As I venture further into the world of becoming a minimalist (in part forced by our current travel lifestyle and in part something I want to be intentional about in the future), I find that this world often crosses paths with the world of sustainability. Some people become minimalists because they are focused on sustainability, and some people come to it the other way around, like myself.
My last favorite things post talked about the podcasts I listen to, and one, in particular, has sparked my thinking on the topic of sustainability when it comes to clothing, shoes, and all things fashion. The Pre-Loved Podcast is run by an Iowa girl who focuses on thrift shopping, vintage, and ethical fashion. This podcast has reignited my love of thrift shopping and made me more curious about exploring the ethical and sustainable fashion scene.
Around the same time that I started listening to the podcast, I noticed that many of the women in a group of young clergywomen I belong to had fallen in love with a particular shoe brand called Rothy's. Many of these women are very focused on ethics and sustainability when it comes to fashion, so when they started raving about how these shoes are cute and comfortable and good for people and the planet, I was curious. I kept an eye on all their posts and determined that yes, these shoes are indeed cute, so I signed up for the company's email list and started dreaming of my own pair someday.
Fast forward to the end of June when we were in the States, and it was determined that my matte black Tieks (my trusty pair of black flats that lasted me almost 5 years) were beyond repair. What on earth would I do without a pair of black flats? They are an absolute staple in my wardrobe. One day I got an email from Rothy's reminding me of how awesome they are (seriously, their marketing emails are clever and catchy) and I texted Joel about how much I want a pair someday. Well, Joel encouraged me to turn that someday into today and before I knew it I was pulling the trigger on a pair of black flats from Rothy's!
My pair arrived just in time for us to leave the States and head back out on the road, so they have accompanied me to England, Italy, and Bulgaria so far. I wanted to wait a bit to write about them till I knew for sure it was love, and well, it is!
Here are the top 6 things I love about Rothy's:
Environmentally Sustainable - The super cool thing about Rothy's is what they are made from - plastic bottles! The company takes single-use plastic bottles (i.e. water bottles, pop bottles, etc) that otherwise would crowd landfills (or the oceans) and turns them into these amazing shoes instead. According to their website, they have currently repurposed over 35,000,000 bottles! (They update that number often.) If I didn't know it, I wouldn't guess that the shoes are made from plastic - I don't think they look or feel like it. This production process means the shoes are incredibly durable and good for the environment. In great attention to detail - Rothy's even focuses on sustainability when it comes to packaging and shipping the shoes! (Bonus love: shipping and returns are free!)
Ethically Made - The price point of Rothy's is a bit high at $125 for flats and $145 for points. However, my small journey into ethical fashion so far has shown me that the cheaper a product is, the more likely it is to be made in a factory where people are overworked and underpaid. Rothy's makes sure that their sustainability isn't just about the environment but about the people who make their shoes - and making sure everyone is paid a fair and living wage means that the customer is going to pay more for the product. I for one am 100% on board with that.
Fashionable - What good is an environmentally sustainable and ethically made shoe if it's ugly? No good at all! Luckily, Rothy's shoes are cute as heck! In my opinion at least. But hey, you don't just have to take my opinion - guess who else wears Rothy's flats? Meghan Markle! That's right, the actress turned Duchess of Sussex herself has been seen sporting Rothy's when she wants a break from heels. The shoes come in four styles - flats, points, loafers, and sneakers, and each style has a variety of prints and colors. They change what is on offer seasonally so sometimes a style you want might come and go, but black seems to always be available. My goal is to have a rainbow collection someday!
Comfortable - All my friends raved about how comfortable these flats were and I was skeptical, especially because I do still love my Tieks - the first flats I ever had that didn't give me blisters on first wear. I will say that my black flats aren't quite as comfortable straight out of the box as all of my Tieks, but they are pretty darn close. I have gotten ever so slight blisters on the tops of my toes from them but I think that is because A. my feet kind of suck, and B. I've been wearing them in hot weather and my feet sweat. (TMI? Sorry!) I've noticed that when I walk in them when it's cooler, the blisters don't happen. Overall I am comfortable vouching for the comfortableness of these shoes. (Although note - they do not have arch support. I don't need that and actually prefer shoes without it, but I know that's important info for some people.)
Washable - I already mentioned my feet sweat so perhaps you can guess that sometimes I struggle with smelly feet and therefore smelly shoes. (We are really getting to know each other, huh?) For this reason I absolutely LOVE that Rothy's are washable! That's right, throw them in the wash on cold then let them air dry and you have a pair of shoes that will look brand new again! Even if you don't struggle with smelly shoes this is a great feature for shoes that often get dirty and can end up dingy. Washable shoes, it's a brave new world!
First Time Discount & Referral Discounts - As I mentioned above, the price point for Rothy's can seem a bit steep at first. If you are shocked by the price then I have some good news for you - Rothy's gives a $20 DISCOUNT to all first-time buyers as long as you use a referral code. That's right, you can get $20 off your first pair! But you know what's even better? After you have your shoes and love them you can start sharing the love with your own referral code - and for every $20 discount of yours someone uses - you get a $20 credit! And you can stack those credits up to a FREE pair of shoes! So those shoes that seem impossibly expensive at first suddenly become very affordable.
If all those reasons above have you ready to fall in love with your first pair, grab the discount below and get shopping! Note, I will get a $20 credit if you use my link and for that I thank you. But mostly, I hope you love the shoes and enjoy knowing that your love of fashion is getting lived out in a sustainable and ethical way.
HERE'S YOUR $20 DISCOUNT CODE:
If you buy a pair be sure to let me know what you get! I have my eye on the Scooter Red flats next!