Here at Po-Zu we believe you should be able to buy your shoes guilt-free, safe in the knowledge that they were created with love for people and with respect for traditional craft communities. That’s why we created the Po-Zu Ethical Shoe Promise.
Po-Zu’s key suppliers have all agreed to and signed the Environmental and Ethical Code of Practice:
“We promise to treat our team of shoemakers with respect, pay them a fair wage and protect them from harm.”
How we treat the people we work with is extremely important to us at Po-Zu. We consider everyone involved in the creation of our shoes to be part of our extended Po-Zu family and we treat them with the utmost respect and care. We only chose like-minded suppliers and are careful to review their ethical policies.
“We promise to minimise the impact of our manufacturing processes”
Our shoes are made in carefully sourced factories in Portugal, a country (which we're proud to say) derives 58% of its energy from renewable sources, one of the highest in Europe!
SOME ARE MADE IN SRI LANKA
Our factories are committed to the highest standards of ethical manufacturing (please scroll below to our Suppliers Code of Practice), have a strict non-toxic policy, and they recycle nearly all their waste products, including fabric off-cuts and water.
“We promise to use the highest quality natural components and to use renewable, low impact materials wherever possible”
All our materials come from naturally renewable sources and are responsibly harvested. They contain no pesticides, bleaches or toxic dyes and are locally sourced wherever possible. We use organic cotton in our shoes and all our leather is chromium-free.* You can read about our sustainable shoe materials in more detail here.
*We recognise that sustainability is a journey and that there are always improvements to be made. Even the most sustainable leather creates a big drain on natural resources. We are therefore investigating alternatives to leather for our future ranges, and have recently introduced a vegan, solvent-free eco microfibre.
It is our policy not to use any solvent-based substances and glues, because they are harmful and pose hazardous health risks to factory workers.
The majority of our shoes are designed for disassembly and are glue-less (we use natural latex as a temporary bond before stitching the components together). Some of our shoes contain water-based glues.
Solvent-based glues are the norm and are used extensively in shoe factories, mainly because they provide a quick assembly method which is a cheaper way to manufacture shoes.
Please see below link to the health implications in regards to exposure to solvents:
We are committed to maximise our positive impact beyond the way we make our shoes and conduct our business. Po-Zu has set up The Better Shoes Foundation in 2016 to promote sustainable development and practices across the global shoe industry by providing an open-source platform where producers can access relevant information and be inspired by the advances others are making.
“We promise to support charitable causes”
We pledge 10% of our net profit to charity. We divide this donation equally between the three environmental charities we support.
“We promise to be honest and accountable across all our business”
We are certified by the Ethical Company Organisation as a company that upholds human rights and animal welfare, and works to protect the environment.
We are proud to have been ranked the no. 1 shoe brand by The Good Shopping Guide for 11 consecutive years. This is an unprecedented run at the top of the ethical charts within the footwear sector.
FAIR RUBBER ASSOCIATION
Po-Zu became a member of the Fair Rubber Association in September 2017. The aim of the Fair Rubber Association is to contribute to an improvement of the working and living conditions of the primary producers of natural latex (rubber). Members of the association pay a Fair Trade premium for every kilogram of rubber they buy – the association ensures that this money reaches the supplier partners.
THE BUTTERFLY MARK
Powered by Positive Luxury, the Butterfly Mark is awarded to luxury lifestyle brands that take pride in their craftsmanship, service and design, whilst protecting our planet and its resources. With the help of an experienced sustainability council and external institutional partners, Positive Luxury has designed a robust assessment process that evaluates companies across the following five areas: social framework, environmental framework, philanthropy and innovation.
Po-Zu has been awarded the Butterfly Mark for our commitment to using renewable sources of energy, protecting the environment and its biodiversity, manufacturing locally and ensuring recycling is embedded in product development. Companies within the trusted positive luxury community are required to re-apply on a yearly basis. The Butterfly Mark offers wordless reassurance that Po-Zu is a brand to trust.