Big sale underway. Shop early and Shop often.
Just in time for summer, the gizeh sandal is available in bright patent leather (faux leather, of course) as well as gold and silver.
See what customers are saying…
Birkenstock footwear has always been constructed with sustainable products. The Birkenstock company handpicks all of the resources and boldly states that it only utilizes resources from “countries with modern environmental standards”.
The footbed is made from cork harvested in Portugal. Cork, the bark of the Oak tree, has been harvested since ancient times. It was used in Egypt, Greece and Rome cork for its buoyant characteristics, in buoys, fishnets and boats, and later to seal wine bottles. The desire for cork has increased but machine harvest is nearly impossible, so highly skilled workers on small farms use special hand axes to harvest the bark. The Oak Tree re-grows its bark every nine to ten years.
The jute used in the footbed is naturally grown in Bangladesh from an annual woody plant. The fiber made from the stem plays is layered between the cork footbed and the Birkenstock’s soles. Jute is one of the strongest fibers known to man and has been used for thousands of years to make ropes and rugs. The shoes could be held together using a toxic glue but Birkenstock decided to work with jute because of its friendly environmental qualities as well as its durability. The adhesive that keeps the jute in place is latex, chosen by Birkenstock because of its low environmental impact.
The latex used in Birkenstock shoes comes from Malaysia, but the Rubber Tree, latex’s source point is not native to the hemisphere. In the 1890’s as demand grew for the Rubber Tree, Britain, Malaysia’s colonial ruler, transported the rubber tree to Malaysia from its native home of Brazil. The tree flourished in Malaysia and today there is more rubber tree cultivation in Southeast Asia than in its native land.
The rubber soles of the shoe are made of Polyurethane, the product of a pre-polymer being mixed with alcohol and water. The Birkenstock company is the first to admit that is a toxic and non-biodegradable substance. It is the only non-environmentally friendly product used in manufacturing, but Birkenstock’s desire to change this is visible. A new non-toxic footbed is in the works.
The company switched to soy based dyes on their leathers over a decade ago.
M.J. Feet, in Seattle’s University District, was the first Birkenstock store in the United States. For over 35 years, they have provided “green” footwear to Seattle and beyond. Founded by Melanie Grimes in the back of a health food store near Green Lake, the store moved to the University District and has remained there for over three decades.