Shoes are one of those products that we wear daily and for many are a necessity, and although most of us wear footwear everyday not many people seem to ever wonder how the shoes that everyone wears are produced.
In the manufacturing process there are many steps, and there are many different materials used for footwear. For example, there are different materials utilised for sport shoes, dress shoes, boots, sandals and so on. Some materials are utilised to make footwear comfortable, protect the foot from injuries, or to make footwear to look very exquisite, and so on.
Materials include: fabric, plastic, rubber, foams, metals, wood, leather.
There are more than 20 billion pairs of shoes manufactured each year. Shoe manufacturing in general includes use of many chemicals and fossil fuels during the first step in the shoe life cycle.
During the manufacturing process, large amounts of energy are used, which mainly comes from fossil fuel (coal, oil or gas fired power stations) as well as many chemicals, adhesives etc, many of which are derived from fossil fuels.
The finished product and the raw materials have to be transported, the raw materials to the manufacturing plant, and then the finished product to the various distribution and retails stores, for us, the customers to admire and purchase.
Generally speaking, most of the footwear manufacturing centres are located in ‘Third World’ economies, and many of the sales points are located in Western countries. So, transportation (and it’s cost) is fundamental to the viable manufacturing and sale of footwear.
Hence, transportation by ships, airplanes and trucks are essential in order to deliver the goods to the retailers.
Gee, even those protesting against oil and gas (fossil fuels) need fossil fuel, and want your money to pay for it and themselves, as they hypocritically protest against a product that is essential for them.
Anyhow, back to footwear. Many chemical adhesives and tanning chemicals are used to process different parts of the shoe. An example of some of these chemicals include chlorinated phenols, tribromphenol, chlorinated paraffins, dimethylfumarate etc, which are used to preserve the materials, such as leather, in shoes. These chemicals are by products of petroleum (fossil fuel).
Where would we be without the Oil and Gas Industry?