ECCO: making shoes comfortable, stylish and sustainable at the same time

Climate change is a topic on everyone’s minds these days, and there are lots of ways we can each do our part to help our planet.  As consumers an easy place to start is by choosing to support companies who make sustainability a priority.  When it comes to footwear, ECCO is a company doing just that.

ECCO is a Danish shoe company founded with innovation as one of its core values.  Since its inception in 1963, ECCO has been striving to break ground when it comes to shoe design and manufacturing.  The leather industry relies on a process called tanning, which goes back thousands of years.  It’s a process that’s always used huge quantities of water, leading to significant water waste.  Now, ECCO have pioneered a new process that they call DriTan™.  Instead of requiring water from an outside source, DriTan™ uses only the moisture in the leather itself.  The result is a leather product that is the same quality and durability, with none of the unnecessary water waste.

“This process only involves what you already have at hand,” says Thomas Gøgsig, Head of Applied Research at ECCO. “You don’t have to invest in new equipment. You don’t have to look for new exotic chemicals. You just use what is already available at the tannery, only in a different way.”

ECCO tans 1.25 million hides per year to supply leather goods and shoes to its over 2,200 shops and around the world, along with supplying leather to some of the world’s iconic luxury brands. By using DriTan™ at their tannery in the Netherlands, ECCO can save up to 25 million litres of water per year.  That’s enough water to keep more than 9,000 people hydrated for 1 year according to WHO figures.

It’s that kind of forward thinking that ECCO hopes will change the entire leather industry, and make things just a little easier on our planet.

Armed with this knowledge, I decided to see if I could kill 3 birds with one stone this mother’s day; pick up a gift for mom, score a cool new pair of sneakers for myself, and find a brand that does some good to get both of those things from.  ECCO became that one stop shop.

For mom, who wants a super comfortable, stable and supportive shoe with style, I picked up these Soft 7 Slip On sneakers.

I just happened to be by the men’s section when I spotted these ST.1 M Slip On sneakers.  And since I have big feat and gender is nothing but a construct, I figured why not.

It’s a pretty good shopping trip where you can not only pick up a gift for someone you love, but something great for yourself, all the while supporting a sustainable brand.  So next time you’re looking for shoes for you, for mom, or anyone else in your life, think of ECCO.

Nadia Elkharadly

Nadia Elkharadly

Nadia Elkharadly is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Addicted Magazine. Her myriad of addictions include music, fashion, travel, technology, boxing and trying to make the world a better place. Nadia is also a feminist, an animal lover, and a neverending dreamer. Keep up with her on social media through @thenadiae.
Nadia Elkharadly