Happy Feet Plus strives to prove that style and sustainability can happily co-exist. From eco-conscious manufacturers to our Gold LEED-certified green building, HFP carries shoes that have a reputation for environmental awareness.
To varying degrees, all of our manufacturers featured on the HFP website support the concept of being eco-friendly:
- Resoleable products: Birkenstock, Finn Comfort, Mephisto
- Cork, a renewable resource, used in footbeds: Birkenstock, Dansko, Finn Comfort, Mephisto, Taos, Aetrex
- Vegetable tanning processes: Dansko, Finn Comfort, Mephisto, Ecco, Think!, Naot
- 100% chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-free processes: Birkenstock, Naot
- Solvent-free adhesives: Birkenstock, Naot
- Recycled/recyclable packaging: Birkenstock, Ecco, Dansko, Brooks, Taos
- Employs solar thermal technology and/or solar power: Ecco, Birkenstock
- Develops business strategies based upon environmental stewardship: Mephisto, Ecco, Dansko
- Utilizes hand-stitching to reduce mechanical processes and better ensure product quality: Birkenstock, Finn Comfort, Ecco, Think!, Naot
Nuts & Bolts
In 1997, as Happy Feet Plus was searching for a new headquarters, they came across a perfect candidate; located in Largo, Florida was a 50-year-old cement block building in desperate need of a make-over. Being of cement block construction, the building had the “bones” of an energy-efficient building, but needed renovation and rehabilitation. All toxic materials were removed from the building and the revitalization began.
Double-paned energy-saving windows were installed and a high-efficiency heating/cooling system was put into place. Non-volatile organic compound (VOC) flooring was installed, low-VOC interior paint, and full-spectrum/energy-saving florescent lighting were used to add environmentally-friendly sparkle and functionality to the new offices and flag-ship store.
Our investment in “living green” is further enacted by our Gold LEED-certified green building in Clearwater, Florida.
The 6,000 square foot retail facility was designed and constructed according to standards established by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. The facility was the first retail structure nationwide to achieve LEED “Gold” certification.
Built using sustainable and recycled materials, the building features:
- Formed, insulated concrete walls, providing R-54 insulation (R-19 is normal)
- Glass block and double-paned windows for insulated, natural light
- Roof gutters collect rain water for a 5,000 gallon cistern (irrigation/toilet flushing)
- Energy Star rated metal roof with Tectum decking, providing R-30 insulation
- Freon-free air conditioning; ceiling fans for better air circulation
- Drought-resistant native plants
- Solar panels
- Energy-efficient full-spectrum lighting
- Crushed shell and pervious concrete parking lot
- No-VOC paints and stains
- Porcelain flooring with no-VOC grout
Making A Difference
Update 2009 – Since 2003 Happy Feet Plus has offset 14,805 kilos of Carbon Dioxide (CO2), the main element that’s creating Global Warming. That represents 14,805 X 2.2 lbs / kilo = 32,571 lbs or 16.3 tons of CO2 that HFP has kept out of the atmosphere.
Over the past 6 years HFP has generated 26,952 kilowatts of power which is almost an entire year’s worth of power consumption for the Clearwater property.
As new stores have been added, and existing stores updated, the non-VOC flooring and non-VOC paint have been further utilized. The full-spectrum/energy-saving florescent lighting is also in place in all eleven retail locations. All of our stores recycle paper, newsprint, cardboard, glass and plastics and are assiduous in their conservation of resources and limiting waste.
Keeping It Local
HFP’s environmental consciousness doesn’t begin and end with our buildings. Owners Jacob Wurtz and Jane Strong are involved in the local Green efforts as confidants to builders such as Grady Pridgen and Greg Sembler. They have also provided insight to manufacturers like Dunkin’ Brands, Inc. and to educators from the University of South Florida.
Jacob and Jane have been awarded for their efforts by the Pinellas Board of County Commissioners (Florida) and by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Tampa Chapter. The Clearwater “green” building has also hosted tours for the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) – Tampa Chapter; they were definitely pleased.
Our most recent update to our green living journey is our sponsorship of the 2017 Localtopia event in downtown St. Petersburg!