运动鞋的生命周期 Angel Chang: The wildly complex anatomy of a sneaker

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演员: Angel Chang

Australians call them “runners." The British know them as “trainers."
澳洲人叫它们 “跑鞋 (runners)”, 英国人叫它们 “训练鞋 (trainers)”,
Americans refer to them as “tennis shoes” or “sneakers."
美国人叫它们 “网球鞋 (tennis shoes)” 或 “球鞋 (sneakers)”。
Whatever you call them, these rubber-soled, casual shoes
无论你怎么称呼它, 全世界有数十亿人穿着
are worn by billions of people around the world.
Originally invented in the late 19th century,
自 19 世纪后期被发明出来,
these simple canvas and rubber creations have changed a lot
since they first hit the pavement.
Today, sneaker consumption is at an all-time high.
如今,运动鞋的消费量 达到了历史最高水平。
No country buys more sneakers than the United States,
没有其他国家像美国 消费这么多运动鞋。
where people purchase 3 pairs a year on average.
To meet this demand, roughly 23 billion shoes are produced each year,
为了满足这一需求, 全球每年大约需要生产 230 亿只鞋,
mostly in factories across China and Southeast Asia.
大多是由遍布中国 和东南亚的工厂生产。
But making shoes has become more complicated, more labor-intensive,
但是制鞋已经成为 更复杂、劳动强度更大,
and in some ways, more dangerous,
for the workers involved and for our planet.
不光对工人,对地球环境 也有着负面影响。
Shoe manufacturing accounts for roughly one-fifth
of the fashion industry’s carbon emissions.
Sneakers alone generate 313 million metric tons of carbon dioxide every year,
每年仅生产运动鞋就会产生 3.13 亿公吨的二氧化碳,
which is equivalent to the annual emissions of 66 million cars.
相当于 6600 万辆汽车的年均排放量。
To better understand your shoe’s carbon footprint,
为了进一步了解你的鞋子 所产生的碳足迹,
let’s dive into the anatomy of a sneaker.
For starters, the heel, insole, midsole, and upper layer
首先,鞋跟、鞋垫、 鞋底夹层和鞋面
are usually made from synthetic textiles like polyester, nylon, latex,
通常由合成纺织品制成, 像聚酯、尼龙、乳胶
and polyurethane.
Mining the fossil fuels that make up these materials emits tons of greenhouse gases.
开采用来合成这类原料的 化石燃料会排放大量的温室气体。
And processing those raw ingredients into synthetic textiles
also uses a lot of energy, further compounding that pollution.
也会消耗很多能量, 进一步加剧了这种污染。
Some sneaker tops are made from natural sources like leather,
有一些运动鞋的鞋面 是由皮革等自然资源制成的,
but tanning this material relies on chromium;
a carcinogenic chemical that can damage freshwater ecosystems.
而铬是一种能够破坏淡水 生态系统的致癌化学物质。
The outer soles of most shoes are made of rubber
that’s gone through a process called vulcanization.
This technique adds sulfur to superheated raw rubber to create a material
该技术将硫添加到 过热的生橡胶中
that’s both elastic and sturdy.
Until recently, sneakers used natural rubber for this process.
很长时间以来,在这个过程中, 运动鞋的制作都是使用天然橡胶。
But today, most outer soles are made with a synthetic blend of natural rubber
但是如今,大多数 外底材料是由天然橡胶
and byproducts from coal and oil.
Producing these materials accounts for 20% of a sneaker’s carbon footprint.
生产这些物料贡献了 运动鞋碳足迹的 20% 。
But more than two-thirds of the shoe’s carbon impact comes from the next step:
但整个生产过程超过三分之二的 碳足迹实际上来自接下来的一步:
A typical sneaker is comprised of 65 discrete parts,
标准的运动鞋由 65 个离散部件组成,
each of which is produced by specialized machinery.
This means it’s cheaper for factories to mass-produce each piece separately
这意味着,相比在同一个工厂中 制造所有的部件,
rather than manufacturing every part under one roof.
不同的工厂分别批量生产 会降低各个工厂的成本。
But the transportation required to ship these pieces
但是将这些部件运送到 同一个装配厂的过程中,
to one assembly plant emits even more CO2.
会有更多的二氧化碳 被释放到空气中。
Once the components arrive at the assembly line,
they undergo cutting, pouring, melting, baking, cooling, and gluing,
它们将被切割、浇注、 熔化、烘烤、冷却和上胶,
before the final products can be stitched together.
The assembly of a typical sneaker requires more than 360 steps,
标准运动鞋的组装过程 需要至少 360 个步骤,
and accounts for the remaining 20% of a sneaker’s environmental impact.
而其剩余 20% 的环境影响 就来自于此。
The dispersion of factories fuels another problem as well: labor abuse.
工厂分散导致的 另一个问题是:劳工滥用。
Most brands don’t own or operate their factories,
大多数品牌自身并不 拥有或经营它们的工厂,
so the plants they work with are in countries
with little to no worker protection laws.
都在一些几乎或完全 没有工人保护法的国家。
As a result, many laborers earn below the living wage,
and are exposed to harmful chemicals, like toxic glue fumes.
而他们还会暴露在有害的 化学物质中,如有毒的胶烟。
When manufacturing is complete,
the shoes are packaged and transported to stores around the globe.
鞋子将被包装并运送到 全球各地的商店。
For many, these shoes could last years.
对于许多人来说, 这些鞋子可以穿好几年。
But for someone running 20 miles a week,
但是对于那些一周 跑 20 英里的人来说,
a pair of running shoes will start wearing out after roughly 6 months.
一双运动鞋大概 六个月后就会开始磨损。
Since the shoes are made of so many different materials,
由于鞋子是由这么多 不同的材料制成的,
they’re almost impossible to break down into recyclable components.
它们几乎不可能被分解, 变成可回收的组件。
20% of these shoes are incinerated, while the rest are tossed into landfills
20% 的废弃鞋子将被焚化, 而其余的则被丢进垃圾填埋场,
where they can take up to 1,000 years to degrade.
在那里,它们可能需要 花上一千年的时间才能分解。
So, how can we balance our love of sneakers
那么,我们要怎样才能 平衡我们对运动鞋的热爱
with the need for sustainability?
First, designers should streamline design elements
and focus on eco-friendly materials.
Factories need to develop energy efficient manufacturing processes
that consolidate steps and sneaker parts.
And consumers should support companies using clean energy
and ethical manufacturing processes.
We can also buy fewer shoes, wear them for longer,
and donate those we no longer need.
So no matter what your style, we can all take steps towards a sustainable future.
这样一来,无论你穿哪种风格的鞋, 我们都能迈向一个可持续的未来。