February 01, 2018

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Valentine's Day – Safia's advice...

Safia writes:

Let’s go to our favourite jazz venue, feast on organic food, melt away into each others eyes, openness and arms and...surrender.

That’s my fantasy, but somehow I get stuck every Valentine's Day, on campaigns about sharing the love.  I’m talking about Fairtrade roses, and ethical, conflict-free jewellery and, does all that ‘stuff’ really matter anyway? when it’s about love, listening, and acts of real kindness and each other's growth?

People like me are growing in their numbers, people who, even on, and maybe especially on, Valentine's day - want authenticity and ethics

Here are some of Safia's personal shoe favourites, that will of course, promote well-being, health and sustainability

His and Hers - Po-Zu Red Resistance sneakers for you both? Hand-crafted in Portugal in organic cotton canvas for the active and fun, this 'matchy-matchy' look is so on trend - and these sneakers are comfortable and stylish too.

Add a little of our favourite chocolate Divine, a company owned by the cocoa producers and good-tasting as well as good-looking.

There also seems to be a 'matching' trend of ethical weddings, if you’re into that form of showing commitment, people are getting wed top to toe in ethical fashion.  (We love this photo from Sarah Passos' nuptials - Fabulous Po-Zu wedding sneakers shot by Sara Reeve)

And for those sisters amongst us, perhaps not in a traditional 'relationship', we might want to empower ourselves with something experiential, why not check out the film season "Girlfriends" which is all about female friendships, at London's BFI, Southbank, SEI  - a selection of films which runs until 20 March - and there’s the classic "Romy And Michelle’s High School Reunion" screening on 13th February for “Galentine's Day”. 

If you’re not based in London, finding a film on a feminist theme for you and your friends is a fun and truly loving thing to do.

And - most of all, be kind. Give warm smiles to strangers in the street if you feel like it. And remember that it’s rare that someone is not in need of a little kindness…

Oh and of course, if you buy something new, buy ethically, so that the love and respect spreads to the producer, and the planet isn’t further stripped naked...

this blog post appeared previously on Safia's own blog here:

Read more about Sarah and Cosimo's wedding here

January 12, 2018

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Po-Zu at Europe’s FashionSVP event – visit our booth, and hear our MD Safia Minney speaking on “Sustainable sourcing”

Come and visit the Po-Zu stand: SB29 at FASHION SVP, London Olympia 16th - 17th January.

Join Safia Minney MBE, MD of Po-Zu & Founder of People Tree, author of Slave to Fashion, will be speaking at 11am Tuesday 16th January; book your seat here: https://www.fashionsvp.com/seminars

Micro-fibre pollution is one of the largest environmental catastrophes that face our planets, oceans and ecosystem today. It represents one of the most significant business, environmental and health risks of our time. Microfibres now contaminate 83% of the UK’s drinking water and ocean pollution of micro-fibres are indigested by fish and all filter-feeders. A fleece sweater can release 250,000 micro-fibres per wash.

As founder and global CEO for 20 years of fair trade fashion pioneer People Tree, Safia will be sharing her knowledge of business practices to ensure protection of the environment from the design process through the supply chain. Do we need a ban on the production of synthetic microfibres as the UK have done with micro-beads?  What can brands do to clean up their act?

By using natural fibres and fabrics, (instead of synthetics), such as organic cotton, PINATEX pineapple, and coconut fibre, cork and other low impact materials like TENCEL®, Po-Zu and People Tree show how biodegradable fibres can be a commercial alternative and protect our eco-system, aquatic life and protect the health of future generations.

For more information about the challenges and opportunities in contemporary footwear design and production, you can visit the Better Shoes Foundation website: http://www.bettershoes.org/

Further details on the seminar at FashionSVP:

Tuesday 16th January Panel: 11.00 – 11.40: “Sustainable sourcing: fresh challenges, new opportunities

A 250% increase in consumer engagement with the sustainable fashion campaign Fashion Revolution occurred in 2017. Also, troubling new evidence shows that the fashion industry has contributed to plastic contaminating 83% of the world’s water table. How can you tap into massive growth in this interest in sustainability, and at the same time future proof your business?

In this expert panel, we address: 

Microfibre pollution – why this matters to your business – and what you can do about it

How sustainable production can be a competitive advantage for your business

Getting buy-in on a sustainable business model from your directors and your team

Tamsin Lejeune, CEO, Ethical Fashion Group and CO moderating the discussion and debate with Safia Minney MBE, Co-founder, People Tree, Oya Barlas Bingül, Development Manager, Lenzing Group, Eric Roosen, CEO, StarSock – Healthy Seas Initiative, Senior speaker invited from Patagonia Europe

Please follow the conversation on twitter www.twitter.com/Po_Zu

January 05, 2018

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Almost £210k raised - join the Shoe Revolution!

Words from Po-Zu supporters Harold Tillman CBE, and Marie Claire Magazine's Lisa Oxenham.

REASONS TO INVEST IN PO-ZU

Almost £210k raised - join the Shoe Revolution!  {click here to invest} 

 Harold Tillman CBE supports Po-Zu's SHOE REVOLUTION on Crowdcube equity fundraiser.

Words from Marie Claire MAGAZINE’s Lisa Oxenham may inspire you to invest:


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"Po-Zu is the brand for millennials. The zeitgeist company is one step ahead when it comes to materials, work ethic and shape of shoe. I see a huge shift in vegan, mindful and quality fashion products and Po-Zu have already perfected this area of the market, so I see them being at the forefront of this growing movement.”
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Lisa Oxenham
Beauty & Style Director, Marie Claire UK

The money raised will help fund further international expansion, the set-up of a US distribution channel, and an ethical footwear line made in Sri Lanka, using Fair Trade Rubber and organic cotton.
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#pozufootwear #ethicalfashion 
Capital At Risk @crowdcube #investaware

INVEST IN PO-ZU {click here to invest via CrowdCube

Click here to return to the website

January 02, 2018

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Po-Zu’s EIGHT New Year Resolutions for 2018

2018 is set to be quite a year for Po-Zu - here are Sven's EIGHT New Year Resolutions for our team.

1- Increase the market share of sustainably-made shoes in the world by launching a brand new highly affordable ethical sneaker collection this spring (the first of its kind for Po-Zu).

2- Work with pioneering retail stores to stock our new, highly competitive, well-designed shoe collection with strong communications and branding. Our new line will enable us to compete head on with the largest sneaker brands.

3- Boost sales by making our shoes more easily available in the USA thanks to partnering with a local fulfilment centre and meeting online consumer expectations of free fast deliveries and returns. Despite not having a local fulfilment yet, 63% of our customers are already based in the USA.

4- Build on the success of our current film franchise license deal, and collaborate with new partners to expand brand visibility, market penetration, and sales distribution globally.

5- Expand our network of influencers and affiliates whilst improving our digital marketing results to achieve 1:10 ROI.

6- Keep ahead of the game by embracing breakthrough innovation in bio-based vegan materials and circular economy development.

7- Promote the well-being and contentment of our customers, the people that make our shoes and our team.

8- Last but not least, to deliver a great return on investment to our shareholders.

May good soles be with you all this new year!

Sven and the Po-Zu team

Read more and an invitation to invest here

December 16, 2017

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Win a sustainable Christmas hamper

Win a sustainable Christmas hamper with TooGoodToGo app, us Po-Zu Footwear, Eco925, Happywrap, Re-wrapped Ltd and Fou Furnishings.



Our sustainable friends have all contributed to the hamper worth over £200 to get your Christmas off to an amazing start - with Too Good To Go providing the brunch 😉

Simply tag three friends and share this Facebook post to be in with a chance of winning....{Po-Zu are even offering a 20% discount throughout the competition with the code GOODTOGO20 for those of you too excited to wait for the voucher!}

CHRISTMAS AND ZERO WASTE

Did you know that each Christmas 227,000 miles of wrapping paper is thrown away in the UK - enough to stretch from here to the moon!

These frightening statistics could dampen your Christmas spirit. However, fear not! Too Good To Go is here to save the day with some suggestions of sustainable companies to fill up your stockings with this year.

We are even offering one of you a Christmas surprise full of sustainable gifts to make your Christmas sparkle even more!

Too Good To Go are tackling food waste this Christmas by allowing stores to sell their surplus food at the end of the day via an app – letting customers rescue a meal for a reduced price. As we all tend to over produce food in the festive period, Too Good To Go lets us all make a personal impact in reducing food waste.

If you are the winner of the Christmas hamper, you will get brunch on us (through the app) for yourself and up to 4 friends to help you through your Christmas shopping while helping fight food waste! *

Po-Zu shoes How about treating your loved ones to a new pair of shoes this Christmas? Po-Zu are an ethical shoe company that make high quality and sustainable shoes from materials such as pineapple leaf fibre and coconut husk (also saving this from adding to our food waste problems)!

Po-Zu have contributed a £50 voucher to put toward a pair of shoes of your choice – or gift to someone else to use.

Fou Furnishings ® sell high quality linens made from the finest Fairtrade and organic natural materials. They use organic cotton and wool to be sure of product quality; as well as the positive link to wellbeing, the environment and those working within their supply chain.

You can find a £75 voucher from Fou Furnishings for some new bed linen to treat yourself to this Christmas, or for the perfect present to wrap up and put under the tree.

Eco925 As one of the only actively ‘green’ jewellery companies in the world, Eco925 offer sustainable and eco-friendly jewellery. Using mostly recycled silver to create their beautiful pieces, making sure to use ethically sourced natural materials when they can’t use recycled ones – and making sure to have the lowest carbon footprint possible!

As a Christmas gift to yourself, or a loved one, Eco925 are including their best-selling amethyst pendant with snake chain in the winners’ prize.

Re-Wrapped noticed the lack of supply to the growing demand for recyclable wrapping paper that could compete with the designs of high street brands. Their paper is all recycled and uses unbleached pulp and environmentally friendly vegetable-based inks to print with. They also power their operations from renewable sources and use new poly-tech bags that are biodegradable by light – how’s that for a sustainable business!

They are adding to the Christmas cheer by contributing 5 notebooks and 5 gift cards from their popular range.

Happywrap Similarly to Re-Wrapped, Happywrap offer eco-friendly and ethical wrapping options. Known for their original reusable fabric gift wraps, they have now branched out into sustainable and fair-trade gift paper from Nepal, made using the bark from the lokta shrub which naturally sheds its bark to make into pulp, without the need to destroy the plant.

What would a sustainable Christmas prize be without the something to wrap everything in? Happywrap have contributed a medium size gift wrap to the prize – topping off the perfect sustainable Christmas prize!

Now you are in the festive spirit after reading about all this Christmas goodwill and cheer – enter our prize draw!

Win a Christmas package full of all the gifts mentioned above – worth over £200 – by entering our Facebook competition here – https://www.facebook.com/toogoodtogoUK/posts/706195199576339

Simply tag 3 friends and share the post. The competition closes at midnight on Tuesday 19th and the winner will be announced on Wednesday 20th - so we can get it to you before the last Christmas post!

And last but not least – Merry Christmas from us all!

* Brunch only redeemable in London (Sorry!)

with thanks to Ali, and to Anoushka at TooGoodToGo

Ts and Cs:
The closing date for the competition is 19 12 17 at midnight (GMT). The winner will be chosen at random from all the entrants. We will notify the winner by e-mail/DM. If we do not get a response to the message within two days, the prize will be offered to a runner-up. You can find out who has won a particular competition by contacting Too Good T Go at info@toogoodtogo.co.uk.

The winner will be announced w/c 18 12 17, we appreciate your patience while we verify all the entries. Good luck! Per Instagram/Facebook rules, we must mention that TooGoodToGo  are the promoters of this prize draw, which is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram/Facebook. By entering, entrants confirm they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram/Facebook of responsibility, and agree to Instagram/Facebook's term of use.

November 23, 2017

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Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or ‘Buy Nothing’ Day

Safia Minney writes:

Whilst running  Ethical and Fair Trade businesses over the last two decades, events such as a SALE or BLACK FRIDAY and CYBER MONDAY always fill me with gloom…and if I’m honest, irritation.

Why, you may ask?

Well, this is because the present economic system is utterly dysfunctional, corrupt and largely bankrupt and as a result conventional companies and their customers already enjoy vastly subsidised goods and services – as they are largely made without reflecting the true cost in terms of fair wage for workers and rarely treat the environment as a limited resource.

A post shared by po_zu (@po_zu) on

On the other hand, ethical businesses strive to pay these costs AND compete against sweatshop and highly polluting product – and are then expected to  discount their prices too? They barely manage to make a profit as it is.  This is NOT because they are badly run by 'do-gooder hippies' who don’t understand design, finance or the economies of scale; this is because they compete in an un-level playing field and don’t have the budgets of big business to ‘buy cool’ celebrities or bill boards and advertising, because they haven’t amassed huge funds from Modern Slavery and tax havens etc.

That social and ethical businesses have no support in the form of tax incentives, R&D support and with little subsidy to slow capital is shocking and immoral.

Sure, there’s the odd prize and acknowledgment here and there – but it’s not enough to turbo charge the shift to sustainable business practice, education and a sustainable economy.

Resisting the temptation of huge offers on Black Friday is tough. Here's some options:

You could only buy sustainable, ethical or local products.
You could buy that expensive discounted wallpaper but then send an email to the company asking them about their ethics, why FSC certification is not on their website? for example.
You could Make and Mend in rebellion to the whole thing.
OR....
you could BUY NOTHING and invest in sustainable business –
– like Po-Zu. {https://www.crowdcube.com/companies/po-zu-1/pitches/lePweq}

Capital At Risk

Interestingly Patagonia's ‘DON’T BUY THIS JACKET’ Ad in the New York Times generated huge sales of the same jacket.

Their “All sales today goes to sustainable charities” on Black Friday last year generated $10 million dollars towards sustainability whilst the company continues to improve its manufacture of products in terms of climate, sustainability and a fairer deal for workers..and importantly customer education.  We need large companies to follow their lead; we urgently need to support ethical businesses and we desperately need to exercise our power as citizens on Black Friday.

WATCH: The True Cost Movie
READ: Slave to Fashion
INVEST: In Ethical Businesses

This blog post has appeared previously on Safia Minney's blog The Ethical Agenda here:

www.safia-minney.com/blog/black-friday-or-buy-nothing-day/

video credit @colbertlateshow

“Once again, we’re spending money we don’t have, on things we don’t need, to give to people we don’t like.” #BLOCKFRIDAY @truecostmovie

October 31, 2017

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NOVEMBER is World Vegan Month - Lucie Barât tells us about her vegan journey

WORLD VEGAN MONTH / GUEST BLOG BY LUCIE BARÂT (Singer/Poet)

To celebrate World Vegan Day (1st November) we are delighted to have Lucie Barât as a guest writer on our blog, and tell us about her journey as a vegan.

Lucie BaratLucie in our Silver Pinatex Sneakers.

Lucie Barât: There's a 'World Vegan Month'? It's all new to me... my slide into veganism was a rapid flume ride.

No dabbling in pescatarian, halloumi eating. I was a full on cheese obsessive, omelette-eating, steak appreciator but once I’d chosen to stop looking the other way and finally allowed my friend to show me YouTube video entitled: ‘A Chicken Dinner Backwards’.

I had no choice but to really allow myself to consider the reality of mass farming and modern dairy production. I just couldn’t be a part of it.

And it was easier than I thought. There are so many vegan options and meat/dairy substitutes. Many chain restaurants now offer vegan alternative, nut milks are everywhere and the most mainstream food brands are realising they have no choice but to compete for the green pound.

After the food choices comes the other stuff. And plastic! Packaging… animal testing. There’s a world of cleverly concealed, corporate-produced oblivious unethical consumption going on. The unaware masses prop up the market on a daily, hourly basis. And I was one of them.

Even if you're not a vegetarian, or a vegan, and weren’t all for the fair treatment of animals? What about humans? What about admitting that we live in a world where the mass production of cattle is causing more damage to the environment than all the cars and air travel combined? And what about modern slavery in the Fast Fashion industry?? (currently reading Slave to Fashion by Po-Zu's managing director Safia Minney)

But I don’t want to get all ‘ranty’ so let me tell you how AWESOME these products and brands are DESPITE being vegan, ethical and cruelty free…

A Day in the Life of ME (and the me I’d like to be)

Morning - I brush my teeth with Aloe Vera toothpaste from Ethical Superstore – a natural, non-fluoride formula. It’s actually REALLY minty… like any other toothpaste! I had visions of a nasty tasting inferior experience leaving my mouth anything but fresh. But I was wrong.

Pull on my SOCKS - Minga Berlin have some ethically-made GOTS certified wickedly cool organic cotton socks. I’m a bit of a sock fetishist, I enjoy anything bright, funky and made from organic cotton!

NEW SHOES - Then I bounce out the house in my ridiculously comfortable, stylishly fantastic Po-Zu shoes. (you know they make STAR WARS SHOES don't you??)

Seriously like walking on clouds and they get, on average, about three props a day (Editor: that's "compliments" to you and I). Made from Pinatex – a pineapple sourced leather substitute.

I chose a silver pair of bouncing creps. Sorry, trainers.

Here's a link to all of Po-Zu's vegan footwear (men's, women's and kids).

THTC clothingone of my favourites brands. I often wear their tees on stage. They have a fantastic range of artists designing political satire and environmentally aware tee shirts and cool hoodies (for kids too) all made from organic cotton and hemp.

benjamin zephaniah veganThis is an eco-label that has been running since 1999 but their recent CORBYN Tshirt design catapulted them into the mainstream garnering support from Professor Benjamin Zephaniah (who ALSO wears Po-Zu vegan sneakers) and the imitable Stormzy (as well as, ahem… lil’ ol’ me ;)

Mobile Phones … I hate a corporation as much as the next person but am also lazy and have been sucked into the ease and familiarity of my usual brand. But I’m like a sadist, perpetually extolling the crimes against humanity and the conmanship of 'a certain phone brand's overly upgraded products, all about money over universe. So FairPhone sounds like the perfect remedy. I’m yet to try them out, but try them out I will!

BLING - It hadn’t even occurred to me that jewellery could be fair trade. Well, obviously the whole heinous blood diamonds trade… but gold/silver… coffee? Po-Zu have introduced me to www.justtrade.co.uk Fair Trade, handmade jewellery and accessories.

It seems the corporate tentacles of UNfair trade stretch almost everywhere you could imagine - check out this Brighton based store littlebylittlejewellery.com. With each item that is sold, they donate the funding to pay for a day's supply of therapeutic food to nurse an acutely malnourished child back to health with ACTION AGAINST HUNGER.

Mr Masey’s Emporium!! For your fantastic smells fellas, using plant-based, cruelty free ingredients and smelling as delicious and strong as any other perfume…and body lotions from Sophie la girafe cosmetics who make organic and vegan skincare too... and not forgetting eco glitterI recently discovered that regular glitter contains thousands of microscopic pieces of plastic - so it's good to know I can glitter my cheekbones with Biodegradable Glitter✨ ✨Vegan✨ ✨and Cruelty-free from Wild Glitter.

Vextiles – Brighton based company selling bright, beautiful, luxury sustainable soft (vegan) furnishings. Each cushion cover is made using 78% recycled fabric offcuts and eco-friendly calico and GOTS certified organic cotton thread.

And then my favourite subject; food. There are soooooo many new and easy to find/use vegan ingredients coming onto the market, as mentioned above.

Brighton has a wealth of shopping outlets stocking good vegan produce from Infinity Foods and HiSbes to Seed and Sprout in Kemptown and Taj in Hove. There are so many places to eat out; Terre a Terre and Food for Friends being the most well known but there’s also the Lovin’ Hut, and Planet India.

Dead Wax Social do AMAZING vegan pizzas, as do Purezza as well as mac n cheese, various pastas and even a cheese board. Vegan Sunday Roasts are easy to find and plenty of carnivorous restaurants about town now offer decent vegan options. If in doubt, download the Happy Cow app on your phone – I recently used it to find vegan friendly eateries in La Palma. It’s like a Trip Advisor for vegans the world over.

I've discovered how to make a VEGAN CRUNCHIE BAR TOO!

watch here: 

Being vegan has never been easier!
Start from the bottom up - check this link to all of Po-Zu's vegan footwear (men's, women's and kids). thanks for watching/reading!

Instagram; www.instagram.com/lucie_barat_ 

Spotify; http://spoti.fi/2yDGTVG Lucie's new single is OUT NOW!

Twitter; https://twitter.com/lucie_barat

 RETURN to home page

October 15, 2017

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Eden Project’s ‘Shoe-sphere’

People often ask me; so what is the connection between your small down-to-Earth sustainable shoe brand and the mega Star Wars films ?

As polarizing as it may sound, the connection is becoming clearer to me as our Star Wars collaboration evolves… It is about resisting the dark side - a theme embedded in Po-Zu’s genetic makeup as in the Star Wars characters. In fact, we like to consider ourselves as the ‘rebel alliance’ of the shoe world!

I happened to visit the Eden project last month for the first time, possibly the best place on Earth to remind ourselves just how precious our blue planet is, and how fragile our ecosystem is. Amongst many awe-inspiring sights I spotted the natural latex and cork materials we use in our shoes, all part of the bio-based, sustainable economy, and given a prime place in Eden’s biosphere paradise.

 

This amazing Eden Project biosphere is very much focused on ecology and sustainability, yet, quite unexpectedly, we stumbled on an entire exhibition dedicated to Space! I instantly asked myself: why on Earth would they introduce such a contrasting alien subject, what is the relevancy?

 

Because we are trashing our one-and-only planet to bits, without control, it seems like a good idea to explore space and the universe for other options. We may as well look out for other planets to colonize. But before we get there (if you can imagine your great grandchildren colonizing Jakku or Takadona), we must learn to become more sustainable and self-sufficient in our own planet first.

And since we are focusing on the shoe sphere here, it’s probably even harder to imagine how shoes could possibly be harmful (apart from the occasional stiletto accident), so part of our mission is to raise awareness about how astronomically damaging mainstream shoe production is to our planet.

For further info check out The Better Shoes Foundation. 

May good soles be with you!

Sven

Po-Zu Founder & CEO 

 

October 13, 2017

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Launching Autumn / Winter 2017 Heritage Collection

The Autumn / Winter Heritage collection combines Po-Zu's supreme comfort with outstanding ethics, sustainable materials we love like organic cotton, cork, PinatexTM (pineapple leaf fibre), wool, natural latex and chrome-free leather. All of our shoes are handmade in Portugal.

We've added fresh metallic accents and splashes of bronze leather, silver embroidery, and gold Pinatex for an added sparkle.

Hope you want to share this video with your friends.

October 04, 2017

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Po-Zu at New York Comic Con 2017

An in-flight blog post written by our PR and Marketing Manager Kate (pictured below, the slightly shorter one in the photo), at approximately 11,000 feet halfway across the Atlantic Ocean on her way to New York, accompanied by her favourite Star Wars Shoes by Po-Zu.



"Our little shoe brand from London crosses the Atlantic this weekend to take part in the one and only New York Comic Con and we are super excited!

We are thrilled to be attending this year. New York is one of the most amazing Comic Cons in the world and we had such an incredible reaction at "Celebration" we just can't wait to meet everybody and show you all the range.

You can find us at stand #302 on the Show Floor Level Three; simply shout out to Kate our PR and Marketing aficionado or say hello to anyone of our team.

We have some amazing things planned for this weekend... In particular on Thursday 5 October, at 11am US time, we will be revealing an exciting new product. It will be a classic you won't be able to resist (and perfect - just in time for Christmas gifting too).

We are teaming up with loads of cool people to offer all kinds of fun stuff. Plus everyone who drops by our stand will be in with a chance of winning an incredible prize draw of $500 to spend on the range! 

There will be exclusive #NYCC2017-only deals, FYI, if you have been checking out the range and are looking for a reason to invest. Some amazing discounts at the stand #302, and we will be shipping straight to the USA all of the styles that we have available.

 

All of our shoes are hand-crafted in Portugal, we use sustainable materials and production techniques, and they are all awesome, subtle Star Wars designs, and we are really proud of them.

We can't wait to meet you all, and see some old faces too, pop over, take photos, tweet us, tag us, instagram us - we are @po_zu on social media, and we love to see the hashtag #StarWarsShoesByPoZu if you can remember that! (look out for it) 

Peace and love everyone. (and here's the link to the range... the newly released shoe will be available to order here from 11am New York time (16:00 GMT)