Shoe Defenders were born back in 2012. Learn about our product, journey, and future goals since our inception 7 years ago!
A huge goal since starting this company has been to not only eliminate shoe odor nationwide, but to do so while being environmentally responsible. Because of this, all components of our product are either compostable or recyclable and we try to use US materials whenever possible.
Our materials come from all over the United States! We source our unique fabrics from North Carolina, our clay from New Mexico, and our glue from California. While we would love to source everything from the US, there are some materials we have to get from other locations. We get our essential oils from countries worldwide. Not all plants are grown in the US which means we must find our essential oils elsewhere in order to use the most effective antimicrobial and anti-fungal oils possible. The biggest sourcing challenge we have run into is our packaging!
When thinking of what product packaging to use, we wanted to make sure it was environmentally friendly and therefore recyclable. We eventually decided on metal as not only is it recyclable, but has a lot of value as a recycled material. Our product now comes in a metal hinge tin. It is recyclable, keeps the product protected, and can be re-used by our customers for many different purposes.
The only hiccup? There are no manufacturers in the US that make hinged metal tins in the dimensions we needed. We researched for months and only found one duct company that could do it. But, since it was not their core competency, each tin would have cost more than the product itself! We contacted many companies and eventually, while attending the Outdoor Retailer show, we came across a company called Ameri-canna, whose packaging was fabricated in the US. We called their source, Independent Can, and they confirmed that metal hinge packaging is almost impossible to get in the US. They did put us in contact with the company we currently source from which is located in China.
While we love our packaging, we are always looking for ways to be more Eco-friendly, and that includes sourcing more materials from the US. Therefore, we are now looking for alternatives! We are excited to be in discussions with a California-based manufacturer. We plan to switch to cardboard based product packaging that is still recyclable, provides the protection of the tin, but can be made in the US!
As mentioned above, in addition to our recyclable packaging, the Shoe and Glove Defenders themselves are biodegradable. This means that after their lifespan (of about a year) is up, they can safely be put into the compost. We believe if you take from the earth, you need to give back to the earth! The fabric is cotton, and the filling inside consists of clay, essential oils and a carrier - all of which are compostable!
While our product does not currently consist of 100% US materials, we believe businesses have a responsibility to be socially and environmentally conscious. As a small startup we are doing the best we can to do our part, and make a promise to always do so! As we continue to grow and scale our goal is to stay true to the quality of our products while always looking for ways to be environmentally sustainable.