Po-Zu Wins Best Ethical Fashion Label Award
We are delighted to have won Best Ethical Fashion Award last night at the Fashion Worked Awards hosted at Century Club Roof Terrace in Soho.
Olivia Pinnoch, Founder of the Fashion Debates, presented the Ethical Fashion category award, judged by Tamsin Lejeune, CEO of Ethical Fashion Forum and Harold Tillman CBE.
Sven Segal, Founder and Safia Minney, Managing Director of Po-Zu collected the trophy, a golden Hippo!
Sven, Saf & the Po-Zu team are really thrilled and Sven has proudly arranged the Hippo Award next to Po-Zu’s other awards, exclaiming “I guess you have to have a skin as thick as a Hippo to keep up your ‘PoZutivity’ and keep pioneering an ethical and sustainable shoe company!
Check out our collection here
Read about the other winners to the awards here
It was fascinating to watch the entire making process of the Resistance sneakers; there is always room for being attracted to new techniques even after working as a shoe designer for over 20 years...
We are here to resist the dark side of ‘mass-production’; these Resistance sneakers are clearly hand-made by skillful makers who pride themselves for their craftsmanship, attention to detail, and putting together a quality product.
I was delighted to see that even the rubberised Rebel Alliance badge application was such a measured manual process; how they pour the creamy rubber carefully into the shallow metal mould, one by one, then wiping the excess off and baking it for over 7 minutes. The freshly baked marzipan-like badge then magically appears perfectly fused onto the organic cotton canvas.
The interior construction of the quilted back panel is one of my favourite operations too, how the spongy latex foam strips are layered like a double-decker to form a mini Michelin man’s tummy once stitched together.
We have been fortunate to team up with this immaculate Portuguese shoe factory to develop and produce our co-branded Star Wars collection. They have recently phased out all solvent-based glues (partly thanks to us urging them to meet our sustainable standards), so the quality of air is pleasant too. Working in such a clean environment makes a huge difference to the worker’s health and well-being, compared with the vast majority shoe factories I have visited whereby workers are exposed to toxic fumes on a daily basis.
You may call me a dreamer but I love the idea of making shoes for a higher purpose; our mission is to restore workers’ rights, people’s feet, and ultimately make better shoes; a small thing considering the purpose of the Rebel Alliance is to restore freedom to the entire galaxy!
As you wear these vegan Resistance sneakers and experience the bounce of our natural latex Foot-Mattress™, may you feel the force right beneath your feet.
By Sven Segal
Founder of Po-Zu
SHOP the collection here, available in Mens, Womens, and Children's sizes in an array of colours.
World Fair Trade Day takes place this year on Saturday 13 May.
Initiated in 2001 by Safia Minney, Managing Director of Po-Zu.com, Author of Slave to Fashion, and founder of People Tree; World Fair Trade Day is now a global event raising awareness of sustainable development, poverty eradication and social justice.
This weekend we are asking people to support World Fair Trade Day with the hashtags #WFTD and #EthicalTopToToe and tag the instagram/twitter handles @Po_Zu and @SlavetoFash.
Safia writes: as People Tree’s Founder and CEO, we were already running World Fair Trade Day campaigns across Japan, with European and US Fair Trade organisations, showing how fairer trade makes a huge difference to people’s lives and community development.
Helping to prevent child labour by helping children attend school and escape poverty; supporting women’s economic independence who have been abandoned by their husbands; and how a strong partnership in trade can help Fair Trade suppliers invest in environmental initiatives.
Fair Trade has been the most significant global movement that has set the agenda and “tested and proven” that another way of business is possible. It has set the agenda and galvanised the sustainable development, social justice and poverty reduction debate.
It has also led the movement calling for corporate responsibility and accountability.
When I led the initiative to form a recognised World Fair Trade Day in 1999, endorsed by the World Fair Trade Organisation, other Fair Trade companies were quick to support me and many became national coordination offices for their countries.
Before long, there were over 3000 events in over 30 countries around the world from breakfasts created with Fair Trade ingredients, fair trade fashion shows, debates, events, producers meeting with consumers, supported by media, politicians and key leaders, influencers and celebrities. This has led to heightened awareness and the Modern Slavery Act, instigated by Baroness Lola Baroness Young of Hornsey (pictured below with Safia Minney at the Slave to Fashion book launch) where companies of over £36mn per annum, are obliged to report on what they are doing to eradicate slavery from their supply chains. It has also helped shape the debate on sustainability and prove that a new economics approach is possible.
Shopping from the ethical pioneers like, People Tree, Po-Zu, Riverford Organics, Ecotricity; etc. Many people are joining campaigns like World Fair Trade Day, Fashion Revolution, Clean Clothes Campaign and introducing the issues to their friends.
My new book Slave to Fashion explores modern slavery and human trafficking. It is a good read for anyone in business to understand how to go about investigating their supply chain.
I knew the importance of good communications and design when I set up People Tree, as I had worked in advertising and media. I was fed up with supporting bad business and wanted to prove there was another way of doing business. I look forward in my new role as managing Director of Po-Zu, to make it the go-to ethical footwear brand with our amazing team. It’s relatively easy to dress "ethically top to toe" and find a green solution to most of the things that I need to buy from organic food, green energy to eco holidays.
So this weekend we are asking people to support World Fair Trade Day with the hashtags #WFTD and #EthicalTopToToe and tag my instagram/twitter handles @Po_Zu and @SlavetoFash.
Click here to watch Safia in conversation with Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity (and massive fan of Star Wars)
Click here to pre-order your own Star Wars - Po-Zu shoes and boots
Click here for our Spring/Summer 2017 mainline collection
Dale Vince, Founder, Ecotricity is a huge fan of Star Wars and Po-Zu
We're excited to welcome our new partners Ecotricity to celebrate the launch of our Star Wars collaboration :) Safia Minney, Managing Director of Po-Zu interviews Dale Vince, Founder of Britain's first green energy company Ecotricity. Dale is an advocate of green living and promoting ethics in energy, transport and food. Dale also supports ethical fashion and is a huge fan of Star Wars and Po-Zu.
Switch to Ecotricity today and benefit from our partnership - sign up for Green GAS, receive an exclusive £25 Po-Zu.com gift voucher, sign up for Green ELECTRICITY receive a £25 gift voucher - sign up for both - receive a £50 gift voucher to use on the Po-Zu.com mainline collection *Ts and Cs apply
Po-Zu produces ethically sourced premium footwear; made from carefully selected natural materials that are healthy for your feet, safe for all the workers throughout the supply chain, and kind to the environment. Join the pioneers to turn business on its head.
WATCH a video of that MEETING of minds, and Dale's love for all things Star Wars here:
Ts and Cs: For a limited period only, may not be used in conjunction with any other offer, Vouchers to be used on mainline Spring Summer 17 Po-Zu collection (may not be used to order from the Star Wars collaboration collection)
Today's guest post is from Ali Clifford, writer at Incredibusy.
Ali has recently been on a city break to Copenhagen, and we asked her to share her top tips for packing and travelling light - and to tell us which are her favourite shoes for taking away on holiday!
"I've been lucky enough to get away to Europe a couple of times already this year (special birthday treat!). However, as we were only visiting for a very short timeframe, we wanted to avoid the delays at the airport carousel and squeeze everything for the weekend away into small carry-on backpacks".
For our trip to Denmark, I wore my Piper v dark brown boots on my feet, as they would take up precious room in my Millican rucksack, and packed a small pair of lightweight gold Ello Pinatex pumps into my bag... The pumps are as light as a feather (I weighed them - just 320g!), so you just don't know they are in there!
I also took with me an Eight Hour Studio over-sized shirt dress, which I wore to travel in on the first day as 'day wear', (and then wore it as a nightshirt for the two nights we were away) with a pair of organic flex Monkee genes which are really comfy for travelling in, and for wearing on the bikes we hired in Copenhagen.
It was a little chilly in Copenhagen, so the Piper boots were really comfy and warm to wear walking and cycling - yet when the sun came out, the Tweed allowed my feet to breath too. In the evening, we went for a walk and a lovely meal so I wore the gold pinatex Ello vegan pumps, teamed with a pair of Girlfriend Collective leggings, and silk kimono dress from London-based positive luxury certified designer Umran Aysan - very smart!
All in all, you really can travel smart, light and ethically - and if you want to pack a good book to read, I'd recommend Slave to Fashion, and for a bit of light fun, The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell, which you can actually get free with a trial of Audible - if you don't want to carry TWO books in your bag!
Shop women's shoes
Shop men's shoes
Shop kids' shoes
I think wearing the Rey boot for a trial through early spring put a bounce in my step rarely seen in January amongst commuters on the Northern line. I was delighted to meet the craftsmen of my boots in Portugal last week.
The factory that makes the natural rubber soles for the Rey boot is based north of Porto. It is big, well ventilated, with lots of shiny metal that reminds me of a chocolate making factory in Switzerland… but maybe a bit more steam punk! (older machines from the 60s and 70s). The long, thick slabs of rubber are placed into a steel machine and cooked, after minutes they emerge, waffle on one side, and the outer sole tread on the other. I love the way the excess rubber flaps off like bits of fried egg or comical fingers of rubber gloves hanging freshly-baked over the heavy metal. The waste rubber is cut away and then placed ready for the fantasy laser engraving that is burnt into the sole.
The thick coconut-fibre sheets lie ready on the table, under a single foot-shaped cookie cutter, the iconic Po-Zu Foot-Mattress is cut, one by one, and placed into the rubber sole. The wool tweed fabric is rolled out onto the cutting table and again hand-held cutters shaped for each part of the pattern of the uppers are placed under the pressing machine. The parts are neatly tied together and passed to the seamstress. As with many Po-Zu styles, the details surprise: there is a back heel panel made in local Portuguese cork, which is printed in metallic bronze with the Resistance logo and the Star Wars logo is embossed into the cork.
The wool tweed is layered and sewn back to back for extra warmth and durability – the seamstress makes the sewing look easy, moving deftly around the cork on the back heel and adding a layer wool felt for the lining. This unique upper looks like a woolen baseball cap, until it is sewn to the rubber sole – using a little water-based glue. No synthetic-based solvents here.
Once finished, the Rey boot is then tagged and placed in the Star Wars Po-Zu box.
This boot looks so like the one Rey wore in The Force Awakens.
Watch the film, if you don’t believe me!
By Safia Minney
Matt Dolan, reports from the Star Wars Celebration Event in Orlando, US, April 2017. He recently attended with Kate Osbourne. For both it was their first time to join the Star Wars community...
It's an honour and great experience to represent Po-Zu at the Star Wars™ Celebration Orlando and a great opportunity for Po-Zu to get out there amongst so many enthusiastic fans, to showcase the co-branded Star Wars™ I Po-Zu collection to the Star Wars enthusiasts.
It was an incredibly humbling experience to have such a positive response to the collection. They loved the quality and the authenticity of the boots and sneakers and the fact that we use sustainable materials. People would stop and say: wow, these boots are just like the boots worn in the film!". We meet with some 'movers and shakers' in the Star Wars™ community a crazy five days and we met THOUSANDS of Star Wars™ fans and whole families dressed up as their favourite characters.
A big shout out to our friends at Jedi News (@JediNewsUK) for all their support over the five days, you guys were brilliant.
It was also exciting to see so many of the CosPlay costumes, they were incredibly 'finished', and the great thing about the Star Wars™ I Po-Zu collection is that the shoes really do look the part in any cosplay outfit! The image above was one of my favourite Rey cosplay complete with a pair of Rey Boots!
We were delighted and flattered by the many positive comments regarding how well our shoes and boots are made, something we have passed back to the factory and artisans in Portugal. It seems that for fans, it's definitely an added bonus to discover that the shoes are made ethically.
If you would like to watch those artisans in our factory at work on the MAKING OF THE REY BOOTS, please click here.
Oh, and we loved meeting you all so much that we are doing it all again later this month, who will be joining us at the MCM ComicCon in London 26-28th May 2017? I you are there be sure to come and check out the co-branded collection in the flesh! (and meet the team behind the Star Wars - Po-Zu collaboration too!)
click here to return to the home page.
Monday was the fourth anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster where over 1,000 people died 24 May 2013 - It was the start of Fashion Revolution week, and saw the Po-Zu team at the book launch of our Managing Director Safia Minney's SLAVE TO FASHION - an investigation into modern slavery within the fashion industry.
Safia was joined by over a 100 key influencers, journalists, and contributors, including
Livia Firth, Eco-Age
Baroness Lola Young
Caryn Franklin, Fashion Commenter
Kate Lewis and Martine Parry Fairtrade Foundation
Cindy Berman, Ethical Trade Initiative
Geetie Singh-Watson, Riverford at the Duke of Cambridge.
Safia says: "As consumers we have a voice and should use it on behalf of the voiceless. Through shopping for ethical brands, asking questions of the high street and online brands and in our professional and personal roles. We all have a powerful role to play in raising awareness of and helping to eradicate modern slavery."
If you've not yet ordered your copy of SLAVE TO FASHION - we have exciting news, be one of the FIRST 20 people to order a pair of Po-Zu's SS17 collection this weekend, and we'll send you a FREE copy of Safia's book. It is an amazingly informative read. - and will make you think about who made your clothes, and of course, who made your shoes. CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR PO-ZUs.
"What gives this book unique power is Safia has lived every page of it in her lifetime fight to shine a light into the darkest corners of fashion's best kept secrets. What emerges is a painful portrait of unnecessary suffering but also a mush needed road map to anyone intent on making a better world." - Andrew Morgan, filmmaker and director of the 'True Cost' film.