An Examination of the Product Sustainability for Top Shelf Shoes

The impact of human activity on the environment has been a growing concern in today’s world. As our industries cannot function independently of the environment we live in, the decisions we make about environmental management are what will determine the future impact on our planet. Products can hurt the environment due to high levels of pollution, or overconsumption of energy in the course of the manufacturing process. However, much focus has been on controlling the pollution at the end of the supply chain by methods such as recycling.

However, to achieve sustainability of a product, many factors need consideration over the entire life cycle of the product. Such life cycles include raw materials extraction and processing, manufacturing, transportation, and distribution. With increased environmental awareness, more companies are adopting the responsibility of reducing the impact of their products on the environment during the product’s life cycle. In the marketplace, environmental values in business have a major impact with businesses fulfilling the criteria for environmental performance having a competitive edge.

To achieve the greater goals of sustainability, companies need to invest more in unsustainability. Such sustainable concepts and practices include eco-efficiency and product stewardship. Due to the wide coverage of the industry, this paper will discuss product sustainability for Top Shelf Shoes. 

As shoe mamanufacturerTop Shelf Shoes have invested in Gra een shoe and shoe recycling program as the main practice in achieving the broader goals of sustainability. However, these efforts play a minor role in achieving product sustainability due to various reasons.

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First, during g making of the soles for the shoes, the kiln may be producing a lot of smoke polluting the air. This smoke affects the workers as well as the surrounding population(Fiksel, 1996).

Thus, despite the green shoe and recycling, there is still a lot of pollution-reducing the product sustainability. Furthermore, in the production line for the Green Shoe and other brands, the material the company is using has more plastic. Therefore, the shoes are less likely to decompose. Even though the company has a shoe recycling strategy for sustainability, the process of acquiring the shoes for recycling is very inefficient. Therefore, most of this waste has remained in eh environment leading to an overall decrease in the Top Shelf Shoe products(Fiksel, 1996). Lastly, during the production process of the shoes, a lot of residual waste from the various parts of the shoes remains. Such waste is not recycled and ends up being disposed to the environment. Therefore, despite recycling efforts anthe d Green shoe initiative, it has not been possible to achieve the ultimate goal of sustainability. For the company to achieve sustainability goals there is a need that the company to address pollutant factors inherent in the production line.

To achieve product sustainability, the company may product stewardship concept. Product stewardship is a concept of extended product responsibility (EPR). EPR addresses the impact of the products over their full life cycle. Stewardship involves promoting the safe use of products through information providence and offering technical assistance(Fiksel, 1996). Business practices such as giving full details to the customers on the products such as incidences likely to occur due to the use of the product, having customer emergency response in place, and showing the customer how to dispose of the product if it becomes a waste (Fiksel, 1996). Giving such full details about the product to the customers helps cultivate a culture of trust in the company. This leads to the company obtaining loyal customers thereby enabling the business to achieve its major goal of market dominance. Moreover, having emergency services ready in case of any accidents will woe more customers to the company’s line of products. This may help increase the company’s market share.

The second approach to achieving product sustainability is by applying Eco-Efficiency. Eco-efficiency combines ecological and economical goals(DESimone, 1997). Its objective is to maximize value while minimizing the resources used in making a product thereby reducing the environmental impact. Such practices may be achieved through the reduction of material intensity used to make goods. Secondly, reduce toxic dispersion for instance the removal of lead in Petrol to minimize pollution. Lastly, most companies are aiming at extending the durability of their products to reduce waste(DESimone, 1997). For Top Shelf Shoes, they can adopt the concept of 3D printing. This technology builds the material from its components thereby reducing residual waste. Therefore, the company will manage to achieve its sustainability goals. Moreover, during leather tanning for the green shoe, the company can research natural enzymes that can replace the heavy chemicals used in the tanning process. By using eco-efficiency, the business may be able to achieve its ultimate goal of reducing the cost of production. This will inurn lower the prices for the company’s shoes thereby regaining its market dominance. For example, Proctor and Gamble achieved a detergent powder that required half the volume of traditional detergents in the year 1998 (DESimone, 1997). The detergent used thirty percent fewer lower materials and thirty percent less packaging. Due to their efforts to go beyond environmental regulations to achieve sustainability, the company did reap big.

Environmental issues have become an area of competition for many businesses. A few companies have gone beyond the scope of environmental regulation in safeguarding the environment whothersther is playing a spectate role. With growing pressure from environmentally aware consumers, environmental trends such as product stewardship and eco-efficiency are becoming an inherent part of business operations. Therefore, businesses that wish to remain competitive have the role of adopting such trends.


  1. DESimone, Livio, D. Frank, P (1997).Eco-Efficiency: The Link to Sustainable Development.
  2. Massachusetts: MIT Press Fiksel, Joseph (1996). Design For Environment: Creating Eco-Efficient Products and Processes. New York: McGraw Hill
  3. MCAlonee, T. C. (2000). Industrial Application of Environmental Conscious Design.
  4. London: Engineering Publishing Limited

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An Examination of the Product Sustainability for Top Shelf Shoes. (2022, Jun 17). Retrieved from

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