Water, energy and carbon footprints of a pair of leather shoes
Document typeMaster thesis
Rights accessOpen Access
The shoe market is very big and complex. It is not easy for the consumer to know or estimate the true value of a product´s features and the environmental impact it has. The aim of this study is to analyze and improve a pair of leather shoes, including materials selection and end of life strategies to lower environmental pressure due to water and energy use and CO2 equivalent emissions. The present study was divided into two main stages: In the first stage a literature survey on the footwear industry was conducted, including the current state of the footwear industry and the current trends in footwear eco-labelling. In the second stage, Life Cycle based footprints for carbon dioxide equivalents; water and energy were calculated and related to a functional unit. This unit was based on one pair of reference leather shoe, manufactured by Aretina Company in León, Guanajuato, México. The footprints were calculated following the framework of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) prescribed by ISO 14040 (ISO, 2006). The footprints analysis was performed by aid of the SimaPro software and included Life Cycle Inventories (LCIs) of water, energy and CO2 equivalents. The analysis showed that three important potential areas for eco-shoe development are the shoe sole, the inside textile and the paper packages.