I'm new to the ethical side of fashion. As a result, I find that in the course of my research my comfortable world view is constantly being jolted out of true. An example. At a fitting for wedding clothes the other week, I joked about doing the Doctor Who thing of teaming my suit with a new pair of Converses. I was firmly put right by our knowledgeable Marketing Director Ian. My beloved Chucks are a no-no. They're not produced to any real kind of ethical standards.
The sport shoe market in general is not best known for it's green credentials. Although companies like Nike (who bought Converse in the mid-nineties) are signed up to ethical pledges, their manufacturing processes leave a lot to be desired. It seems like you have to work a little harder these days if you want to look fly while giving Ma Earth a bit of a breather.
I was pleased to read about Oat Shoes, then. This Dutch brand create kicks that are completely biodegradable. When you've worn them out, you can bury them in the garden and they'll rot away to nothing. NOT landfill, please. We have our standards.
Better yet, the shoes have tree seeds in the lining, that are released as the trainers decompose. So you could plant a trainer and end up with a stand of saplings. It's a great idea, that won Oat second prize in the Amsterdam Green Fashion awards last month. We need more of that kind of smart thinking when it comes to ethical fashion. And I still need a new pair of shoes for this wedding.