avatarHappy Earth Day! I just found out about some great eco-conscious brands and news, so I thought today would be a perfect day to share.

First off is a new (to me, at least) shoe brand named SoleRebels. Based in Ethiopia, SoleRebels is channeling the skills over 40 people from the village community of Zenabwork with full time jobs and over 100 people with part-time jobs. African entrepreneur and founder Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu said to WWD magazine, “We passionately believe that trade, not aid, is the key to upliftment.”

From materials (like recycled car tires for soles and organic, hand-loomed cotton uppers from Ethiopians paid fair wages) and talent almost exclusively sourced locally, SoleRebels are now selling in stores all over the US, like Whole Foods, and online! They sought to re-invent the traditional Ethiopian selate shoe which, since its not so traditional over here state side, looks like something all-together new. SoleRebels uses both bright and muted colors, that means something for everyone, and the line has created many different styles with closed-toe and open-toe options. Plus, price points range well in the affordable category at $30 to $65.

SoleRebels A Twist of Sole Sandal SoleRebels slipout light SoleRebels Fauna Flip-Flop Sandals

Second, I just found out that Payless Shoe Source has launched a plan to contribute a portion of sales this year from their new green Zoe&Zac line AND from purchases of their $1.99 reusable shopping tote (and trust me, even though you’ve seen a million of them, this one is cute!) towards planting one billion trees with The Nature Conservatory’s aptly named Plant A Billion Trees program. I’m down with that, if I may say so, and I’ve lined up some of my shopping list items below, not to mention the bag.

zoe&zac tigerlily wedge zoe&zac Ginger mary jane flat zoe&zac Snapdragon Ballet

Last, after being reminded by Lucky Magazine’s Spring Shoe Guide how much I love canvas sneakers (and being as their now in fashion and all), I decided to go to the source and visit the Keds website directly to see their new offerings. I was happily surprised to find a whole new Green section which, while not too large, has the same appeal as the shoes I expect from the brand. In addition to the usual recycled rubber soles (not to say that isn’t a huge step), these Keds also feature non-toxic inks and dyes, shoelaces that are 100% recycled water bottles, nickle-free eyelets and recycled insoles!

Their two green shoe styles (each in a few different colors) are below and hopefully we’ll be able to watch this section continue to grow!

Keds Willow lace up in green Keds Meadow Moc in blue

P.S. I love this idea sponsored by Nickelodeon’s Big Green Help for everyone to turn off their lights tonight at 9 pm for one minute! (hopefully it doesn’t result in massive power overload induced outages when all the lights come back on, but let’s not let that ruin the fun).

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