Is there such a thing as eco-friendly slippers?

Before I buy anything new, I have a look to see if there’s an eco-friendly version of the product I need. If I can afford it and can find it, I try to buy the eco friendly version. Now my faithful (and no doubt decidedly un-eco-friendly) Matalan slippers have worn out – I decided to see if I could find a replacement that’s a little less hard-going on the environment.

So is there such a thing as an eco friendly pair of slippers? If there is then I couldn’t find any.

The options for eco friendly slippers seem to be:

– sheepskin – a no-go for me as a vegan. I do wear leather boots but I bought these three years ago and plan to replace them with vegan ones when they wear out.

– something knitted by a Nana or a hip young knitter on Etsy. These are cute but are very expensive and I wasn’t sure that knitted slippers would be a wise investment to fit my other criteria of ‘must last for more than one winter’.

I wanted to get a pair from Seasalt as I’ve heard good things about their environmental and ethical credentials but their slippers are made to fit three sizes. Being a size 8, I would have had to have chosen a pair of 6-8, and I know that there would have been a real Cinderella’s ugly step-sister moment trying to get my man-sized feet in them.

Ethical clothing retails such as Free People and Komodo either didn’t sell slippers at all or they were at least ¬£50. Do people not wear slippers anymore? Is no one interested in making some snuggly, non-climate change inducing indoor footwear for winter? If I had enough cash and any business know-how then I know what my next business venture would be.

So I came to a compromise in my search for eco friendly slippers. I opted for a pair of Tom’s slippers that were in the sale. They were ¬£27, way more than I would normally spend on slippers but my hope is that they’ll last for a few years. They’re kind of hideous too, but I quite like that.

Gold, fluffy slippers – part genie from Aladdin, part Bet Lynch from Corrie.

Like many clothes and shoes retailers, Tom’s commitment to the environment is a work in progress but at least they’re trying, or so they say on their website:

“We offer shoes with sustainable and vegan materials and are working to expand these offerings. These shoes include natural hemp, organic cotton, and/or recycled polyester and these materials are used on the upper, liner and/or the insole cover (instead of our standard suede insole). All of our shoe boxes are made from 80% recycled post-consumer waste and are printed with soy ink.”

They do give a free pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes they sell, so that’s a good thing too.

I don’t know why more shops don’t sell eco friendly slippers, or slippers at all, but hopefully as retailers start taking their commitment to the environment more seriously there’ll be more options available when I need to replace my hideous¬† Tom’s pair.

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