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Aldo Adds Handles to Shoeboxes as it Parts With Plastic Bags

Aldo is saying goodbye to single-use plastic shopping bags for good.

The Canadian footwear and accessories brand and its Call It Spring retail stores will be ditching plastic bags at all global locations. Instead, the initiative encourages shoppers to use the company’s eco-friendly shoebox (made from all recycled materials) as a shopping valise, as it has a built-in handle for easy carrying.

“Over a decade ago, we introduced a shoebox with a rope as a first step to making our packaging more sustainable and guide our customers to better shopping habits,” David Bensadoun, Aldo Group CEO, said in a statement Thursday. “We now believe that our consumers are ready to accept our boxes as the solution to carry their shoes home,” he said, adding that the initiative will take 10 million bags out of stores.

Customers at both Aldo and Call It Spring who can’t imagine lugging their purchases bag-free through a crowded mall can purchase eco-friendly totes, which are available in sizes ranging from small to extra large. Made from recycled plastic, Aldo said each bag’s plastic content translates to about five water bottles. Net profits from the sales of Aldo’s eco-totes will fund ocean conservancy efforts, while Call It Spring’s tote sales will go toward clean water and sanitation projects in Kenya.

Sustainability and corporate social responsibility have become hot button issues in recent seasons, with brands championing material innovations, supply chain revamps, carbon offset programs and non-profit partnerships to mitigate their impact and help local communities. Aldo has aimed to lead the charge, as the first footwear brand to be certified climate neutral last year. The company has reduced operations-related emissions by 48 percent since 2017.

“We have taken steps, implemented changes and have made investments to offset the carbon emissions produced by our stores, offices and distribution centers,” Bensadoun told Sourcing Journal in July. Call It Spring has also removed animal products from its product range, and now touts its products as fully vegan.

“Our company purpose is a journey to create a world of love, confidence and belonging. This purpose pushes us to help create a more sustainable future through our business operations,” Bensadoun said Thursday. “We continue to challenge ourselves and those in the industry to explore even more ways to advance sustainability, and we look forward to sharing other impactful initiatives in the near future.”