With growing awareness around sustainability, more consumers are looking for eco-friendly products, including athletic shoes. Salomon is a popular athletic and outdoor footwear brand.
But are Salomon shoes actually environmentally friendly? In short, yes – Salomon has made sustainability a key priority.
The company uses recycled and organic materials, follows sustainable manufacturing practices, and has initiatives around recycling old shoes.
In this article, we’ll look at what makes Salomon footwear an eco-friendly choice.
Salomon’s Commitment to Sustainability
Salomon takes sustainability seriously. The company has a dedicated team focused on environmental initiatives.
Their goal is to reduce carbon emissions and waste across production.
Salomon also partners with organizations like the European Outdoor Conservation Association to support environmental projects.
They aim to make sustainability a central part of their brand identity.
Responsible Manufacturing Goals
By 2025, Salomon wants to reduce carbon emissions from manufacturing by 30%. They also plan to reduce water usage by 20% and reach 70% renewable energy use.
These ambitious sustainability targets will require investments in green technology and processes.
But they demonstrate Salomon’s commitment to lowering their environmental impact over time.
What Makes Salomon Shoes Eco-Friendly?
Salomon incorporates various eco-friendly features into their shoe designs and materials. Their shoes utilize recycled and organic fabrics, bio-based materials that come from plants instead of petroleum, and components made from natural fibers like wool. Many models are completely PFC-free as well. Salomon footwear is also built for longevity – the company wants its shoes to be used and worn for many years before being recycled.
Use of Recycled Materials
Many Salomon shoe components utilize ECONYL nylon, a recycled fabric made from old fishing nets, fabric scraps, and industrial plastic.
Shoe laces, lining fabrics, and webbing frequently contain ECONYL. The company also uses recycled polyester from plastic bottles.
On average, around 5 plastic bottles go into each pair of Salomon shoes. The recycled materials have the same performance but a lower environmental impact.
Salomon’s Eco-Friendly Materials and Processes
In addition to recycled content, Salomon incorporates organic and bio-based materials. Shoes may contain organic cotton, wool, hemp, or Tencel lyocell.
These natural fibers are grown sustainably without pesticides. Salomon also uses Bloom foam midsoles partly derived from castor beans instead of petroleum.
The company is researching even more innovative eco-materials for future shoes.
Eliminating Hazardous Chemicals
Many athletic shoes contain PFCs or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances to make them water repellent.
But these chemicals are hazardous and environmentally persistent. As of 2020, Salomon footwear is completely PFC-free.
The company utilizes alternatives like wax coatings to achieve water resistance.
Salomon has also eliminated numerous other harmful chemicals from its products through rigorous restriction protocols.
Salomon’s Sustainable Manufacturing Practices
How and where shoes are made impacts their eco-friendliness.
Salomon has implemented various sustainability initiatives at their factories and works only with partners that meet standards.
Energy, waste, and water use are tracked. Renewable energy powers many operations.
Salomon’s goal is for all partner factories to achieve sustainability certifications as well by 2025.
Salomon strives to manufacture shoes close to where they will be sold to reduce transportation emissions.
For example, shoes sold in Europe are made in Slovakia. Localized production also lets Salomon oversee factory conditions and sustainability directly.
However, some materials still must be sourced from farther away, like rubber from Southeast Asia.
So Salomon focuses on sourcing sustainable materials whenever possible, even from a distance.
Salomon’s Eco-Friendly Packaging
Salomon minimizes shoe packaging waste through simple, recycled designs. Boxes use FSCTM certified paper from responsible sources.
Shoe bags and stuffing utilize recycled nylon and polyester. Ink is vegetable-based.
Salomon also maximizes box space so more shoes fit per shipment, reducing overall packaging and transportation needs.
Consumers are encouraged to reuse or properly recycle packaging. Salomon aims to reduce packaging weight per pair of shoes by 20% by 2025.
Even small details like tags and tissue paper have an eco-design. Hanging tags are made from recycled paper and printed with vegetable ink.
Interior tissue utilizes 100% recycled content. Water-based glue sticks tags on. And shoes are wrapped in a reusable cotton dust bag.
Everything serves a purpose while generating minimal waste. Thoughtful packaging can seem insignificant but makes a difference at scale.
Salomon’s Recycling and Repair Programs
Salomon provides options for consumers to recycle old shoes and gear. Through their Second Life program, used footwear can be returned to Salomon stores in some areas.
The shoes are inspected and refurbished if possible, then resold. If too worn, Salomon recycles the materials.
For example, rubber outsoles get ground into infill material for playgrounds and running tracks. Recycling keeps shoes out of landfills.
Salomon encourages repairing shoes instead of replacing them. Their Recommended Care & Repair program helps customers find local cobblers and repair technicians within their network.
Shoe parts, like laces and midsoles, can also be sent in to Salomon for replacement to extend shoe life.
Fixing shoes reduces waste better than even recycling. Salomon wants its products to stick around.
How to Choose Eco-Friendly Salomon Shoes
When shopping Salomon’s eco line-up, look for shoes made with recycled fabrics like ECONYL or with Bloom midsoles.
Models labeled PFC-free utilize no hazardous chemicals for waterproofing.
Shoes containing wool, organic cotton, and natural materials are good options too.
Also consider longevity – sturdy trail runners and hiking boots tend to last longer than lightweight racers.
Check Salomon’s sustainability guide for each shoe’s details. Picking the right eco-friendly pair depends on your needs and planned use.
Best Uses for Each Eco Model
Consider the Outpath Pro GTX hiking boots which are PFC-free and durably built for years of wear.
Speedcross trail runners work well for training with recycled laces and lining.
Rugged hiking and mountaineering boots like the X Alp MTN GTX contain the most eco-friendly materials for all-weather use.
Road running shoes utilize recycled midsole foam. Evaluate your own activity and environment to choose shoes that balance performance, longevity, and sustainability.
The Most Eco-Friendly Salomon Shoes of 2023
Salomon constantly improves the sustainability of its lineup. Some current models stand out for their recycled content and eco-friendly design.
The Out Path Pro 3D GTX hiking boots earn top marks for containing 59% recycled materials by weight.
The Cross Hike gloves utilize ECONYL fabric. And the Index.01 road running shoe incorporates Bloom midsole foam from castor beans.
As new technologies emerge, Salomon’s greenest shoes will push boundaries even further.
Salomon plans to introduce even more revolutionary materials in coming years.
Expect shoes made from algae biomass, chamomile, rice waste, and agricultural residues as these technologies scale up.
The company is also experimenting with renewable bioplastic uppers, bamboo sock liners, and protective films sourced from trees.
We can look forward to shoes that are progressively more eco-friendly while still delivering on performance.
Through recycled materials, sustainable manufacturing, and end-of-life recycling, Salomon is designing athletic footwear that treads more lightly on the planet.
The brand still has work to do on reducing its environmental impact further, but Salomon is committed to continuous improvement.
Consumers who care about eco-friendly attributes can feel confident choosing Salomon shoes.
Just be sure to select models with recycled content that match your sport and then use them for many seasons before recycling.
With some research, we can all find Salomon footwear that meets our activity needs while meeting sustainability goals.