tough. Packing a shoe with this material leads to a smaller, lighter package that requires less fuel to ship. It is not unusual to see Tyvek® envelopes, and their production generates less greenhouse gas than the process of recycling cardboard. Also, Tyvek® is recyclable. We collect all the Tyvek® envelopes received in our workshop and send them to the Tyvek® recycling center on a regular basis.
Ecobags, or EcoEnclose Poly Mailers, are similar to Tyvek® since they are lightweight and tough, but Ecobags have the advantage of being 100% biodegradable and compostable. Although it will take several months, you can toss an Ecobag into your backyard compost bin and it will disintegrate entirely into nutrient-rich soil. They are also made in the USA and come with a double strip of sealing tape, so they can be reused and reshipped at least one more time.
Our standard shipping box, an Ecobag and a Tyvek® envelope.
Before trusting your precious soft shoes with these soft packages, their durability was thoroughly tested. Aside from mailing some initial sample shoes to trusted friends around the world for feedback and photos, C.Elf.O Tricia had fun "stress" testing as well. She placed a brave pair of our moccasins in the bags and crushed, stomped and mauled them every which way to mimic the worst conditions they could encounter during the shipping process. The result: we opened the bags to find the shoes still in perfect condition!
The choice of using Tyvek® or Ecobags depends on the size and style of shoe, as some shoes fit better in one or the other. At this time, we are only using these soft packages to ship soft-soled moccasins and our lightweight Moc3 running shoes. We feel that shoes with thicker rubber soles should not risk the dangers of being bent and still need the protection of cardboard boxes. Also, international orders will still use cardboard since they are commonly opened and reclosed at customs. Nonetheless, a large percentage of our orders are now shipped with the new materials. Our postman, who typically has a difficult time fitting our shipments into his truck, is very grateful.
We hope you will also appreciate the environmental efforts made by our elves. As always, we love to hear your feedback!
- ►March 2014 (1)
- ►February 2014 (3)
- ►January 2014 (2)
- ►December 2013 (6)
- Happy Thanksgiving! Holiday Shopping Tips and Ideas from the Elves
- GIVEAWAY! One-of-a-Kind Green Merry Mocs
- Holiday Shipping for Soft Star Shoes
- Tips for Choosing Minimalist Boots and Winter Shoes
- GIVEAWAY: Win a Free Pair of Very Unique Merry Mocs!
- We Have a Winner for Our Halloween Costume Contest!
- Help Us Pick a New Leather Color
- Shoe Artisans Share New Ideas at the Soft Star Workshop
- Heartfelt Obituary for Red Dash
- Monkeys and Elves Unite! Soft Star Teams Up with Luna Sandals
- Soft Star Halloween Costume Photo Contest… and a Secret from the Elves
- Knee Arthritis? Change Your Shoes for Prevention and Treatment
- We Have a Sweepstakes Winner! And More to Come...
- ►September 2013 (5)
- ►August 2013 (5)
- ►July 2013 (5)
- ►June 2013 (4)
- Should Trail Shoes Be Thicker Than Street Shoes? Maybe Not...
- Soft Star Survey: Receive a Free $5 Gift Card and a Chance to Win $100 Cash!
- Elves Getting Dirty! Soft Star Volunteers at SAGE Community Gardens
- First Sneak Peek at the New Soft Star Ballet Flat!
- Maker's Wild Documentary: Go Behind the Scenes at Soft Star Shoes
- Are High Heels Giving You Hammer Toes? Tips for Prevention and Treatment
- Intrigued by Barefoot Running? Start this Weekend with International Barefoot Running Day!
- Are Those Shoes Made of Wood?
- Wikler's Quest for Healthy Children's Feet
- Michael Sandler Visit and Workshop – Barefoot Walking Book Review and GIVEAWAY!
- Thinking of Boston
- How Fast Do Children's Feet Grow?
- Barefoot Pioneers: the People Who Taught Us "Barefoot is Best"
- Caballo Blanco's Legacy Lives On: Tom Norwood Returns from Copper Canyon
- Book Review: Overthinking the Marathon by Ray Charbonneau
- Reinventing the Hammer: OSU Students Bring Their Skills to Soft Star
- An Olympic Thank You! Help Missy Franklin Swim for MS
- The Mighty Arch, Part 2: Strengthen Your Arches to Treat and Prevent Foot Pain
- Running Green: Soft Star Shoes at the Portland Shamrock Run
- Winter Playday at the Soft Star Workshop
- The Mighty Arch, Part 1: A Natural Cure for Plantar Fasciitis?
- ►February 2013 (4)
- ►January 2013 (1)
- ►December 2012 (5)
- A Barefoot Running Book for Kids (Includes Free Lesson in Consumerism) + GIVEAWAY!
- Happy Thanksgiving! Turkey Shoes and Small Business
- Infographic: How to Choose Barefoot Shoes
- Rally 4 Jillie!
- Gifts for Her this Holiday Season - Fitting Tassels
- Sneak Peek at New Shoes for Women and Men - Vote for a Name!
- Soft Star Shoes for Mari's Place
- Introducing Youth Dash and Phoenix Boots
- Sneak Peek of the New Youth Dash - Vote for Your Favorite Color!
- And the Winner Is...
- Race, Walk or Skip for the Cure!
- Caption Contest Finalists - Vote for Your Favorite!
- Soft Star Caption Contest – Win a Free DVD of Barefoot Running, the Movie!
- ►September 2012 (3)
- ►August 2012 (3)
- ►June 2012 (3)
- ►May 2012 (2)
- ►April 2012 (2)
- ►March 2012 (1)
- ►February 2012 (3)
- ►January 2012 (2)
- ►December 2011 (4)
- ►November 2011 (3)
- ►October 2011 (3)
- ►September 2011 (4)
- ►August 2011 (4)
- ►July 2011 (5)
- ►June 2011 (3)
- ►May 2011 (5)
- ►April 2011 (3)
- ►March 2011 (2)
- ►February 2011 (4)
- ►January 2011 (3)
- ►November 2010 (4)
- ►October 2010 (3)
- ►August 2010 (2)
- ►July 2010 (1)
- ►May 2010 (3)
- ►April 2010 (4)
- ►March 2010 (3)
- ►February 2010 (9)
- ►January 2010 (1)
- ►December 2009 (3)
- ►November 2009 (2)
- ►October 2009 (6)
- ►September 2009 (3)
- ►August 2009 (3)
- ►July 2009 (2)
- ►June 2009 (3)
- ►May 2009 (3)
- ►April 2009 (2)
- ►March 2009 (6)
- ►February 2009 (2)
- ►January 2009 (4)
- ►December 2008 (3)
- ►November 2008 (4)
- ►October 2008 (4)
- ►August 2008 (4)
- ►July 2008 (2)
- ►June 2008 (6)
- ►May 2008 (4)
- ►April 2008 (7)
- ►March 2008 (2)
- ►February 2008 (2)
- ►January 2008 (4)
- ►November 2007 (2)
- ►October 2007 (5)
- ►September 2007 (2)
- ►August 2007 (2)
- ►July 2007 (3)
- ►June 2007 (2)
- ►May 2007 (2)
- ►April 2007 (2)
- ►March 2007 (4)
- ►February 2007 (2)
- ►January 2007 (2)
- ►December 2006 (1)
- ►November 2006 (4)
- ►October 2006 (3)
- ►September 2006 (4)
- ►August 2006 (5)
- ►July 2006 (4)
- ►June 2006 (5)