If you’ve been reading a while, you’ve probably seen some of my previous posts regarding Conscious Consumerism. This weekend I decided it was time to literally put my money where my mouth is. First, let me just say that all of this is in my carefully planned budget so even though I acted completely out of character, I didn’t act irresponsibly.
Anyone who knows me well, knows that I despise shopping, especially clothes shopping. Obviously, it’s something that needs to be done periodically, and typically I have to force myself to do it. When I was a kid, shoe shopping was always extremely traumatic. I had very narrow feet and any shoes that fit were incredibly hideous old lady shoes and certainly nothing cool like all the other kids were wearing. After the third or fourth store and ten or twelve pairs of shoes, my Dad was usually pretty fed up with the whole thing and was less than encouraging as I searched in vain for shoes that fit and were socially acceptable.
Clearly I need some new tennis shoes. The actual date escapes me, but I know I purchased these at least five years ago. They are sad and tired. If they just looked bad, I could probably live with it, but parts of them keep falling off and they are mesh – great if you live in southern Florida, where I lived when I bought them, but not so great when you’re walking the dog and it’s 35 degrees outside. If they ever did possess any type of support, it’s long gone. In addition, Sketchers have an F rating in the Better World Shopping Guide.
Over several days time, the following self-talk was happening:
By Saturday I was ready. I got in my car and drove just a few miles to . . . the mall. Having fully researched the lay of the land, I knew where to park and what entrance to use, and what path to take to get to the shoe store as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Armed with my cloth shopping bag, I entered the mall, cruising through H&M without stopping. A quick stop by the directory confirmed that I was headed in the right direction so I proceeded with confidence. I entered 50 East Shoes and immediately began scanning the displays for dansko.
dansko is rated as a green hero. They are a certified Green Business, are powered by 100% renewable energy, and their main office is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold eco-certified. They are also 100% employee owned.
Whoohoo! The tennis shoes I liked the best were on sale! What a pleasant and serendipitous surprise! They are simple and best of all, black! They are quite possibly the most comfortable tennis shoes I’ve ever owned.
Since I was saving big money, I headed over the sale rack to see if there might be any other dansko gems in my size. Score, a pair of sandals! They have adjustable buckles, which are great for my skinny feet!
I’ve had these Croc’s for about five years, too, and while they have been very comfortable and are rated as a C, there’s very little tread left on the bottoms and there has been a time or two when I’ve had to do a little dance to keep from having a slip and fall. They’ve served me well, but I think they’re done.
There was a battle waging, though. It’s pretty much the end of sandal season and I wasn’t sure that it made sense to buy sandals I may only wear once or twice during the rest of this calendar year. I did really like them, though, and they were on sale. There was a little scuff on one of them, so I headed to the checkout to see if they would give me an even bigger discount. Instead, they took some polish and made the blemish disappear. After all that effort to provide good Customer Service, I felt good about making the purchase.
The final tally was $249.59. There has never been a time in my life when I spent that much money on two pairs of shoes. It kind of made me want to hyperventilate, but I reminded myself that:
- I needed a pair of tennis shoes
- It would be really embarrassing to slip and fall wearing my old Crocs
- All the money I spent on the shoes went to support the company and the employees, not some big faceless corporation
Both pairs of shoes had a trial run this weekend as I wore the tennis shoes when Hannah and I were out for a walk and the sandals when I went to church.
There were other things purchased this weekend, but those are stories for another time. Suffice it to say that a significant amount of money was spent but at the end of the day, I made my choices responsibly and am happy that I was able to support companies that care about the things that I care about. Hopefully I won’t need to go shoe shopping again any time soon!