Proof that sustainability is the new black? Dr. Scholl’s Herzog sneaker — a versatile and eco-friendly design that nabbed the first-ever footwear honor at the Accessories Council’s debut Design Excellence Awards in celebration of the organization’s 25th anniversary.
The shoe beat out fellow finalists Femmes Sans Peur’s Aurora pumps, Frances Valentine’s McCall jeweled velvet heels, Lsil & Co. Inc.’s Joan pointed-toe pumps and Sperry’s men’s Gold Cup boat shoes. Taking the stage to accept the award was Andee Burton, product development manager at the Caleres Inc.-owned brand. Jay Schmidt, president of parent company Caleres’ Brand Portfolio division, was also in attendance at the event, held on Thursday at New York’s iconic Plaza Hotel.
“We need to start thinking about footwear in a different perspective,” Burton said in her speech. “Hopefully this is the beginning to a long journey ahead for sustainable footwear.”
The Herzog is designed with repurposed scrap leather accents, a plant-based foam insole, soft linings and top-cloth made from recycled bottles, a heel counter made from other recycled materials and natural soles developed with a blend of rice husks and rubber.
It launched in April along with the Howe sneaker — both crafted with environmentally conscious and sustainably sourced materials in men’s and women’s silhouettes — as part of the brand’s sustainability initiative. With each purchase of the shoe, Dr. Scholl’s will donate one tree to Maryland-based nonprofit Trees for the Future to offset carbon emissions.
Since launching the eco-friendly capsule as part of its spring 2019 collection, Dr. Scholl’s said it has worked toward planting around 6,000 trees, diverted more than 8,000 plastic bottles from landfills, used more than 100,000 yards of sustainable materials and saved more than 1 million square feet of plastic. It has also reduced its packaging, which will soon be made with recyclable components and soy-based inks.
How Brands Should Sell Sustainability to Consumers