The footwear equivalent of Crayola pastels and lunchboxes, the jelly shoe is back for the summer. But with most PVC shoes, it might seem a strange trend for our plastic-anxious times.
Online research of jelly sandals has increased significantly since April on the global fashion research platform Lyst. The 82% increase on a monthly basis comes after sandals have dominated the catwalks of the season. They came to Alexa Chungfashion-shows/spring-2019-ready-to-wear/alexa-chung/slideshow/collection#21″ data-link-name=”in body link” class=”u-underline”> high with jewelry, while to Simone Rocha jelly cursors were decorated with feathers. There are many versions of High Street available from Asos to Next and New Look, where prices start at around £ 6.
According to Lynn Wilson, consultant and consumer researcher, "from the consumer's point of view they are a really fantastic summer proposal". They come in bright colors and are a true "fashion statement".
They also join the phenomenon of ugly shoes, now seasonal, in which Crocs and Birkenstock are acclaimed as haute couture, as well as the current love of fashion for all things childish.
And yet, overall, they are made of PVC petrochemical-based material, which, according to Greenpeace, is "one of the most toxic substances that saturate our planet and its inhabitants". It is not the first time that we fall in love with plastic footwear: from flip-flops to sliders, our choices in favor of water are often less good than on the planet.
Natalie Fee, founder of City to Sea, an environmental organization that fights for plastic pollution, said that jelly sandals "embody the madness of fashionistas".
"Why would you want to be seen in something made only of fossil fuels, most likely from crushed gas, in the midst of a climate emergency?" He said Fee.
Julian Kirby, an activist from Friends of the Earth, said: "Whether it's gelatinous or waterproof shoes, the most important thing from an environmental point of view is that it's built to last. This is especially important with shoes, since poor deadlines just last a vacation. "
Some well-known producers – from the British Juju, which supplies Asos and Urban Outfitters, to Brazilian footwear Melissa – promise recyclable jellies. This is potentially a great victory in a time when over 8 million tons of plastic enter the ocean every year.
According to Wilson, "the key problem for consumers is when a brand says recyclable, what does it actually mean?" Many think that this means that the jellies can come out with their domestic recycling, but PVC is almost never recyclable through local councils and can contaminate other plastic recycles.
Some brands offer solutions. Melissa is working to install the recycling manifolds in all its stores by the end of 2020; meanwhile his Covent Garden shop will take back the shoes. A Juju spokesman said that while "there is no formal scheme in which the consumer can recycle through us … if they are sent to our address and have been cleaned they can be added to our stack to be resized and turned into new shoes ".
Wilson said that this engagement with the consumer is fundamental: "We need the industry (to say)" this is our ambition … this is where we are now, this is what we need to help us ". (So) we can start working towards this common closed cycle".
. (tagsToTranslate) Fashion (t) Life and style (t) Environment (t) Plastics (t) News from the UK