Eco-sneakers, affordable green fashion

Yazmin Cruz

Zoe and Zac
Zoe and Zac Photo by Yazmin Cruz

Like many other people, I love shoes. A couple weeks ago I discovered Payless had started a green line of shoes that cost less than $30. I was not surprised because it seems that everyone has jumped on the bandwagon of going green. Their Zoe and Zac line hit stores in April with a flirty spring collection that included sneakers, sandals and flats.

The shoes are made from Eco-friendly materials including organic cotton, linen, hemp and recycled rubber. With the use of natural dyes, water-based glues and soy-based inks, the recycled shoe boxes are also environmentally friendly.

I don’t usually shop at Payless (because I’m a shoe snob) but with today’s economy and my tight student budget, I decided to give the shoes a try and I was pleasantly surprised.

Although the shoes were somewhat stiff in the beginning I have found them to be as comfortable as my high end Eco-friendly flats from Simple Shoes. The only difference is the price and the materials used for the shoes.
Simple shoes, which have footwear for women, men and children, can run up to $80 for a pair. The Zoe and Zac collection on the other hand only has a shoe line for women. Although both shoe lines use organic cotton, the difference in the amount used in substantial.

If it were any other time, I would stick with Simple shoes and other establish green companies. But for now, I take comfort in knowing that my choices at stores that may just be following a fad are taking notice and this my lead to them making a stronger commitment to decreasing their environmental footprint.