Help us lift the lid on a better shoe industry, with ethics at its core, during London Fashion Week 2019.
Be a part of our grassroots movement of influencers, help us spread the word.
According to a recent report by the EAC, the fashion industry is completely unsustainable. Yet next week, London Fashion Week is set to continue, business as usual.
Although the footwear industry accounts for 20% of the global apparel carbon emissions, it continues to be on the periphery for sustainability.
The vast majority of shoes are made using synthetic materials, like acetate and PVC or glued together with toxic glues. These shoes are extremely difficult to separate and recycle and so they end up in the landfill and take hundreds of years to break down, releasing toxic chemicals as they do.
If they are made of leather, they are often tanned with Chromium, a highly toxic chemical and known carcinogen.
With 60% of production happening in the developing world, this often runs into riverways, polluting water and killing wildlife. In Bangladesh they have declared a river upon which thousands depend, biologically dead.
To top it off, a vast amount of shoes these days aren't designed to last, but to fall apart after a season of wear.
We don't want shoes going straight to landfill, clogging up our rivers, hurting the people who produce them or taking hundreds of years to biodegrade. So why are they still being made this way?
Without action, the need for change will remain unanswered.
Help us show the fashion world that business-as-usual simply isn't good enough.
Invite your friends, organise a day to take some pictures, think up a fun, cool idea. How can you make a super gorgeous, impactful image that really grabs attention?
Get inspired, check out our Pinterest board of ideas with some of our most loved pictures this year.
Please share! Send it to a loved one.
The more people who can help us amplify this message, the further it will go and the more the fashion community will take note (all eyes will be on London Fashion Week this week).
Next, let your followers know why you love your shoes and why this subject is so important.
What is so special about the shoes you are wearing? Why do you care that less than 5% of Post-Consumer shoes are ever actually recycled? Why should it matter if they may take hundreds of years to biodegrade?
We don't want shoes going straight to landfill, keeping the people who make them in perpetual poverty or polluting our waterways. So why are they continuing to be made like this?
The more posts we can make happen at exactly the right time, the louder it will speak. Get everything ready to post on Saturday 16th February.
Add the following tags:
#FreeTheShoes @Po_Zu (@Po_Zu)
It was an honour to put together a comedy fundraiser with Sara Pascoe, Aisling Bea, Deborah Frances-White, Brett Goldstein, Steen Raskopoulos and Sophie Duker at the Conway Hall. With a room packed full of changemakers.
There is something about comic perspectives uttered in the face of the existential problems we face, sizing up the need for change in its purest form.
There couldn't have been a more fitting place to host something like this. And what a venue.
The Conway Hall is the landmark of London's independent intellectual, political and cultural life. It is renowned as a hub for free speech and independent thought.
We are drowning in a sea of mass-produced, throw-away fast-fashion & footwear made from synthetic materials in a linear system where less than 1% of all textiles manufactured are recycled back into new clothing and 12% recycled into other industries (Ellen McArthur Foundation).
Held in cooperation with Slave to Fashion, anti-slavery advocate and movement to raise awareness and stop modern slavery in the supply chains today, there is never such a time as now for us to do more.
Thanks to our utter heroes: Sara Pascoe, Aisling Bea, Deborah Frances-White, Brett Goldstein, Steen Raskopoulos and Sophie Duker, we were able to raise a collective £3352.30 for The Environmental Justice Foundation and The Cup. Two charities fighting the negative impacts of the fashion industry's exploitation.
As seen on stage: (from left to right)
Sara Pascoe in WANDA Silver
Aisling Bea in MOON Black
Deborah Frances-White in RESISTANCE Silver
Steen Raskopoulos in SEQUOIA 2 Brown
Sophie Duker in REY HI Brown
Brett Goldstein in SNEAK L Black
Modern tech meets striking landscapes: Sacha Holub from Po-Zu chats with Martin Reisch, the Canada-based freelance photographer documenting outdoor explorations straight to his captivating Instagram feed.
What drew you into becoming a freelance photographer?
Initially, I started my career as a graphic designer doing DVD package artwork (yes, that long ago). Along the way, I started finding myself convinced I could do better than the images I was being given to design with. I ended up shooting a few projects where I did the photography and found myself much more interested in this part of the process. Fast forward many years later and I’m equal parts photographer and videographer. My two professions have been melded together since 2008.
How did you develop the signature @safesolvent style?
Whilst I’m not entirely sure what my signature style is, a lot of the time I’m the subject! What started out as a need to have some kind of scale or reference point when shooting large landscape images, turned into an almost addictive trademark.
From location scouting to drone photography, how long does your creative process take?
A very large part of my drone shoots is serendipitous walking around and stumbling upon interesting places. I’ve never been one to use Google Maps to find locations because I usually find the more I plan, the less I find myself inspired.
Has Instagram influenced your photography style?
Instagram has most definitely influenced my photography style. I was already shooting professionally when Instagram launched, this had the appealing challenge of creating an incredible image with a smartphone. It's not as difficult to achieve these days, but I still enjoy the idea that I’m not necessarily going out with the intention to create an image. Instead, I’ve got my iPhone on the chance I stumble onto something. To this day, almost everything on my Instagram feed is either an iPhone shot or a drone shot. I find it freeing to not use the large DSLR equipment that I normally use for work.
Which other photographers inspire you?
Most of my inspiration comes from filmmakers and cinematographers. I’ve recently stumbled upon the work of the young photographer, Brandon Lu. His work is fantastic and has tons of ambition and emotion. I like seeing the work of people who have only just begun their careers or journeys, with such fresh interpretations and lack of conventions.
We loved spotting our shoes featuring in your work. What do you love so much about your Po-Zu's?
What initially drew me into my first pair of Po-Zu shoes was undoubtedly the Star Wars connection. I have to admit, I’ve never seen such a tasteful use of Star Wars in fashion. When I was about 5 or 6 years old, my mom bought me a pair of Clarks that had a Star Wars logo on them and they were the most incredible pair of shoes I’d ever seen. Until coming across Po-Zu, I'd never imagined wearing another pair of Star Wars shoes. That being said; there’s something incredibly comfortable about Po-Zu shoes and knowing that they are ethically and sustainably designed and crafted goes a long way.
Safia Minney, MBE, Author of Slave to Fashion and Founder of Fair Trade fashion pioneer People Tree
Whilst fast fashion provides work for the majority of women in countries like Cambodia and Bangladesh, we need to fix the broken fashion system that leaves them working an average of 80 hours a week with too little pay to cover their basic needs.
Workers are asking for freedom of association.
Workers are asking for a living wage.
Consumers would be happy to pay 5% more for fashion to cover this and think that it’s the responsibility of the fashion company to look after the workers in their supply chains. We need companies to be held accountable and to force companies to follow the law.
Laughter is a powerful tool. It doesn’t matter who you are, what your background is or where you want to be. Laughter has the power to break through the bleak, ridicule the ridiculous and unravel the ravelled. It offers us levity in the darkest of times and the craziest of situations.
Through laughter, light & action follow.
Which is why together with Po-Zu www.po-zu.com, as Founder of People Tree and author of Slave to Fashion, we are working together to raise awareness and raise funds with the help of our amazing comic friends: Sara Pascoe, Aisling Bea, Deborah Frances-White (The Guilty Feminist), Brett Goldstein, Steen Raskopoulos and Sophie Duker. In time for London Fashion Week next month, we are asking attendees to rethink fashion and make ethical choices that put people and planet first: consume less, and if buying new, buy sustainable and ethical products.
“It’s imperative that there are more ethical products to choose from- that are just as nice and fancy, but that doesn’t harm the environment or enslave and mistreat workers,” says Sara Pascoe, comedian, co-host for the evening and author of ‘Animal’, known for appearance on TV programmes such as 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown for Channel 4, QI and Taskmaster for digital channel, Dave.
The fact is, we are drowning in a sea of mass-produced, throw-away fast-fashion made from synthetic materials in a linear system where less than 1% of all textiles manufactured are recycled back into new clothing and 12% recycled into other industries (Ellen McArthur Foundation).
“A single shoe can contain 65 parts that require 360 steps for assembly, making it highly difficult to separate and recycle.” Po-Zu’s Founder and CEO, Sven Segal, explains, “most of these substances are harmful to both the shoe factory workers and the environment. We need another way.”
Toxic chemicals, glues, phlathates, and chromium, especially in the shoe-industry, are used and often left untreated to flow into waterways, polluting community drinking water and damaging local health. The current volume of plastics entering the ocean through synthetic clothing by micro-fibres equates to 16 times that of microbeads.
Fashion is a major part of global trade. The fashion industry currently amounts to at 1.2 billion tonnes of carbon annually, more than those of all international flights and maritime shipping combined according to the Ellen McArthur Foundation. If the industry continues this trajectory, fashion & footwear will account for 25% of the world’s carbon budget by 2050. More than a half trillion gallons of fresh water are used in the dyeing process of textiles each year, amounting to 20% of global industrial water pollution. It takes around 7,000 liters of water to produce one single pair of jeans – equivalent to the amount of water one individual drinks in 5-6 years.
“We can’t be feminists unless we ask who’s making our clothes and whether they’re being paid properly and ever getting luxuries like - you know - going home at night.” Deborah Frances-White, comedian, author and creator of The Guilty Feminist, says. “The UN has told us we have 12 years to slow climate change and after that, it’s a runaway train. We are literally looking at a situation where water and oxygen might run out in our lifetime. So, if we like breathing and we’re not interested in sustainable, ethical practices we better get interested quickly.”
People in our supply chains are suffering too, according to Slave to Fashion: although it is illegal, there are more people trapped in slavery today than ever before. Millions of vulnerable men, women, and children are enslaved through human trafficking and forced labour. It is estimated that there are currently 41 million people who are victims of forced labour in supply chains worldwide and 168 million children in child labour. $150 Billion illicit profits generated annually from this trade.
“Fast fashion is notorious for its devastating environmental impact and brutal human rights abuses. We can all help to change this by voting with our wallets to choose ethical, sustainable brands that sources materials that are environmentally friendly and produced by people who are treated fairly. We can demand much more from businesses, none of which should be selling products that are destroying our natural world or exploiting people. Speak, be heard, get active and together we really can change our world for the better,” says Steve Trent, EJF’s executive director.
But the fashion industry needs to be held accountable. Even though there are laws, they have no claws (they are not enforced) leaving poor people vulnerable and those that stand up for their rights are often beaten and blacklisted and left without any livelihood at all.
Comedian, Sophie Duker says: “I'm thrilled to raise awareness of the dangers of fast fashion because I want to look like a goddess at all times (obviously) but I don't want blood or plastic on my hands. (It's not a good look!) I want to look like a snack but also be able to sleep at night.”
Find out more about the event here: http://bit.ly/PoZuComedyFundraiser
We all want to live our best 2019 selves, so what better way to do so than by starting the year out on the right foot with a comedy fundraiser raising awareness and championing the good guys.
We are delighted to announce this comedy evening which will be raising funds for Po-Zu Shoes' charity of choice - EJF (Environmental Justice Foundation) and the Cup, which is a project of the Freeset Trust*.
Co-hosted by the wonderful Sara Pascoe, Aisling Bea and Deborah Francis White.
Sara Pascoe, Aisling Bea, Deborah Frances-White, Brett Goldstein, Steen Raskopoulos and Sophie Duker. #StandUpToFastFashion
Venue-details LONDON: Conway Hall
Saturday 19TH JAN, 2019 7:00pm
Sara has a few tickets remaining for her show: LADSLADSLADS
Sun 10 March 2019
Booking at The London Palladium
Fast fashion businesses are drowning us all with mass consumed, disposable & synthetic clothing at a huge environmental and human cost along the supply chain. Footwear businesses are pumping out toxic chemicals into the factories and the water systems with little health and safety.
Never before has the agenda of global warming and modern-day slavery been more important than now. But we need to act now. Next year isn't gonna count.
Join us as we join forces with our favourite comedians to bring to light some of the actionable ways in which we can all, little by little, make a huge collective difference to the global landscape of the fashion industry.
With words from some of the leading movers and shakers on how we can all make incremental change. Expect rebel rousing at its very finest. Fast fashion is so 2018, darling.
Po-Zu is an award-winning ethical footwear brand working to halt the negative impacts of fast-footwear production to the people in the supply chain, the ecosystems around them and the global environment.
Read more about the charities Po-Zu supports here: our charities
*The evening of 19 Jan 2019 will be supporting the following causes:
The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) is a UK-based charity (No. 1088128) working to secure international protection for the environment and human rights. EJF calls on governments to recognise climate refugees and support a new legal agreement to guarantee their rights and their fair claim to our shared world.
The Cup is a project of the Freeset Trust and operates as a community centre, located on the corner of the main entrance into Sonagacchi and seeks to provide a place of community, fun, hope and freedom for women who daily face marginalisation, trauma, despair and entrapment escaping the red-light trade due to poverty and human trafficking. Freeset has been offering alternative employment to the women of Sonagacchi since 2001 and The Cup is a key means by which relationships are formed and freedom found.
Follow us all on instagram for more news:
Photo credit @weemissbea instagram
Featuring @sara.pascoe hair & makeup which was by @naradkutowaroo & @justinejenkins using all cruelty free products.
Aisling Bea styled by @imdeemoran wearing a dress by London eco designer @adazanditoncouture
Sara’s 💃🏻dress is from @one_scoop_store - where you can get second hand designer stuff for great prices - another way to do ethical and avoid waste!
We believe in a world where people matter more than profit, where businesses produce in a manner that does not destroy the environment and cause harm to human beings in the supply chain through sweated or bonded labour.
We stand for an industry that does not produce mountains of cheap, disposable products for the sake of commercial growth.
We stand against the mass-overconsumption of goods. This does not bring you happiness.
We believe product should be built fit for purpose, designed to last and bought to be loved: to be mended, gifted and passed down.
We want to show there is an ethical solution to the unsustainable practices you see today.
We need to level the playing field. Your voice and your purchasing power matter more than you think.
Po-Zu will be offering 40% off from 7am GMT - 16th November until 30th November.
It is our mission to maximise the number of ethically sustainably produced shoes in the world. We are striking back against fast fashion to bring shoes to you at a more affordable price. Simply because there is no other way to do business.
Use what you have, look after the things you own, find something you haven’t worn and give it away, upcycle it into something new!
Mend - sew on a button, visit your local cobbler, learn how to darn.
Pass the things you don’t wear along. Send them to a charity shop, attend a swishing party or give them to a friend.
Volunteer your time to a great cause to do something good, donate
Bake a cake, make something amazing, do something for free
Practice kindness, practice random acts of kindness, do something for the sake of being kind!
The Good Shopping Guide is an incredible resource for sustainable alternatives. It is increasingly accessible to buy organic, fair trade, sustainable brands with a point scoring system for you to easily compare ethics.
Here are a few brands we love:
Communicate to your MP’s get involved with organisations and improve practices in the industry,
Share this on your social media!
Support the organisations creating change in the industry:
We are often asked how Po-Zu sneakers are different to what’s out there in the market.
Sven Segal, Po-Zu's Founder and Creative Director, put together this article to explain how he makes sneakers that don’t cost the planet, and the health of the farmers and the shoe factory workers that produce them.
We aim to prove that a different approach is possible and make ethical and sustainable business practice the norm. Let's start by looking at STANDARD vulcanised shoes that you find in stores - compared to Po-Zu's ethically sourced and made, toxic-free sneakers.
2018 annual UK TOP100 corporate modern slavery influencers’ index rankings announced. Safia Minney, MBE, has been recognised as the #9 influencer in the inaugural 2018 Annual UK Top100 Corporate Modern Slavery Influencers’ Index.
Index recognises individuals from all business sectors, third sector, media and academia who are influencers in raising awareness to end modern slavery and labour exploitation.
The inaugural 2018 Annual UK Top100 Corporate Modern Slavery Influencers’ Index, co-created and co-curated by BRE and Sustain Worldwide, has been conceived to simultaneously raise awareness of modern slavery and labour exploitation while recognising the key influencers who are supporting its eradication. Anti-trafficking charity Hope for Justice is the official charitable partner.
The Index is based on the combination of influence on social media, as measured by Kred scores, and advocacy – policy input, speaking and media engagement – in public life, which is evaluated by desktop research. The two metrics are then aggregated via a proprietary algorithm and evenly weighted to produce the final rankings. An independent panel has verified the Index’s transparency, impartiality and robustness.
The rankings were announced on 26 September by Baroness Young of Hornsey OBE at a Recognition Dinner held at RIBA, Central London.
Safia Minney addressed more than 100 of her fellow influencers and guests at the Recognition Dinner, said:
“I am honoured to be recognised as having influence as part of this movement against modern slavery. We must all stand up for what is just and decent as human beings. For me, it’s been a personal journey of 30 years, and through the generations, as my great grand-mother was a bonded labourer in a sugar plantation. My passion and anger comes from seeing the violence and institutional corruption that silences, exploits, and abuses human beings. Our legal systems are largely dysfunctional in the developing world, where private security forces vastly out-number the police, who are in any case often corrupt. Victims of human trafficking, child labour, and forced and bonded workers rarely have recourse to the law or safe-haven. I’ve dedicated my life to proving Fair Trade and ethical business is economically possible. We all say that slavery is abhorrent, shocking and disgraceful, but we continue to buy products and services that are clearly made by people in slavery. The middle and professional classes are absolutely complicit in this. They can afford to buy and support Fair Trade and ethical brands and help create a level playing field, so these better brands like People Tree and Po-Zu, can thrive and continue to set the agenda for change.
We need to overhaul international trade. We need import controls for companies where there is not credible evidence that their workers and sub-contractors’ workers, are paid the local living wage. People around the world care and have worked tirelessly to build and be part of the Fair Trade and organic movement, but now we need effective policy from the UK and other governments.”
The rankings of the 2018 Top100 influencers can be viewed here.
Safia Minney MBE is Founder of People Tree and has been a pioneer in ethical business and a campaigner for corporate accountability and eco-friendly lifestyle for more than 30 years, here and in Japan. Safia has established Fair Trade supply chain solutions, initiated World Fair Trade Day with the WFTO, and has defined PR and marketing campaigns and the strategic directions needed to reach new markets. At the heart of everything she has done has been a creative force and passion to deliver social impact, human rights and sustainability. Safia is currently managing director of ethical footwear brand, Po-Zu and is author of 9 books, including ‘Slave to Fashion’, which exposes modern slavery in the fashion industry.
Modern Slavery is an ‘umbrella’ term for labour exploitation, forced labour, child labour and human trafficking. In 2017, 5,145 potential victims were referred to Britain’s National Referral Mechanism, a 35 per cent increase on the previous year. The UK Government has estimated there are between 10,000-13,000 people held in modern slavery in Britain today. The Global Slavery Index has estimated there are 45.8million people across 167 countries in modern day slavery.
Po-Zu will be running a 25% website wide sales promotion of slavery-free, ethically produced sustainable footwear to celebrate, use code GLOBAL25
Safia says: “So honoured, thank you #sustainworldwide, lovely to be in a room amongst such an inspiring community, with great friends Livia (@liviafirth) and Lucy (@theseagull). Please join me to take a stand and only buy slavery free products.”
I’m dreaming of a revolution that creates a truly sustainable world – want to join me?
I thought it was completely normal to dream about sustainability… The world where I walk in is a land with fields, past rivers and oceans that are teaming with wild life, where people work and play with respect of their natural surrounds. It’s a jolt to wake up to such a different reality, that the world we love is becoming smothered by plastics and swamped by pollution. And that workers health is suffering profoundly in this race to the bottom. We don’t pay the true environmental cost or social cost for the products that we buy. We also know that it doesn’t have to be that way…
I founded Po-Zu, because many people around me felt like I do and wanted pozu-tive shoes. As a shoe designer, the challenge has been how to design a collection as environmentally-friendly as possible, using sustainable materials like organic cotton, natural latex, cork, pineapple leaf-fibre, whilst keeping the styles strong and without compromising on comfortable and durability. Knowing that the workers are treated well and that we are not using toxic substances in the shoes makes me feel proud of what we have created at Po-Zu. We are rapidly growing our business thanks to your support and spreading the love – of people and planet.
Please join us in the sustainable shoe revolution on this anniversary of the Sustainable Development Goals and introduce us to friends with a celebratory 25% off your favourite sustainable shoes this week until midnight on Sunday *.
SVEN SEGAL Founder & CEO, Po-Zu
* The 25% offer is valid on everything when you enter code: GLOBAL25 at checkout. This offer runs until Sunday 30th September 2018 23:59pm BST.