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No, shoes for kids don’t have to be low-quality crap

Rothy’s, the fast-growing women’s shoe brand that creates footwear from recycled water bottles, is making a serious go of reaching the kids’ shoe market. Last year, it launched a children’s version of the brand’s popular loafer silhouette, and this week, the company just launched slip-on sneakers. They’re available starting in kids’ size 10, which is about pre-school age.

[Photo: courtesy of Rothy’s]
At $55, these sneakers are more expensive than many children’s shoes, which tend to be poorly made, like much of children’s apparel. The idea is that since kids grow so quickly, there’s no point in investing in high-quality products for them. But that logic is not particularly eco-friendly, nor does it give kids a particularly good experience with their products, which tend to be badly designed and made of low-quality materials.

Rothy’s new sneakers are the antidote to these problems. These sneakers have a stretchy upper that accommodates children’s growing toes and are machine washable, which is necessary given how much mud and melted ice cream is likely to end up on them. And they are also sustainably made, using recycled water bottles. So, in practice, these sneakers allow you to buy fewer shoes for your kid since they won’t fall apart or get so dirty they can no longer worn.

This is good because as I’ve said before, the rise of fast fashion in the ’90s created a culture in which we think of clothes as disposable. As a result, our consumer habits are hurting the environment and accelerating climate change. The solution is for us to buy fewer, better quality things, and wear them as long as possible. This is a great lesson to teach kids when they’re little.

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