Ethical retailer of the week: Po-Zu
Po-Zu – named after the Japanese word for ‘pause’ – produces high-quality and fashionable footwear that aims to be ecological, ethical and comfortable.
Founded in the UK in 2006 with the intention to provide comfortable house slippers, the company has evolved since then, now offering a wide range of footwear for men and women.
Po-Zu – which has moved to Portugal and runs an ethical factory over there – operates under an eco-policy that has big considerations for the environment, often seen as the last ‘fashion victim’ of the industry.
“Our rundown planet deserves nothing less than unconditional love and care, and so we strive to achieve the highest eco standards we can possibly attain”, the company says.
Po-Zu uses bio-based and renewable materials such as hemp, cork, latex, and wool and avoids toxic glues, for the sake of the environment and workers across the supply chain. Its footwear is designed to be comfortable first and foremost, adapting to the feet naturally thanks to a sort of “foot-mattress” that relaxes and gives rest to the feet.
In 2009, it launched a new model of boot made with wild rubber collected by the Kayapo Indian rubber tappers working in the Amazon forest. Thanks to the partnership with the Rubber Tappers Association in Brazil, indigenous people can earn a fair living and protect the forest at the same time.
Po-Zu looks at maximising the use of renewable energy, currently 72% of its total usage, and minimise its carbon footprint and waste through recycling. It also uses packaging that is fully compostable or recycled and donates 3% of its total sales to environmental charities. It is certified by the Ethical Company Organisation as a company caring for human rights, animal welfare and the environment.
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