We love shoes. But we don’t always like the way they’re made. And the fact that you’re reading this means you probably feel the same way.
It’s true that the footwear industry doesn’t have a great reputation. From the chemicals used in tanning leather to the pitiful wages paid to many of the workers to the fact that just 5% of waste from post consumer’s shoes is recycled, it’s not exactly the most sustainable sector. You can see some of the stats that highlight the scale of the problem here.
Luckily, that’s not the full picture. Because all around the world there are people working to create a more ethical and sustainable shoe industry.
And now there’s a new resource for those who want to see more shoes conforming to a higher standard in these areas - us!
Introducing the Better Shoe Foundation
Who are we? We’re the team behind sustainable footwear brand Po-Zu. To celebrate 10 years in business, we decided to take a bold step towards a blueprint for a whole new footwear industry - one that is good for consumers, workers, and the environment.
The result is the Better Shoe Foundation. Our core offering is this open-source website you’re reading, which brings together the best practice from across the industry, spanning everything from the design process through material selection and supply chain to post consumer life.
We’ve scoured the world for examples of eco-friendly materials, sustainable manufacturing models and outside-the-shoebox thinking to encourage a collaborative approach to improving the industry.
The site includes lots of useful resources such as a directory of sustainable and vegan shoe brands and links to relevant national and international campaigns, as well as all the legal considerations that producers need to be aware of.
What can you do to help?
By sharing this knowledge with others in the footwear industry, we hope to inspire a new generation of manufacturers whose products are as ethical, eco-friendly and sustainable as they are comfortable and stylish.
And we hope that consumers will get in on the action too. Every time you buy a pair of shoes, you’re voting for the kind of standards you expect manufacturers to adhere to, which makes you a powerful part of the process.
We’d love to know what you think about the Better Shoe Foundation, and please spread the word via social media and in person. And if you have any information to contribute, do get in touch - after all, the more people who get involved and the more knowledge we can pull together, the greater the impact we can have.