Exterior of an Aldo shoe storeAldo Store, Copenhagen, Denmark - 17 Feb 2018

Aldo Group is intensifying its sustainability efforts. The brand will eliminate shopping bags — leading customers to carry its totable shoeboxes straight out of the store.

The move will eliminate 10 million single-use bags from Aldo and Call it Spring stores, saving approximately 8,500 trees per year according to the company.

“We feel like customers are ready to go without shopping bags, our pilot tests in the marketplace showed they are ready to accept this,” said Aldo Group chief executive officer, David Bensadoun. E-commerce sales will see the shoebox placed in a “low consumption envelope. We are not going to be putting a box inside another box. We are able to be very efficient,” he said.

Aldo, based in Canada, was the world’s first fashion footwear company to be certified climate neutral — a distinction it received in September 2018.

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“Our company has always had values deeply rooted in social justice. When my dad founded company, our focus was around civil rights and gay rights,” Bensadoun said, noting that sustainability has now become Aldo Group’s chief social cause.

Aldo produces some of its designs in China — meaning its U.S. shoe business will become subject to an additional 10 percent tariff starting Sept. 1 as was announced by President Donald Trump last week amid escalating trade war tensions with China.

Of this, Bensadoun said: “I think the tariff is a terrible tax on consumers. I really hope that cooler heads will prevail and can find a way to maintain healthy trade between all countries in the world.”

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Aldo, he noted, attributes one-third of its sales to the U.S. market, meaning the majority of its business remains unaffected by the tariffs. However, U.S. Aldo stores will soon see higher prices as a result of the new levies.

“We will be adjusting prices as needed in reaction to tariffs. Unfortunately, consumers are going to be paying more; this is not a tax on the Chinese economy,” Bensadoun said.

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