Po-Zu - An award winning shoe brand. We combine sumptuous comfort with outstanding ethics for shoes you can truly fall in love with!
Kate Gumbrell: My life happens in fast mode. I am eternally busy, I plan down to the last minute, and I hardly ever have a chance to catch my breath. But there is one thing that I make a point of doing slowly… fashion.
A year ago, I had no clue what ‘slow fashion’ meant. Yet, today it seems that ‘slow fashion’ is my new mantra. After watching the documentary ‘The True Cost Movie', I made the decision to limit my clothing consumerism to solely ethically sourced, made, and produced garments. I have always kept my ‘fashion footprint’ to a minimum, spending my weekends at second hand shops and attempting to fix and create my own clothes. However, I still chose to stay ignorant to the effects of the fashion industry on developing countries and the environment. The True Cost was the turning point for me. It hit me so hard that I genuinely felt a physical change in the way I thought, felt, and viewed the fashion industry. It all made sense! After being trained (along with the rest of the world) to expect to buy a dress for $5, I realised that for someone, somewhere, it was costing them their life.
Slow fashion embodies the idea that fashion needs to be taken back to a pace that is sustainable. It is a movement that encourages quality rather than quantity, zero waste, living wages, and low carbon footprints. Livia Firth is the leading figure in slow fashion and the founder of Eco-Age. Livia leads the Green Carpet Challenge in which she encourages celebrities to wear sustainably and ethically made garments when they walk the red carpet. From witnessing Livia’s global impact and influence in the fashion industry, I’ve come to hold Livia as a leading role model in my drive towards ethical fashion advocacy.
“Call it ‘eco fashion’ if you like, but I think it’s just common sense.”- Livia Firth.
There are many inspirational “sustainability warriors” such as Livia Firth, who are out there battling the devastation of ‘fast fashion’. Among them are the ethical brands: Po-Zu Footwear, Azura Bay, Kowtow, Braintree Clothing, and People Tree. These brands consciously craft their garments out of organic materials to create eco-friendly and ethically made clothes that are good for the planet and the people. Wearing their clothes gives me a sense of empowerment. Not only am I choosing to be excluded from the fast fashion consumerism demand, but when people ask me where my clothes come from I am able to tell my story and explain how they too can change their consumerism habits.
Learning about the devastation of ‘fast fashion’ can leave us all feeling disheartened, useless, and underpowered. But through purchasing from brands like these, and putting into action a few mindful steps, we can change our fashion footprint and aim towards a more sustainable fashion future.
Kate's FIVE Tips to a Sustainable Wardrobe:
Read more about Po-Zu's own sustainable approach here
Browse Po-Zu's current collection here
It’s hard to believe 10 years have gone by since Po-Zu made its debut on the footwear scene with the iconic 'Itten slipper' in 2006, but the calendar doesn’t lie.
To celebrate a decade of sustainable shoe-making, we’re launching one of our most exciting projects to date. No, it’s not a new shoe design. It’s much bigger than that!
The Better Shoes Foundation is a bold step towards a blueprint for a whole new footwear industry - one that is good for consumers, workers, and the environment.
Why do we need better shoes?
At the moment, the footwear industry doesn’t have a great reputation when it comes to being ethical or sustainable. Here are just a few statistics that highlight the scale of the problem:
* Less than 5% of waste from post consumer shoes is recycled.
* Just 2% of the final price of a shoe goes to the workers who made it.
* 85% of the world’s leather is tanned using chromium, which is considered to be the fourth worst pollutant in the world.
How do we solve the problem?
Luckily there are lots of people - including us - doing their best to change things
The Better Shoes Foundation centres around an open-source website that 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-box 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 and educate 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.
Check out the Better Shoe Foundation website here then let us know what you think, 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.
Or you can talk to us on Twitter at @BetterShoes_F.
There are several reasons why choosing organic cotton is important for both the environment and the people who grow and pick it...
Organic September is a reminder to consider buying organic, as by doing so, you’ll not only be helping to protect our vital wildlife whilst reducing your own exposure to potentially harmful pesticides and chemicals - but you'll also be helping to support the farmers who work hard to grow our food and cotton crops for generations to come.
And going organic is easier than you’d think. From eating to wearing!
Many of our shoes including our Brisk sneakers pictured here have GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified organic cotton linings, and organic cotton canvas uppers and are also OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certified.
Organic means higher levels of animal welfare, lower levels of pesticides, no manufactured herbicides or artificial fertilisers and more environmentally sustainable management of the land and wildlife.
Cotton is hypoallergenic (relatively unlikely to cause an allergic reaction) and dust-mite resistant, which means it is the best choice of material for people who suffer from allergies, or those who have sensitive skin prone to irritation. Natural fabrics allow for better air circulation, which helps absorb and remove body moisture.
Our organic cotton lining has a 30% blend of organic linen, which increases durability, and is also known to be a hypoallergenic and hygroscopic material - able to absorb moisture from the air, drawing heat away from the skin and keeping the feet cool and dry.
Cotton is also biodegradable and a renewable resource. During processing, less than 10% of it is lost or deemed non-usable. And of course, organic cotton is even better as no pesticides are used, which in turn means fewer chemicals in the environment and no harm to the people growing it.
If your interests include sustainability and footwear it's likely you've heard of Piñatex by now. This new innovative material has taken the vegan world by storm! So thanks to our collaboration with Piñatex we've been featured in the American Express online magazine AmexEssentials, featuring our Ello - and it's great to see their reviewer seems to have enjoyed wearing them!
"Ethical and ecological shoe brand Po-Zu, has three Piñatex versions of its popular Ello flats available online. The second you take them out of the box, you have to agree with Carmen Hijosa. This is not leather. Piñatex is its own thing entirely, with a slightly crinkly look, matte finish and felted feel. The shoes are incredibly light – as light as a pineapple leaf, perhaps – and deliver on the promise of softness, pliability and breathability. They’re something to look forward to wearing, sans socks, all summer long..." Read more about our collaboration with Piñatex here.
And London's own Metro newspaper also took a shine to our Hayley sandals...
"We've just discovered ethical shoe brand Po-Zu.com. Made from vegetable-tanned leather, beech wood and assembled without the use of harmful glue, they also have a 'foot mattress' insert, so you won't need flats for your commute."
Our Hayley sandals come in three colourways of vegetable-tanned leather and feature FSC UK certified Beech wooden heels and what's more, you can get £25 off the classic burgundy/brown in our summer sale!
Did you know that the word 'Po-Zu' comes from the Japanese word for pause?
We want to see pics of you taking a mindful pause...
How do I join in?
Add the tags #sgiew and #sgiew_PAUSE to your Instagram photo/s, showing how you take time out for yourself; think mindfulness, slow living, reflection, walking, being in nature, spending time in the park, toes in the grass, kicking off your shoes, however you find your Pause.
You can connect with us on Instagram @Po_Zu and the hosts for the @sogoodineveryway prize draw @incredibusy, @redtedart and @willowdaygram.
So for your chance to win a pair of Po-Zu Piper V Brown Linen boots* worth £120 add the tags: #sgiew and #sgiew_PAUSE to your PAUSE Instagram photo/s.
9 photos will also be chosen to be featured in a grid of 9 on Instagram so keep a look out!
If you prefer to post your entries on Twitter, or Facebook, please tag us so that we can find them @Po_Zu on Twitter and @Po-Zu Footwear on Facebook.
The competition closes at Midnight GMT on Sunday 31st July 2016.
The winner will be announced the week commencing Monday 1st August.
*subject to availability.
With dwindling numbers of bees in the UK, we need to look after our buzzing honey making friends. Bee awareness is growing, but we need to do more to ensure the survival of the humble bee. The Royal Horticultural Society says many gardeners are encouraging bees into their garden by planting bee attracting plants, or leaving an area slightly wild in the hope to be as bee friendly as possible.
Two of the charities we support, Pesticide Action Network (PAN-UK) and The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) are both currently running campaigns to protect the wild habitat these pollinators depend upon.
Watch Dave Goulson, a trustee of PAN-UK and well known bumblebee biologist's appeal for funding to screen plants to ensure that garden centres are not selling plants full of insecticides.
“Dave Goulson is one of the leading experts on pollinators in the world. His research has been invaluable in understanding the links between pesticides and bees. Please help him continue this important work” Keith Tyrell, Director, PAN-UK
Support Dave Goulson's work here.
The solitary bee needs individual nest cells to lay its larvae, hence their name. A bee hotel is easy to make and is the ideal habitat for solitary bees. Use untreated wood to create a box shape or cut the top off of a clean empty plastic bottle for the shell of the hotel. Fill the shell with bamboo, or sticks, ensuring that each one is clean, and that you use different sizes to create the bee friendly gaps.
(bee hotel made by littlegreenshed's little boy for a school eco project)
You can find out more about the environmental charities we support here.
Butterflies set our hearts aflutter. Our logo is built around a butterfly. The sole of our shoes features an interlaced butterfly pattern. And you’ll even find butterflies inside our shoes - they are part of what makes our shoes so comfortable. Our Butterfly Suspension Mechanism is embedded inside the sole, and features multiple butterfly-shaped shock-absorbing partitions that gently collapse once your foot hits the ground. So our butterflies help to soften the impact on hard surfaces and stop your feet feeling tired.
So we are delighted that our latest accreditation is called The Butterfly Mark. The Butterfly Mark is awarded by an organisation called Positive Luxury to companies who meet their social, environmental and ethical standards. We had to go through a three-stage screening process and we now join over 250 brands who have The Butterfly Mark, helping people to buy from trusted brands.
And why is it called the Butterfly Mark? We all know about the butterfly effect – that a butterfly flapping its wings on one side of the world can set off a hurricane on the other side of the world. And the choices that we make in what we buy can have a similar effect – positive or negative. But Diane Verde Nieto, the founder of Positive Luxury, also had a more positive personal reason for choosing the butterfly as a symbol.
In 2011, she met Sir David Attenborough at the Natural History Museum when she presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award. He told her the story about the reintroduction of the Large Blue Butterfly into Britain. The Large Blue became extinct in Britain in 1979, partly due to new farming methods. However, in 1983, conservationists started re-introducing the species from Sweden. Thanks to these efforts, it has become the most successful insect reintroduction programme in the world.
If you are looking to take your Po-Zus for a country walk, you can visit Collard Hill in Somerset, which is the only place in the UK you can freely go to see the butterfly. Between early June to early July when the butterflies are flying, nearly everyone manages to see a Large Blue, and there’s even a walking trail that you can follow.
If you manage to spot a Large Blue, we would love to hear from you! And if butterfly spotting is your thing, you can join in the Big Butterfly Count which takes place from 15 July – 7 August this year. We’ll be taking part so will remind you nearer the time as well.
And if you’re in London, you can visit the Sensational Butterflies exhibition at the tropical butterfly house at the Natural History Museum until 11 September. This is an opportunity to get up close to butterflies from around the world and learn more about these fascinating creatures. Who knows what effect they might have on you?
The humble coconut, we've said it before, it's the flavour of the month, the star of the show... and you know we use COIR (a mix of coconut husk and natural latex) for our legendary Foot Mattress. Well this week, we've joined forces with the rather fabulous Coconut Collaborative to give you a chance to win a £50 Po-Zu gift voucher, which you can spend on any of our men’s or women’s styles along with a combination of Coconut Collaborative goodies worth £40 - luscious yoghurt and frozen yoghurt made from the milk of the coconut; all natural, vegan, dairy & gluten free.
So for a chance to WIN, enter by completing your details and saying 'hello' in the COMMENTS box at the foot of this blog post.
And if you are following us on Instagram,
@po_zu, @coconutcollab why not tag a friend on our posts too, to share a chance of winning a prize bundle of £50 @po_zu vouchers and £40 @coconutcollab goodies...
And for those with a penchant for a Pina Colada, find out more about our exciting collaboration with Piñatex - Pineapple and coconut are a match made in tropical heaven, imagine our excitement when we heard about a new leather-substitute material made from pineapple leaf fibres. We just knew that we had to create a tropical, sustainable dream of a vegan shoe.
Terms & Conditions
We can only accept one entry per UK household.
No purchase is necessary to enter the competition. Entries must be made by entering your email address in the COMMENTS BOX BELOW. We cannot accept responsibility for entries that are lost, delayed or which are not received for any reason.
The competition is not open to employees (or members of their immediate families) of Po-Zu.com or any other participating company.
By entering the competition using the box above, you are allowing us to add your details to the Po-Zu mailing list.
The closing date for the competition is Friday 20th May 2016 at midnight (GMT). The winner will be chosen at random from all the entrants.
We will notify the winner by e-mail. If we do not get a response to the email within two days, the prize will be offered to a runner-up. You can find out who has won a particular competition by contacting Po-Zu at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The winner will be announced w/c 23.05.16, we appreciate your patience while we verify all the entries. Good luck! Per Instagram rules, we must mention this is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram's term of use.
Here in the UK this May we celebrate National Walking Month, which aims to encourage us to walk more - whether walking to work, walking to school, exploring the countryside, or just walking to get as close to those recommended 10,000 steps a day as you can…
A short 20 minute walk can improve your well-being, and help you think things through away from the distractions of your everyday life.
Switch off, and be inspired by Living Streets’ campaign this year to #Try20 – that’s 20 minutes a day, so jump off the bus a couple of stops early, pop out at lunchtime to your nearest park, walk up stairs instead of taking the lift.
UK charity Living Streets want to create a walking nation, free from congested roads and pollution, reducing the risk of preventable illness – making walking the natural choice. Get outside, and enjoy the benefits that this simple act brings! Join thousands of people across the UK and pledge to #Try20 this May.
We hope our Brisk sneakers inspire you to #Try20! - Here are a few of the Men's collection:
We asked some of our customers to tell us why they chose to take their Po-Zu shoes out for a walk…
Walking benefits, from the Living Streets’ website:
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Walking initiatives boost local economies and bring high streets to life. People want to live in places designed with everyone in mind, not just cars.
TRANSPORT AND ENVIRONMENT
Encouraging people to walk journeys of under two miles would significantly reduce carbon emissions, congestion and improve air quality.
LOCAL AND NATIONAL ECONOMY
Sedentary lifestyles are the greatest risk to today’s generation. Inactivity costs the UK economy £20 billion every year. Walking just 30 minutes five times a week can help reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
As Friedrich Nietzsche famously said: “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking”.
Read more of our favourite walking quotes here.
And find out how Po-Zu shoes got one man walking again after a rather horrible motorcycle accident here.
When a touch of glamour is required you can't go wrong with Black, White and Gold. Elegance is made easy with our elevated Willow Black wedges which are furnished with a soft and forgiving Cork and Latex footbed; set to treat your feet to the best comfort a high heel can offer.
We have put together a chic and sophisticated outfit by teaming Lemlem's luxurious silk jumpsuit with some black and gold accessories for added sparkle and shine!
Po-Zu Willow Black £145 Versatile, FSC-certified wooden wedge sandals in embossed vegetable tanned leather. Finished with an elegant laced tie ankle strap.
Lemlem Hana Jumpsuit £285 Now reaching out to artisinal producers in Kenya this tailored fit jumpsuit from Lemlem is handmade from 100% silk. Available on pre-order.
Bottletop Comprido Enamel £145 These glitzy lightweight clutchbags are hand finished in Salvador, Brazil. Bottletop have developed a new Enamel Technique to produce this finish which is described as "smooth and soft but with a sparkling, glossy bounce".
Quazi Design Half Gold Earrings £10 Innovative and classy these bead earrings are made using rolled paper from magazine pages dipped in gold. The hooks are also Nickel free.
Just Trade Brass Ribbon Bangle £18 Georgeous ribbons of golden coloured brass are wound and twisted to produce these bangles. Handmade by Cristina and Patty from the Zoe Project in Lima, Peru.
Check out the brands featured here on Instagram: