January 07, 2020

Veganuary - more than just a food movement

2019 was a great year for Po-Zu, and the move to change our mainline collection to 100% sustainable vegan shoes.

Through the exploration of revolutionary materials, ethical production processes and innovative design, we’re on a mission to inspire the world into more sustainable and ethical footwear.

We are mindful of annual events such as VEGANUARY (for the month of January, and World Vegan Day 1 November) - however for us, and many of our customers, it's about more than just food. We've asked some of you to share your thoughts on fashion too - Sara @shisodelicious pictured here opens:

Sara Kiyo Popowa, artist, author and sustainable plant-based influencer @shisodelicious

"I love it when I get to adopt my friends' old clothes. I get to wear something I would never have picked myself, something which may actually end up looking amazing – like this fake fur hat and electric blue dress my friend Moko gifted me at her wardrobe clear-out the other day. For a while, 'hand me downs' seemed a little embarrassing to me, a sign of not being affluent enough perhaps. Now, I can see how this is changing - all around me! It's exciting, because the more we can make this kind of sharing, reusing, non-monetary exchange cool, the more it becomes NORMAL, and the less we need to be part of our current out of control consumption. While still getting our 'fix' – 'cause who doesn't like pretty things! There are still plenty of them to go around, let's start sharing!

For the things that I need to buy new (like the ethically made, vegan Po-Zu shoes I'm wearing in the pic), I do my best to place my money where I know it's being used to pay for fair wages, quality materials and skills, and I wear it till its spent, or pass it on!"
Photo credit: @kippysnacks
www.shisodelicious.com

Sara is wearing white organic cotton canvas sneakers.

Ali Clifford, marketing consultant and sustainability champion @incredibusy

"While vegan shoes can be made of anything that isn’t an animal by-product (or treated with one), it’s equally important to make sure vegan materials are also sustainably produced and don’t come at the cost of our planet. Many materials classed as ‘vegan’ can be exceptionally bad for wildlife, the environment and the workers who handle them. However, it’s possible to make use of incredible materials that tick both the vegan and sustainable boxes, from cork and pinatex to natural latex and coconut husks. You can read more about the materials Po-Zu use in their shoes or shop their vegan ranges by gender below." www.incredibusy.com

Tolmeia Gregory - Ethical and sustainable fashion activist/blogger @TollyDollyPosh

“It's important to remember within fashion, 'vegan' doesn't automatically mean more environmentally friendly or ethical.
A lot of vegan material alternatives turn out to be plastic (derived from oil) which is the production we need to move away from.”

tollydollyposhfashion.com

Tolly wears last season's best sellers - indigo hightops - find more organic high tops here: 

Lou Sanders - comedian and actor @LoulieSanders

“Ethical and Bestical Po-Zu, the trainers I wear so much, vegan and brilliant. We’ve got to stop buying so much shit.”

www.lousanders.com

Lou wears BEAUT off-white organic cotton sneakers with a fair trade rubber sole and logo detail.

Keith Lemon @keithlemon on his SID vegan boots "So nice ya could eat them".

Keith wears SID 'vegan leather' utilitarian boots, available in BLACK and BROWN (the Brown are Po-Zu founder Sven Segal’s favourite shoe this season).

Lisa Snowdon - Television presenter and model @lisa_snowdon 

"I’m very aware of what I eat as far as the environment and sustainability and it’s crossing over due to more amazing brands like Po_Zu - into the decisions I make in what I wear and buy.
I think it’s important for us all to do our bit for the environment and be aware of the impact our choices have."

Lisa wears the REVOLUTION sneaker, a percentage of profit from these sneakers goes to the Fashion Revolution programme.

youglow-girl.com

 

 And the final word goes to Sven Segal, Po-Zu's founder:

“There ought to be a list of ingredients if you buy shoes much like with food.
Most people are unaware of the issues with the footwear industry.
My speciality is shoes, I can tell you there are tons of really nasty chemicals put into ordinary shoes.”

Sven Segal, Founder of Po-Zu.com with the NEW PACE vegan sneaker 

Scroll down to watch VIDEO of Sven introducing the new GREY variant of the PACE vegan sneaker.

Media requests via press@po-zu.com

 

 

 

 

 

women's vegan shoes po-zu   men's vegan shoes po-zu

 

 

December 20, 2019

Christmas Message from our Founder

What an incredible year we had. We teamed up with some of the UK’s most brilliant comedians to raise awareness about eco-fashion and raise funds for environmental charities.
 
Our main line became 100% vegan simply because the single most effective action we can take to reduce our carbon footprint and combat climate change is to avoid consuming meat.
 
We’ve been featured on the BBC and followed in Rey’s footsteps for the third time to wrap up the latest Star Wars trilogy.
 
With all the exciting developments it’s been a challenging year overall and I wanted to thank you all for supporting our work, for po-zuing in our shoes and spreading the word about them.
 
It truly feels like the world is finally waking up to the climate and environmental crisis many thanks to Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion. It’s encouraging to see, however, we still have a steep mountain to climb. Our ambition is to minimise our environmental impact and maximise the proportion of shoes in the world that are made ethically and sustainably.
 
May 2020 bring us all crystal clear 20/20 vision, so we can focus more on what’s really important in life. Our message is simple: pause and think more often, adapt for a better future, and most importantly keep po-zutive.
 
Happy holiday season, and may good soles always be with you.

Sven Segal

Po-Zu Founder & CEO


The Po-Zu office is closed from 5pm Friday 20th December until Thursday 2nd January.

We will reply to any emails as soon as possible on our return, but there will likely be a delay in our response to you.
December 06, 2019

Star Wars™: The Rise of Skywalker with the officially licensed Star Wars™ | Po-Zu REY Boots

The countdown has begun - we can't wait to see the upcoming Star Wars™: The Rise of Skywalker film in just under a couple of weeks! Check out the opening scene of the official movie trailer to see why we are so excited…

Follow in the footsteps of REY

She rescued herself from obscurity on Jakku, walked the Goazon Badlands, journeyed from a scavenger’s life in the wilds of the Western Reaches before blasting off to a life of destiny and adventure on Takodana.

Introduced in Star Wars™: The Force Awakens in 2015, Daisy Ridley's character Rey went from obscurity on the desert planet of Jakku to the steel corridors of Starkiller Base. Po-Zu have been with her every single step of the way as she travelled the weaving path to the island of Ahch-To to train with the legendary Luke Skywalker, to the cold corridors of the Supremacy where she faced down Supreme Leader Snoke and on to the salt flats of Crait.

po-zu star wars rey boot rise of skywalker

Made using sustainable materials

The REY boot collection uses sustainable materials and come in different versions. The latest screen-accurate REY Natural Linen which is popular with vegan cosplayers, is inspired by her iconic mid-calf boot, as featured in the upcoming Star Wars™: The Rise of Skywalker. They are made in artisan linen and organic cotton. The tall boot version, REY Hi as featured in Star Wars™: The Last Jedi, are made in chrome-free leather.  Whereas the classic REY Brown boots, as featured in Star Wars™: The Force Awakens, are made in wool tweed and cork.

All the REY boot versions have an adjustable calf and featuring the distinctive rear lace-up system. The built-in shock-absorbing coconut fibre Foot-Mattress™ is designed to mould to your foot shape, provide excellent insulation and air circulation to keep your feet dry. The natural rubber sole is stitched for durability and features the co-branded Star Wars™|Po-Zu logo. All expertly crafted in Portugal, to help you walk the line between the darkness and the light in style and follow the sustainability pillars on which Po-Zu Founder Sven Segal, began 13 years ago.

po-zu star wars rey boot the force awakens

Where will Rey’s feet take her next? As we await the release of Star Wars™: The Rise of Skywalker - will it be the icy world of Kijimi, the ocean moon of Kef Bir? Or will Daisy Ridley's character, Rey, find herself on the desert planet of Pasaana and the jungle world of Ajan Kloss? Ice, water, desert, jungle – Rey and her boots are going to be tackling every imaginable environment.

Share your own Cosplay photos with us by tagging us on social media: #StarWarsShoesByPoZu @Po_Zu 

Shop the REY collection →

Watch how the REY boots are made →

November 08, 2019

World Vegan Month

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.

 

October 19, 2019

Consumption of trainers - Po-Zu on the BBC

Our founder and designer Sven Segal was recently invited on to the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire Show, to discuss the issues surrounding the consumption of trainers, with the presenter Joanna Gosling.

Other guests were Franklin Boateng who is known by his nickname ‘the king of trainers’, and Charlotte Zamboni from the environmental charity Global Action Plan who revealed survey results that UK teenagers own a staggering 58 million trainers, with teens confessing that almost a third of these shoes - 19 million - were unworn in the last three months. 

You can watch the full show below, where we discussed the carbon footprint left by trainers, and the innovative sustainable materials we at Po-Zu are using such as cork, organic cotton and apple skin made from the waste of the apple juice industry.

Sven: "Mainstream shoes are made from all sorts of nasty chemicals, leather is the biggest polluter in the shoe industry, and our mainline collection is totally vegan for 2019. There is a leather tanning agent called chromium, which is regarded as the fourth worst polluter in the world, yet something like 90% of leather is tanned with this substance."

We were incredibly grateful to have been invited to contribute and we really appreciate the support from friends and family contacting us to say they had seen us on the BBC.

Find out more about Global Action Plan here

Aired on 4th October 2019.

With thanks to the BBC for having us on the show and for providing this clip.

And to Victoria Derbyshire for tweeting about Po-Zu.

Shoes mentioned in this clip

Cork SNEAK

Organic Cotton FIRST ORDER 

Apple Skin and Pinatex SNEAK and BUTTERFLY

Star Wars collection 2019

September 22, 2019

PACE vs BRISK

After launching our first BRISK trainers with a unique built-in Foot-Mattress™ 8 years ago (and perfecting it ever since), we are thrilled to launch our next style of trainers – PACE, which brings together other unique sustainable design and comfort features.

We challenged ourselves to design a sustainable alternative to the commonly used synthetic EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) running shoes midsole*. After churning through quite a few prototypes, we have successfully constructed it from Portuguese cork, which is not only biodegradable and renewable, but its also featuring some remarkable technical properties.

Cork is a naturally springy material that can absorb huge amounts of energy, and it is also an exceptional insulator; even NASA uses it in their rockets!

Robert Hooke, an English physicist who discovered the honeycomb-like structure in cork using a primitive microscope back in the 17th century, came up with the law of elasticity. He also coined the term "Cell" for the individual compartments he saw in the cork cellular structure. 

Pace yourself before making a brisk decision… Whether you have tried our Brisks before or curious to know the main points of difference between our two types of trainers, check out the comparison table below:

po-zu shoes with a good sole

Generally, the Pace feels slightly firmer but provides greater bounce, whereas the Brisk is softer and more absorbent. Whichever way you stride; may good soles be with you.

*Midsole: The midsole is sandwiched between the upper and the outsole - typically found in running shoes. It’s the most important shoe component in terms of cushioning and stability.

 

SHOP THE COLLECTION →

 

August 24, 2019

Eco Friendly Shoes

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.

'Vegan leather' at its best

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.

Sustainable and ethical style

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.

Going vegan AND eco-friendly

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.

Shop our Apple Skin eco-friendly shoes or check out our full range of vegan shoes here

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.

SHOP THE RANGE →

June 07, 2019

White Vegan Sneakers

On the hunt for white vegan sneakers? Say hello to our Vegan Sneaks for men and women. Replacing our existing chrome-free leather trainers, the new sneakers are made with a vegan leather that outperforms the traditional shoe material on every level.

 

Vegan leather at its best

Offering more flex than leather shoes, our new vegan trainers are not only soft and comfortable but also extremely tough and resistant to high levels of abrasion. Their interior is designed to absorb eight times their own weight in water, making them the ultimate in dry, breathable, and thermo-regulating comfort.


What’s more, unlike traditional leather shoes, our vegan sneakers are 100% solvent free, antimicrobial (anti-odour), and machine washable; offering you white trainers with an exceptionally long life. With our removable coconut fibre Foot-Mattress and a natural latex sole, these non-leather trainers make you question why anyone would wear leather ones.


Designer Vegan Sneakers

While we’re always striving to produce ethical, cruelty-free footwear that doesn’t come at the cost of our planet, we never compromise on design and style. These vegan skate shoes are an everyday, travel-easy design for a cool and sustainable urban style. Decorated with our signature perforated butterfly along the side of the sneaker, and striking silver Pinatex or cork detailing on the rear tab, they’re designer sneakers without the designer price tag.


Why choose non-leather sneakers?

According to research conducted by Oxford University, if the whole world went Vegan it could save 8 million human lives by 2050, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds and lead to healthcare-related savings and avoided climate damages of $1.5 trillion. So, as more and more people adopt vegan behaviors that go beyond a meat-free diet, switching to vegan shoes is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint - without compromising on any of the comforts you’re used to.


Shop our white vegan sneakers for men or women, or check out our full range of vegan shoes here. 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 our quality guarantee.

Join the vegan shoe revolution

Sign up to our mailing list for the latest shoes, special offers, and tips and tricks to live life more sustainably. Just add your email to the box in the footer. 

March 31, 2019

MISSION LIFE-FORCE

The team were saddened to hear this week that Polly Higgins, author of Eradicating Ecocide, is gravely ill. Po-Zu founder Sven Segal writes:

“I don’t normally pour my heart out openly, but I had an extremely emotional week and I felt that I had to share my feelings on this very meaningful occasion.

One of my dearest friends, the inspirational Earth Lawyer Polly Higgins was diagnosed with advanced and pervasive cancer and a startling medical prognosis of around 6 weeks to live.

This terribly sad news came out with her most recent newsletter, and spread very quickly through the media; check out one of my favourite columnists George Monbiot’s recent piece about Polly’s work.

I first met Polly and heard her speak about her life’s mission at the People and Environment Achievement awards in 2012, where Polly won the most prestigious award - The Overall PEA Champion Award for her extensive work as a barrister, fighting to create new global laws to protect the Earth; and I as the founder of Po-Zu was honoured to receive the award for Entrepreneur of the year. I remember my jaw dropping in amazement and admiration as she spoke. Her radical solution sounded far more coherent, decisive and practical than all the environmental campaigns I had come across previously. Polly instantly become my environmentalist hero. We met backstage, congratulated each other and had a lovely brief chat. Shortly after this, we started to support each other’s work. Polly also inspired me to join Friends of the Earth and take on their Campaign Organiser Trainee program. 

I greatly appreciated Polly’s being an ambassador in wearing and spreading the word about our shoes and boots, and at the same time it’s been an honour and an uplifting thought for me to know that I’m supporting and comforting her feet wherever she goes. I always wanted to acknowledge those remarkable individuals who contribute most to protecting our shared environment, and as sustainable shoemaker, I couldn’t think of a better way than letting them tread softly in our shoes.

Over the years, Po-Zu have supported several environmental charities by donating a percentage from the sales of Po-Zu shoes. One of these being a registered charity of Polly’s, The Earth Community Trust.

We had been working hard on the launch of our Love Revolution shoe this week in aid of Fashion Revolution and workers’ rights, however, this important campaign has somehow been overshadowed by much alarming climate related news such as the drastic decline of insects and pollinators; it all of a sudden seems to be frighteningly accelerating. So of course, Fashion Revolution is really important, especially for my line of work, but clearly nothing is more imperative than the need for a Climate Revolution, without which nothing else will exist, nor matter; not even the most practical object I can think of - shoes.

We are aware that the odds are stacked against Polly Higgins right now.  And if there is one thing she would dearly love to see happen, it is a huge up swell of public support for Ecocide law.  

So please, take a moment to sign up as an Earth protector and contribute towards Polly’s ground-breaking work to protect the Earth by establishing ECOCIDE (ecosystem destruction) as a crime at the International Criminal Court in the Hague:

https://www.missionlifeforce.org/take-action

May the lifeforce be with us all, and may Polly's own Lifeforce win through.”

 

Sven Segal

Po-Zu Founder & CEO

 

March 02, 2019

#EthicalTopToToe with Po-Zu and Mayamiko

po-zu mayamiko #ethicaltoptotoe

 

Meet Mayamiko: a contemporary women’s wear brand inspired by African and global artisanal tradition and prints, with ethical trading and sustainability at its core. Established by Paola Masperi, Mayamiko The Label is lovingly made in Malawi and around the globe by a team of tailors, pattern cutters and seamstresses. Their multi-seasonal collections are designed for the global modern woman, whilst giving ode to their birthplace through the use of traditional techniques and locally sourced materials. 

 

Mayamiko strongly believes that ethical and sustainable production is the only acceptable way of producing, and feel that shopping ethically should not compromise the quality or design of the product but rather enhance and add value to it. We caught up with Mayamiko's founder Paola, to chat all things ethical fashion.

 

po-zu mayamiko #EthicalTopToToe

 

Why should consumers care about the history of their clothes before it reaches them?
I was born and raised in Italy. Growing up in a strongly artisanal and connected society, there are very few pieces of clothing I owned, that I didn’t know the history of. It is a wonderful way of connecting with your garments, treasuring and loving them, respecting them and their makers. Nothing was ever thrown away: it was almost a ritual to pass things on to younger siblings or cousins, or to repurpose a dress your Mum wore in the 70s! 

Fashion can be a real force for good: we see in our small context that lives are changed forever by people’s buying choices. And what drives people to buy is not just aesthetic, but also the awareness of how their clothes are made, and who made them. We all want to feel great in what we wear, and it is just impossible to do so if we are wearing someone else’s exploitation and misery. But if you know that your dress has allowed Jane,  one of the Mayamiko pattern-cutters in Malawi, or your Po-Zu's have allowed a rubber farmer in Sri Lanka to have access to clean water, then it has real meaning. 

  

Who are the makers behind the Mayamiko clothing and how does shopping with Mayamiko support them?

Our work focuses on women’s empowerment and the idea that dignified, fairly paid work gives each woman the ability to make choices over her and her family’s life. This takes a different shape in different places, depending on the local context and need. So with Mayamiko Trust in Malawi, we start with our training academy, where we ensure that the right skills are provided or honed, and then we offer a choice: employed work at Mayamiko, or support to set themselves up as an independent artisan. In which case we have a programme of small business and financial skills, as well as a start-up grant to support graduates on their entrepreneurial journey. Those who choose employment with us come on a journey of growth and development that continues for years. We really are like a big family! 

In Sri Lanka, we partner with the wonderful Booteek Collective, who works with women caring for differently-abled children. For them, what works best is to gather once a week, then go back to their homes and work to their own rhythm, to then meet again the following week. And so on. No one model fits all, and we work closely with our partners to do what is right in the context. 

So every purchase made at Mayamiko has a real impact on people’s lives, and it is not a one-day affair, we are in it for the long run! 

 

po-zu mayamiko #EthicalTopToToe 

How important is zero waste to Mayamiko The Label?
At Mayamiko we have both a strong social and an environmental stance because we believe that these must go hand to hand and cannot be separated. Zero Waste is an expression of our commitment to value every single piece of material we work with. We start from Zero Waste pattern design for maximum fabric usage, and that includes designing for longevity, so our styles can adapt and change with you. And we use every single off-cut to create items of value. So we flip the concept of waste on its head and say: what some may consider waste, we consider a treasure: this is how our scrunchies, earrings and other small accessories come about - which also means we are able to develop more skills for artisans, and help them generate additional income. 

Our Positive Pads initiative is also part of this: we craft beautiful reusable sanitary pads using our offcuts, and collaborate with local organisations to promote feminine health education, together with the distribution of reusable pads. Mayamiko customers can help by sponsoring a pad as they shop. 

 

What drew you to styling Po-Zu shoes with Mayamiko clothes?
I believe in our industry, in a time where we are all committed to bringing about change, collaboration is essential. Ethical and sustainable fashion is still considered niche, so we all need to work together to magnify our collective voice. Competition is not a word that belongs in our vocabulary, collaboration should appear twice. 

Oh, and need I mention that Po-Zu shoes are just awesome, and that’s a clear added bonus! I think the looks created by Mayamiko clothing and Po-Zu shoes really embody the women who wear our brands: dynamic, not afraid to stand out and be counted, stylish yet comfortable and wearing their values quite literally on their sleeves. 

 po-zu mayamiko #EthicalTopToToe

What's next on the agenda for Mayamiko The Label?
So much, there is never enough time! Our long term vision is to collaborate with more groups of amazing artisans around the world and work with them to create unique collections with a positive impact on their economy and environment. At the moment you can choose from embroidery from Sri Lanka, handloom from Myanmar, reclaimed jewellery from Laos, Kenya and Afghanistan, knitwear from Peru and reclaimed silk and wool from Italy. We are working on some new exciting partnerships there. 

We are also working hard to add more sustainable textiles to our collections: we love working with heritage and upcycled textiles, and we also know that more of our customers are looking for certified textiles. So getting the right balance is really important (and tricky!). And of course we have our yearly collection landing at the end of March / early April, so watch this space for some exciting new designs! 

There are a few other surprises in the pipeline but if I said what they are, they would no longer be surprises! You’ll have to keep coming on a journey with us to find out :)

 

Read Mayamiko’s interview with Po-Zu