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!
- ►December 2014 (2)
- Introducing One of a Kind Shoes - Same Day Shipping with No Design-Your-Own Fees
- More Than Meets the Eye: Tim's Handmade Transformers Shoes
- Help Families in Need by Sharing What Makes you Thankful!
- Travel GIVEAWAY: Win a Free Pair of Rogue Shoes + a Travel Bag from RAGGEDedge Gear!
- Shopping Online? Finding Your Shoe Size Just Got Faster, Easier and More Accurate!
- 22-Year-Old Leather Moccasins Still Looking Good!
- Show Us Your BEST Soft Star Halloween Costume!
- Mindful Running Interview with Barefoot Guru Michael Sandler
- Show Your Team Colors! Tim's Special OSU Beaver Football Shoes
- Treatment and Removal of Plantar Warts - Kids' Foot Health
- Introducing SUPER SWATCHES for Local Soft Star Customers
- The History of Tassels—Fitting Tassels Now Available on the Soft Star Website
- Time for Our HALLOWEEN CONTEST: Win Handmade Shoes to Match Your Costume!
- BIG NEWS: Soft Star's New Website and New Shoe Visualizer
- "Boss of the Moss" Mick Dodge Wears Soft Star Shoes on National Geographic Series
- Need Spectacular Shoes for Fall? Introducing Autumn Moccasins!
- BATTLE FOR THE INTERNET: Help Small Businesses by Speaking Up for Net Neutrality
- ►August 2014 (3)
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- ►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)
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- 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)
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- 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!
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