September 22, 2019



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.




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.


June 07, 2019

1 Comment

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



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:

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
February 28, 2019


Free The Shoes - thank you to our customers for your amazing photographs

Free The Shoes - thank you for showing the fashion world that business-as-usual simply isn't good enough.

Our customers make us. ❤️

You may have noticed, we are on a mission to rid the world of unfairly-made shoes and raise awareness for a different way of doing things.

Which is why, when we received such a great response to our #FreeTheShoes call-out last week, with loads of carefully thought out, creative entries, we couldn't help but be inspired. Hats off to you.

The five prize draw winners are @ttsbie, @ms_ventress, @macaroneer, @sarahpassos and @violetvillacorta. Keep an eye out for a direct message via Instagram, and enjoy spending those gift vouchers coming your way.


po-zu freetheshoes

From the desert of Jakku to the streets of London Fashion Week, you guys got creative, colourful and everything in between. Here are some examples of the awesome pictures you took.

po-zu freetheshoes

Thank you again for all of your inspiring work - we really do appreciate it, and if you would like to know when our next prize draw goes live, please sign up to our newsletter here.

February 25, 2019


Fairtrade Fortnight 2019

Celebrate Fair Trade Fortnight with us

Po-Zu caught up with some friends to hear their thoughts on why Fair Trade is important to our planet and how they will be celebrating this Fairtrade Fortnight.

Po-Zu is proud to be working with the Fair Rubber Association as part of our Fair Rubber collection and moving towards better certification along our supply chain as we grow and scale impact. By using the Fair Rubber mark in our shoes, we are able to ensure a better living wage for our rubber tappers.

fairtrade fortnight

 po-zu fairtrade fortnight 2019


Kate Osborne, expert in fashion and sustainability and PR & Marketing Manager at Po-Zu says:

“This Fairtrade fortnight, I will be thinking about all the farmers across the world who help grow the things we eat and wear, and what it means to run a rural farm. I was so lucky to visit rural cotton farming district in India a few years ago, and it was clear to me the impact that fair trade and organic cotton farming had on the lives of the people who grew the cotton.

Fair Trade is more than just a premium, it is a structure that ensures a better life for the producers as part of a community and a means to build something bigger. From schools, to better local transport, better access to healthcare or a buffer against harsh economic times or drought. My favourite Fair Trade brands include Café Direct coffee, Percol coffee, Divine chocolate, and visiting my local market for fair trade bananas in Dalston.”

Ali Clifford, PR and social media marketing consultant at

It's said that during a recession people look at less expensive consumables - they have trimmed household budgets and postponed buying cars, major appliances and other big-ticket items.

And indeed,less expensive consumables - such as {1} sneakers, {2} chocolate and {3} coffee –  three of my own favourite consumerist treats. 
So Fairtrade Foundation's focus for 2019 being "women who deserve to earn a fair living wage" - and using the #SheDeserves hashtag to highlight this, is so appropriate for myself and many consumers during times of economic uncertainty.

This fortnight it's about asking questions - in the same way that we ask #WhoMadeMyClothes - ask in the cafe, is this coffee Fair Trade, ask the big confectionery players - is your chocolate fairly traded? Read more here

Lizzie Rivera, is a journalist and founder of ethical lifestyle site: which finds, curates and promotes the best and most pioneering ethical fashion, food and lifestyle initiatives.

“For Fairtrade Fortnight I'm making sure my morning coffee is Fairtrade. I always ensure my coffee is ethically sourced, but for these two weeks I'm intentionally supporting Fairtrade's #SheDeserves campaign because everyone deserves to earn a living wage. Also, I've just got back from a trip to Kenya where I was bowled over by a Women in Coffee project. Here, women have been given ownership of coffee bushes and therefore their incomes - as a result they are more empowered in society and able to create a better life for their children. It's a real success story. You can read about it here.”

Safia Minney MBE, author of Slave to Fashion, activist and founder of Fair Trade fashion pioneer People Tree, says:

“Fair trade fortnight celebrates sustainability and social justice in business. When have we ever needed fair trade more? Fair trade celebrates a business that puts people and our environment alongside profit, not profit at any cost. Fair trade is the system to promote transparency and accountability and partnership between suppliers & buyers.

The success of Fair Trade proves that another way of doing trade & business is possible and just how much people want to be part of the solution!”

Khandiz Joni, Founder of pioneering new creative booking system, Novel Creatives, built for the fashion industry based on ethical beliefs and values.

“I am going to be celebrating Fairtrade Fortnight by promoting some of the amazing talent we have on Novel Creatives who all use fair trade as part of their working practices and I will also be using lots of lovely fair trade makeup on some of the shoots that I will be working on this week, all the while in my Fair Rubber Po-Zu’s and definitely eating lots of lovely Fair Trade chocolate!”


Interested in getting involved yourself? Head over to Fairtrade to find out how you can join, be it organising an event to getting social on social media.



February 01, 2019


The Power of Laughter to Move Mountains

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.


"The whole point of this evening was to have a really fun night that was celebrating the really positive things people are doing that people are doing to try and avoid some of the terrible things that are happening in terms of how clothing is made" Sara Pascoe, says. 
"It is just so refreshing and unusual to tackle such a horrendous issue as fast fashion with something that is light and enjoyable." Sven Segal, Po-Zu Founder. 

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

January 20, 2019

1 Comment

Out-of-this-world photography: @safesolvent walks the walk with Po-Zu

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.

po-zu safesolvent


po-zu safesolvent

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. 

po-zu safesolvent

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.

po-zu safesolvent

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. 

I’m also a big fan of companies that are reachable, human and considerate. It’s a great treat to buy a pair of shoes and be able to chat with the person who designed them so casually! It’s a big step away from the giant corporations and I find it charming.
po-zu safesolvent
We are constantly inspired by our customers, the beautiful, creative images they take and the story behind them. If you have been working on a similar project to Martin's, we always love seeing your pictures so please do send them through to
January 18, 2019


Why I am #StandingUp for Sustainable Fashion. FAST FASHION JUST GOT FUNNY

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, 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.

po-zu comedy fundraiser sara pascoe aisling bea deborah frances-white brett goldstein steen raskopoulos sophie duker

“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.”

po-zu better shoes foundation

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. 

po-zu slave to fashion

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: