Some of the greatest technology solutions on earth are found in the natural world. At Po-Zu we believe in bringing the exceptional performance of the natural world to you through our shoes. Our materials are carefully selected to offer you the ultimate in comfort, warmth and durability and are sourced from some of the best available renewable sources.
Here’s a list of the fantastic sustainable materials we use:
Linen is an extraordinary material. It's spun from the blue-flowered plant, Flax, of which 80% is grown in Europe. Flax is GMO-free and only requires rainwater to grow. What's more, every part of the plant can be used, making Linen a superb zero-waste material.
As a fabric, Linen offers excellent anti-microbial properties, lets you breathe, and cools you down in hot weather - the perfect material for sustainable shoes and sneakers.
Piñatex is an innovative, natural and sustainable non-woven textile made from pineapple leaf fibres. These fibres are the by-product of the pineapple harvest grown by farmers in the Phillipines and require no extra land, water, fertilisers or pesticides to produce them.
Piñatex is a great vegan alternative to leather and as well as being strong is soft, light, flexible and breathable.
Cotton is hypoallergenic and dust-mite resistant, which means it is the best choice of material for people who suffer from allergies, or those who have sensitive skin prone to irritation. Natural fabrics allow for better air circulation, which helps absorb and remove body moisture, drawing heat away from the skin and keeping the body cool and dry.
Our Organic cotton canvas is GOTS certified, and is grown in Turkey. Organic farming is not only safer and healthier for the farmers, the wildlife, and the environment, but also for the end consumer. People with allergies and chemical sensitivity especially benefit from organic cotton, as conventional cotton may retain harmful toxic residues due to the pesticides used in growing it. Cotton is biodegradable and a renewable resource.
Wool has many similar benefits as cotton and it makes a great material for shoes due to being such a good insulator - it keeps your feet snuggly and warm in cold weather, but also lets them breathe in warmer temperatures so they stay fresh and dry.
Wool is naturally antibacterial and it’s very durable. All our wool is unbleached, and in most cases un-dyed, such as our felt wool lining and our British wool tweed, which is sourced locally from white, brown and black British Jakob sheep.
We use cork in various components, such as around the heel counter of the shoe. Cork is a naturally springy material that can absorb huge amounts of energy, and it is also an exceptional insulator; even NASA are using it in their rockets! Cork is made from the bark of the Cork Oak tree, which grows close to our factory in Portugal. The harvesting of the bark does not harm the tree and a new layer of cork quickly regrows, making it an excellent renewable resource.
When it comes to performance, breathability, and durability, leather is still regarded to be the best material available for shoe uppers, and we say: but only if it’s ethically sourced! Unlike most leathers in the market which are tanned with highly toxic substances and which could be sourced from cattle farms that cause deforestation, our leathers are certified by Biocalce. They are tanned in Portugal using an environmentally friendly method, which is free from harmful chemicals such as chromium, and heavy metals. We can also guarantee that all the raw hides that end up as leather in our shoes are of Iberian origin.
Coir is a mix of coconut husk and natural latex. We use it for the legendary Foot Mattress, as well as for our original shoebox, which was nominated for a Green Award. Coir fibre is heat and moisture resistant, has good ventilation, is moth proof and is an excellent insulator. Our raw coconut husk is sourced from Sri Lanka, while the Foot Mattress is produced in the UK.
In addition to the Foot Mattress we use natural latex in our advanced Butterfly Suspension Sole. Natural latex is a rubber made from the milky sap of the Lactae Hevea tree. It has excellent cushioning properties, it is solvent-free and abrasion tests have shown that the natural latex rubber in our soles is more hardwearing than the standard petroleum based rubber. The natural latex used in our soles is a similar compound to what is used for babies’ soothers, and is FDA certified.