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An Ethical Footwear Force Awakens with Po-Zu and Its Better Shoes Foundation

November 28, 2016

An Ethical Footwear Force Awakens with Po-Zu and Its Better Shoes Foundation

November 28, 2016
by Maxine Perella

This week, ethical shoe brand Po-Zu will unveil its Star Wars-themed footwear at the FFANY trade show in New York as part of a major collaboration with the movie franchise. It’s a highly significant launch for Po-Zu, as it will enable the UK-based manufacturer to bring its products to a wider market and raise public awareness over the ‘dark side’ of the shoe trade.

The footwear industry is not known for its ethical or environmental practices. Used shoes are a landfill magnet – one study suggests less than 5 percent of waste from post-consumer shoes is recycled. Material toxicity is also a concern, with leather shoes being particularly problematic: 85 percent of the world’s leather is thought to be tanned using chromium, which is considered one of the world’s worst pollutants.

There are questionable supply chain labour practices too, with many workers exploited for what is often considered a cheap commodity. According to a recent report from NGO Labour Behind the Label, just over 2 percent of the final price of a pair of shoes goes towards the wages of workers who manufactured them, whereas about a quarter of the price remains with the brand company and one-third with the retailer.

Read more at Sustainable Business.

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