Here at Po-Zu, we’re on a mission to inspire the world to wear more sustainable and ethical footwear. Our journey is about seeking out new and revolutionary hard wearing materials, ethical production processes and innovative design features. It’s an evolving process and we continue to be surprised by what nature can offer us. We are proud to say that 100% of our mainline collection is now VEGAN.
While Vegan shoes can be made of anything that is not an animal by-product (or treated with one), it’s important for us to make sure our vegan materials are sustainably produced and not costing the earth. Our chosen materials tick both the ‘Vegan’ and ‘Sustainable’ boxes. We make our award-winning shoes using Cork, Piñatex, Natural Latex and Coconut Husks, delivering unrivalled comfort underfoot.
For years, we’ve been using innovative, sustainable fibres in our fresh, modern designs and the latest addition to the Po-Zu family is one of the best: Eco-friendly shoes made of Apple Skin - a vegan leather alternative created of natural waste from the apple juice industry.
The material is created by combining the waste from the production of apple juice into a polyurethane mixture which, unlike other bio-based products, doesn’t require soil or water for cultivation. What’s more, because it doesn’t produce any waste of its own, the material’s production closes the apple cycle completely. Thus creating a truly eco-friendly, non-toxic and cruelty-free ‘vegan leather’ that diverts food waste for good.
The gender-neutral, everyday sneakers feature a twist on urban utility with smooth lines and striking details. The women’s SNEAK style features a gold Pinatex rear tab and off-white natural latex sole, while the men’s SNEAK upper is entirely made from Apple Skin with gum natural latex soles. The BUTTERFLY style features Po-Zu’s signature laser-etched butterfly logo along the side of the sneaker, a removable Foot-Mattress™ and a stitched natural latex sole in black. Due to Apple Skin’s unique qualities, both styles are water-resistant and highly durable.
The new Apple Skin styles are part of our wider movement towards producing 100% vegan Mainline collections that are cruelty-free but don’t come at the cost of the planet. Other shoes feature innovative materials like coconut husks, cork, rubberised organic cotton, and pineapple leaves. All this is just another step in our mission to transform the $350bn footwear industry. Through the exploration of revolutionary materials and ethical production processes, we’ll continue to inspire the world into more sustainable footwear that doesn’t compromise on style.
If you’re still wondering if Po-Zu is right for you, check out our About page for more info on our ethical production processes, sustainable materials and quality guarantee.
WORLD VEGAN MONTH / GUEST BLOG BY LUCIE BARÂT (Singer/Poet)
To celebrate World Vegan Day (1st November) we are delighted to have Lucie Barât as a guest writer on our blog, and tell us about her journey as a vegan.
Lucie in our Silver Pinatex Sneakers.
Lucie Barât: There's a 'World Vegan Month'? It's all new to me... my slide into veganism was a rapid flume ride.
No dabbling in pescatarian, halloumi eating. I was a full on cheese obsessive, omelette-eating, steak appreciator but once I’d chosen to stop looking the other way and finally allowed my friend to show me YouTube video entitled: ‘A Chicken Dinner Backwards’.
I had no choice but to really allow myself to consider the reality of mass farming and modern dairy production. I just couldn’t be a part of it.
And it was easier than I thought. There are so many vegan options and meat/dairy substitutes. Many chain restaurants now offer vegan alternative, nut milks are everywhere and the most mainstream food brands are realising they have no choice but to compete for the green pound.
After the food choices comes the other stuff. And plastic! Packaging… animal testing. There’s a world of cleverly concealed, corporate-produced oblivious unethical consumption going on. The unaware masses prop up the market on a daily, hourly basis. And I was one of them.
Even if you're not a vegetarian, or a vegan, and weren’t all for the fair treatment of animals? What about humans? What about admitting that we live in a world where the mass production of cattle is causing more damage to the environment than all the cars and air travel combined? And what about modern slavery in the Fast Fashion industry?? (currently reading Slave to Fashion by Po-Zu's managing director Safia Minney)
But I don’t want to get all ‘ranty’ so let me tell you how AWESOME these products and brands are DESPITE being vegan, ethical and cruelty free…
A Day in the Life of ME (and the me I’d like to be)
Morning - I brush my teeth with Aloe Vera toothpaste from Ethical Superstore – a natural, non-fluoride formula. It’s actually REALLY minty… like any other toothpaste! I had visions of a nasty tasting inferior experience leaving my mouth anything but fresh. But I was wrong.
Pull on my SOCKS - Minga Berlin have some ethically-made GOTS certified wickedly cool organic cotton socks. I’m a bit of a sock fetishist, I enjoy anything bright, funky and made from organic cotton!
NEW SHOES - Then I bounce out the house in my ridiculously comfortable, stylishly fantastic Po-Zu shoes. (you know they make STAR WARS SHOES don't you??)
Seriously like walking on clouds and they get, on average, about three props a day (Editor: that's "compliments" to you and I). Made from Pinatex – a pineapple sourced leather substitute.
I chose a silver pair of bouncing creps. Sorry, trainers.
Here's a link to all of Po-Zu's vegan footwear (men's, women's and kids).
THTC clothing; one of my favourites brands. I often wear their tees on stage. They have a fantastic range of artists designing political satire and environmentally aware tee shirts and cool hoodies (for kids too) all made from organic cotton and hemp.
This is an eco-label that has been running since 1999 but their recent CORBYN Tshirt design catapulted them into the mainstream garnering support from Professor Benjamin Zephaniah (who ALSO wears Po-Zu vegan sneakers) and the imitable Stormzy (as well as, ahem… lil’ ol’ me ;)
Mobile Phones … I hate a corporation as much as the next person but am also lazy and have been sucked into the ease and familiarity of my usual brand. But I’m like a sadist, perpetually extolling the crimes against humanity and the conmanship of 'a certain phone brand's overly upgraded products, all about money over universe. So FairPhone sounds like the perfect remedy. I’m yet to try them out, but try them out I will!
BLING - It hadn’t even occurred to me that jewellery could be fair trade. Well, obviously the whole heinous blood diamonds trade… but gold/silver… coffee? Po-Zu have introduced me to www.justtrade.co.uk Fair Trade, handmade jewellery and accessories.
It seems the corporate tentacles of UNfair trade stretch almost everywhere you could imagine - check out this Brighton based store littlebylittlejewellery.com. With each item that is sold, they donate the funding to pay for a day's supply of therapeutic food to nurse an acutely malnourished child back to health with ACTION AGAINST HUNGER.
Mr Masey’s Emporium!! For your fantastic smells fellas, using plant-based, cruelty free ingredients and smelling as delicious and strong as any other perfume…and body lotions from Sophie la girafe cosmetics who make organic and vegan skincare too... and not forgetting eco glitter! I recently discovered that regular glitter contains thousands of microscopic pieces of plastic - so it's good to know I can glitter my cheekbones with Biodegradable Glitter✨ ✨Vegan✨ ✨and Cruelty-free from Wild Glitter.
Vextiles – Brighton based company selling bright, beautiful, luxury sustainable soft (vegan) furnishings. Each cushion cover is made using 78% recycled fabric offcuts and eco-friendly calico and GOTS certified organic cotton thread.
And then my favourite subject; food. There are soooooo many new and easy to find/use vegan ingredients coming onto the market, as mentioned above.
Brighton has a wealth of shopping outlets stocking good vegan produce from Infinity Foods and HiSbes to Seed and Sprout in Kemptown and Taj in Hove. There are so many places to eat out; Terre a Terre and Food for Friends being the most well known but there’s also the Lovin’ Hut, and Planet India.
Dead Wax Social do AMAZING vegan pizzas, as do Purezza as well as mac n cheese, various pastas and even a cheese board. Vegan Sunday Roasts are easy to find and plenty of carnivorous restaurants about town now offer decent vegan options. If in doubt, download the Happy Cow app on your phone – I recently used it to find vegan friendly eateries in La Palma. It’s like a Trip Advisor for vegans the world over.
I've discovered how to make a VEGAN CRUNCHIE BAR TOO!
Being vegan has never been easier!
Start from the bottom up - check this link to all of Po-Zu's vegan footwear (men's, women's and kids). thanks for watching/reading!
Spotify; http://spoti.fi/2yDGTVG Lucie's new single is OUT NOW!
People often ask me; so what is the connection between your small down-to-Earth sustainable shoe brand and the mega Star Wars films ?
As polarizing as it may sound, the connection is becoming clearer to me as our Star Wars collaboration evolves… It is about resisting the ‘dark side’ - a theme embedded in Po-Zu’s genetic makeup as in the Star Wars characters. In fact, we like to consider ourselves as the ‘rebel alliance’ of the shoe world!
I happened to visit the Eden project last month for the first time, possibly the best place on Earth to remind ourselves just how precious our blue planet is, and how fragile our ecosystem is. Amongst many awe-inspiring sights I spotted the natural latex and cork materials we use in our shoes, all part of the bio-based, sustainable economy, and given a prime place in Eden’s biosphere paradise.
This amazing Eden Project biosphere is very much focused on ecology and sustainability, yet, quite unexpectedly, we stumbled on an entire exhibition dedicated to Space! I instantly asked myself: “why on Earth would they introduce such a contrasting alien subject, what is the relevancy?”
Because we are trashing our one-and-only planet to bits, without control, it seems like a good idea to explore space and the universe for other options. We may as well look out for other planets to colonize. But before we get there (if you can imagine your great grandchildren colonizing Jakku or Takadona), we must learn to become more sustainable and self-sufficient in our own planet first.
And since we are focusing on the shoe sphere here, it’s probably even harder to imagine how shoes could possibly be harmful (apart from the occasional stiletto accident), so part of our mission is to raise awareness about how astronomically damaging mainstream shoe production is to our planet.
For further info check out The Better Shoes Foundation.
May good soles be with you!
Po-Zu Founder & CEO
The Autumn / Winter Heritage collection combines Po-Zu's supreme comfort with outstanding ethics, sustainable materials we love like organic cotton, cork, PinatexTM (pineapple leaf fibre), wool, natural latex and chrome-free leather. All of our shoes are handmade in Portugal.
We've added fresh metallic accents and splashes of bronze leather, silver embroidery, and gold Pinatex for an added sparkle.
Hope you want to share this video with your friends.
An in-flight blog post written by our PR and Marketing Manager Kate (pictured below, the slightly shorter one in the photo), at approximately 11,000 feet halfway across the Atlantic Ocean on her way to New York, accompanied by her favourite Star Wars Shoes by Po-Zu.
All of our shoes are hand-crafted in Portugal, we use sustainable materials and production techniques, and they are all awesome, subtle Star Wars designs, and we are really proud of them.
We can't wait to meet you all, and see some old faces too, pop over, take photos, tweet us, tag us, instagram us - we are @po_zu on social media, and we love to see the hashtag #StarWarsShoesByPoZu if you can remember that! (look out for it)
Peace and love everyone. (and here's the link to the range... the newly released shoe will be available to order here from 11am New York time (16:00 GMT)
At the moment, in the Philipines, there is a need for a call to peace more than ever. Following political movements which have disrupted the peace with corruption and martial law. For those of you who have been following the situation in the Philipines, you will understand this well.
This day of International Peace, Safia Minney, Managing Director of Po-Zu and founder of fair trade fashion pioneer People Tree, talks about an inspiring initiative called the Hero's Call and how this needs to remind us why we all need to be everyday heroes:
"People in power should do more to promote peace…or are they waiting for civil society to become the superheroes of social justice?
This years’ theme puts into focus the urgent need for respect, safety and dignity for everyone forced to flee their homes in search of a better life. A day to support and highlight solidarity with refugees and migrants as hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Syrian, Rohingya people and many others struggle for survival and the chance to rebuild their lives…people are looking at the causes and what they can do.
One article that came to light as I was thinking about the connection between social justice, peace and the power of our day to day ethical choices was one about members of the geek community standing up against corruption on International Day of Peace. They have decided to use their superpower to raise awareness and stand up to injustice.
Clearly, the dark forces and the forces of corruption and exploitation are all around us, these dark forces undermine peace. In fact, they are an assault from every direction on Peace! They come in the form of unfair trade and unenforced regulations resulting in human rights violations, including modern slavery and environmental pollution and climate change. We expect our governments and corporations to use our taxes and custom to DELIVER on the UNs Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Ethical business has gone a long way to prove that Fair Trade and sustainable business practices ie: developing new supply chains for sustainable materials and delivering workers’ rights is possible and desirable - that despite the huge hurdles, people want to buy products made with respect for people and the planet. And each time they do they make a positive impact on those who are affected along the chain.
Everyday actions have extraordinary power when they become the actions of the many. By buying ethical products that have respect for the people and the planet you are helping them to grow, and present a viable alternative to conventional business and the world we find ourselves living in today.
‘A Hero's Call” believes that all it takes is your voice and passion to empower people to care and to be courageous… and indeed the ‘villains are very real’.
In my experience the villains are human traffickers and criminal gangs, buyers working for companies driven by bosses looking only at maximising margins and profits at the cost of worker exploitation. We need businesses who are working to create a better society and facilitate economic growth for development and peace.
We are calling on you to become a superhero and promote peace every day and raise your voice and be an activist for positive change."
We give huge thanks to the bravery of those in the Philippines standing up and inspiring us in this respect. Forever our most heartfelt respect. Find full information about the organisation and support their cause here: https://www.facebook.com/aheroscallph/
Please note, article amended October 2017.
As part of the London Design Festival, The Museum of Brands hosts a new exhibit - the cutting edge launch of Star Wars™ | Po-Zu footwear collection. The exhibit launched on 'Force Friday' 1 September and runs until Sunday 12 November, this display showcases Po-Zu's sustainable shoes inspired by the Star Wars main characters including Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, BB-8, Chewbacca and the First Order Stormtroopers.
In celebration, we gathered together Press, Friends, and colleagues to reveal the newest style in the collection - The REY Hi Boot!
What an amazing evening at the Museum of Brands - thank you - to name a few - speakers Matt from Jedi News; Harold Tilman and Tamsin Le Jeune, Ethical Fashion Forum; Helen Taylor, Ecotricity; and Caryn Franklin (pictured below).
Also thanks to the Po-Zu team led by Kate Osborne: Karen Knapp, Ambah Nature, Sacha Holub, Omara RÉ, George Horton - and The Rebel Legion UK, 501st Legion UK, UK Garrison and the Droid Builders, Ecotricity, Riverford at the Duke Organic, Eco Boost, Caryn Franklin, Slave To Fashion, and thanks to friends Divine Chocolate UK, Just Trade UK, MOA - Magic Organic Apothecary, Smudgetikka, Vintage Roots, The Organic Wine People, LITTLE BUD, Moshi Moshi Sushi for their help and generosity - 🌎🙏🏻❤️
Place your ORDER for your REY HI BOOT HERE:
Click above to watch Eco Zero-Waste journalist Kate Arnell's video FRESH for #FORCEFRIDAYII : Big #Rey news from us at Po-Zu.
We'd love to see your own photos and videos, so please tag us and use the hashtag #StarWarsShoesByPoZu
More about the Rey Hi Boot - Inspired by Rey’s iconic knee boot, as featured in Star Wars™ THE LAST JEDI.
A knee high leather boot featuring a fully adjustable calf/rear lace-up system and a convenient inside zip. A built-in shock absorbing coconut fibre Foot-Mattress™ combines with a highly flexible natural rubber sole. Also features a discreet ‘Star Wars™/ Po-Zu’ co-brand heat embossed on heel.
From left to right: Caryn Franklin speaking on consumers/retailers & the relationship between ethical fashion & healthy psychological state of mind, Harold Tilman CBE and Tamsin Lejeune of CO
Helen Taylor and Ali Clifford trying sneakers at Po-Zu event
Left: Lovely flowers and bubbly from Little Bud and organic sparkling prosecco Vintage Roots. Right: Very special thanks to Divine Chocolate for the delicious chocolate treats
Left: Lee Seddon, Kate Osborne, Linda, Becca Griffiths. Right: Safia Minney, MBE, and Tamsin Lejeune Founder and CEO of Common Objective, and the Rey Hi Boot
Safia and Po-Zu founder Sven Segal compare footwear (Safia in Limited Edition vegan silver Resistance)
A fabulous goody bag! & From left to right: John Crooks, Adam Savage, Safia, and Brian Herring
Thank you once again to everyone who came along to support us at the Museum of Brands, we really do appreciate it - our next event will be in New York at the Comic Con, where we are looking forward to sharing our new collection with lots of lovely people.
Thank you too, to all of the like-minded brands we like to call our friends - for your generosity and general loveliness, the goody bags were VERY well received!
To visit the exhibit at The Museum of Brands CLICK HERE
To find out more about the London Design Festival 2017 CLICK HERE
Whether you are planning a wedding of your own, or are joining the bride and groom in the celebration of their marriage - don't forget to think about your feet!
Chances are there will be a lot of standing around, walking about, and don't forget the dancing - our stylish collection of shoes and sandals are perfect for a (wedding) day on your feet, and oh they look a little bit special too.
All of our shoes and sandals have been handmade, (and hand stitched) in Portugal, with no toxic glues, so if it's a natural eco wedding you are planning, or attending, look no further.
Linda Thomas Eco Design has chosen a selection of our vegan Pinatex sandals, shoes and men's shoes in her latest woodland eco wedding shoot - We LOVE this collection of images, and what a wonderful team she has worked with on the ethical wedding photoshoot (see links below). Linda herself makes ready-made and made-to-measure wedding dresses and is happy to upcycle your own favourite pre-loved or vintage piece.
Such a wonderful idea! And as with our shoes - don't think of the wedding outfit as being JUST for that special day, wedding dresses can be worn again and again, if you do it right...
As Livia Firth, Eco-Age, says in a Vogue Magazine article about eco friendly wedding dresses: " - Your wedding gown doesn’t have to be worn for just your ceremony. Embrace your creative side and update your gown with clever accessories and tailoring so that you can enjoy slipping into your dress for years to come. I wore a wedding dress with a black sash to the Golden Globes in 2010.” (pictured)
Pinatex non-leather shoes featured above can be found HERE:
and a selection of men's sneakers HERE:
Wedding Dresses: lindathomasecodesign.co.uk
Groom’s Attire: lindathomasecodesign.co.uk
Photography Assistant: lindsayperezphoto.squarespace.com
Hair and Make-up: able-mabel.com
Further reading - Ethical Consumer's The rise of 'preloved' bridal boutiques
Star Wars collection AW17 order updates
Finally you'll be pleased to hear - our Star Wars Shoes by Po-Zu have started to make their way to their new homes.
Boots and sneakers pre-ordered on or around 'Star Wars Day' (May the 4th 2017) will be amongst the first, (yes, the FIRST ORDER.... ) to be dispatched this week.
Po-Zu Star Wars Shoes ordered more recently, are being hand-made* in our factory in Portugal, and will follow to be dispatched around the end of August 2017. Thank you so much for your patience and support.
Kevin Smith (@thatkevinsmith) at the recent London Film and Comic Con
- choices, choices!