The Ethics of Footwear:
The sad facts and a hopeful future.
In 2013 the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh,
housing garment factories for many international clothing brands,
collapsed, killing 1,134 people and injuring thousands more.
Although the fashion industry has been under intense scrutiny ever since, the footwear industry still remains relatively undetected.
8 million pairs of Nike shoes are produced by Taekwang factory every year, with many touching the hands of exploited Uyghurs who cannot go home.
The Buriganga river in Bangladesh runs an impervious black as 22,000 cubic metres of waste choked its waterways every day; transforming this once essential natural resource.
In Bengali, Hazaribagh means ‘a thousand gardens’, yet for the residents it was nothing short of an apocalyptic nightmare. Tannery workers as young as 8 were found saturated in hazardous chemicals.
Thankfully, times are changing, and many shoe makers are doing what they can to address these issues.