The vegan trend has quadrupled in the five years between 2012 and 2017. It now gets almost 3 times more interest than vegetarian and gluten-free searches in Google. If the 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 avoid climate damages of $1.5 trillion.
In 2018, the UK launched more vegan products than any other nation. Over half (56 per cent) of British people adopted vegan-buying behaviours and checking if their toiletries are cruelty-free, as per research carried out by Opinion Matters for The Vegan Society between 14 and 16 July 2017 involving a sample of 2,011 UK adults. At the moment, the footwear industry doesn’t have a great reputation when it comes to being ethical or sustainable. Here are just a few statistics that highlight the scale of the problem:
* Less than 5 per cent of waste from post consumer shoes is recycled.
* Just 2 per cent of the final price of a shoe goes to the workers who made it.
* 85 per cent of the world’s leather is tanned using chromium, which is considered to be the fourth worst pollutant in the world.
Po-Zu is an award-winning ethical shoe brand designing with the unique properties found in nature since 2006. Ranked as UK’s foremost Ethical Shoe Brand by The Good Shopping Guide for 12 consecutive years,
‘Po-Zu’ stems from the Japanese ポーズ, meaning to pause, and it is our mission to provide your feet with unique respite from the frantic pace of busy lives, and to halt the damage that modern footwear manufacturing often causes to people and the planet.
Po-Zu is on a mission to transform the shoe industry on a simple principle: be kind to your feet without compromising on aesthetics and ethics. Constantly experimenting and pushing the boundaries of mainstream shoemaking, Po-Zu has launched a number of groundbreaking ideas. Their first 100% Vegan AW19 Mainline Collection features the White Vegan Sneak, an every-day, travel-easy sneaker for a sustainable urban style. As they continue to strive for more sustainable shoe production across the globe, Po-Zu have found a vegan alternative to leather; one that outperforms the traditional shoe material on every level. With an interior designed to absorb eight times its own weight in water, this is the ultimate in dry, breathable, and thermo-regulating comfort. What’s more, unlike leather shoes the Vegan Sneak is 100% solvent free, OEKO-TEX certified, antimicrobial (anti-odour), and machine washable. Through the exploration of revolutionary materials and ethical production processes, Po-Zu continues to inspire the world into more sustainable footwear that doesn’t compromise on style.
“We’re always striving to produce ethical, cruelty-free footwear that doesn’t come at the cost of our planet and excited to be integrating more and more sustainable, vegan offerings ” says Sven Segal, Founder of Po-Zu.
Besides leading the way in sustainable and vegan footwear, Po-Zu has also been demonstrating leadership in sustainability and socially responsible enterprises. In 2016, Po-Zu launched an online knowledge-sharing platform designed to promote sustainable practices within the footwear industry. The Better Shoes Foundation centres around an open-source website that brings together the best practice from across the industry, spanning everything from the design process through material selection and supply chain to post consumer life.
Po-Zu is certified by the Ethical Company Organisation as a company that upholds human rights and animal welfare and works to protect the environment. It has also been awarded the Positive Luxury Butterfly Mark for their commitment to using renewable sources of energy, protecting the environment and biodiversity. And, Po-Zu is a member of the Fair Rubber Association which contributes to an improvement of the working and living conditions of the primary producers of natural latex (rubber).
Modern footwear is surprisingly damaging in various ways. As the pace of fashion has quickened people have begun buying more shoes and throwing them away more easily. Traditional shoe-crafting has given way to mass-production, eating up resources and sending an average of three pairs of shoes per person to landfill every year. The quest for cheaper and faster production has also encouraged the exploitation of vulnerable workers through long hours, low pay and dangerous working conditions. At Po-Zu, they are challenging this trend. They are creating shoes that are guilt-free, created with love for people and the planet.