Since I have been using natural crepe soling for years, I was thrilled to read this information on Huarache blog:
Not only is soling from rubber trees natural and ecological, but the article below points out another reason for supporting the growth of rubber trees.
I always stitch on natural rubber soling, so I don’t need to use the toxic contact cement that is required to hold on an un-stitched sole.
The Environmental Science
The environmentally friendly Hevea brasiliensis rubber tree creates not only biodegradable rubber which can be used to make shoe soles, but the tree can also stock large amounts of carbon in its biomass.
Its calculated that annually rubber trees absorb 363 Million Kg of Carbon dioxide, a high carbon sequestration which is calculated to be greater than that of a rainforest (Variation of soil fertility and carbon sequestration by planting Hevea brasiliensis in Hainan Island, China – Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing). The increased use of regularly harvested rubber trees in the world could potentially also alleviate the greenhouse effect and global warming (Handbook of Elastomers, Second Edition, by Marcel Dekker Inc 2001) .
By using more natural rubber products, we can essentially return some of the excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere back into the soil where it existed in the form of oil and coal. We can contribute towards recreating the sustainable and natural carbon equilibrium that has existed on earth for thousands of years.
Lastly I should mention how cool and sheltered a rubber plantations feel. I don’t think I have ever experienced a similarly peaceful industrial environment.