Green Steps

We’re not a newcomer or just jumping on the “green” bandwagon because it is popular. Our 230 year heritage as shoemakers reflect an environmental sensibility that continues to evolve and shape who we are as a brand and as a company.


Quality Materials and Low-Waste Production

quality materials

First are the goods — the stuff our product is made out of — and our production techniques. Sensibility, economy and conservation have always been part of the process:

Birkenstock footbed components

Cork, latex and jute are some of the few sustainable raw materials used/available in the footwear industry. Of these components, cork is actually really cool stuff. Did you know?

  • Cork trees hold the ground water and provide cover and shade for smaller plants and animals and therefore are an important basis for traditional agricultural and farming economies.
  • Cork is a valuable natural resource with many uses.The bark can be peeled away and it will grow back.
  • Today every part of the cork harvest is put to use. Leftovers from the bottle cork stamping process are ground down in various sizes and then sorted by quality.
  • Birkenstock ground cork comes from the first quality by-products of the wine industry.

Low waste production

There is little waste from our production processes:

  • Cork latex mixture (the main component of the Birkenstock footbed) is made in small batches to minimize any waste. Any excess is recycled.
  • Scrap leather is used in the production of other materials, such as an alternative footbed liner material called LEFA.
  • Left-over EVA from the sole production process is broken down and further processed for use in children’s playgrounds, sport fields and sound barriers along freeways.
  • Three large heat recovery systems recover the heat produced and use it to dry the cork footbeds, doubling the energy efficiency of the machinery.

Recycled materials

recycled materials

Our footwear is packaged in boxes made of 90% recycled paper and printed with inks that are environmentally friendly.

Birkenstock manufacturing and production must comply with stringent recycling and waste laws in Germany where the manufacturer is responsible for all the packaging components and their recyclability.

Learn more about this waste reduction at der Grüne Punkt. Take a look at the bottom of a Birkenstock shoe box and you will see the der Grüne Punkt logo.

Birkenstock Repair

birkenstock repair

You can repair your Birkenstock footwear — what a great concept in an age of disposable everything, including cheap shoes that clutter our closets or end up in garbage and then landfill!

If you properly take care of your Birkenstock shoes, they will provide you with continued comfort for many years

Find a local retailer who can help give new life to and keep your Birkenstock footwear in top shape.

Donate Your Old Shoes

donate old shoes to Soles For Soles

When your Birkenstock footwear finally reaches the end of the road, recycle them!

Contact your local shoe retailer, as many offer ways to donate your shoes to either a worthy local organization or an organization such as Soles4Souls.

You too can coordinate a shoe drive by contacting friends, family and neighbors and by donating some of the shoes you have in your closet; you would be surprised how your gift of something so basic that most of us take it for granted can impact a life.

It's easy. Get a box and start collecting, and you’ll be surprised at people’s generosity!

Support Your Local Community

Since we're all part of the community where we live and shop, please visit our store locator to find a retailer near you who can best take care of your Birkenstock needs.

Our retailers, who are independently owned, share many of these same values and belief in the product…that is what attracts them to the Birkenstock Brand.  You can support a local business and find the best place to shop for, repair and care for your Birkenstock footwear.  And meet some nice folks at the same time!

(800) 867-2475 |