More than 24 billion pairs of shoes were produced globally in 2017, and 87 percent of those shoes were made in Asia—two-thirds of which came from China. Looking at leather shoes in particular, 40 percent are produced in China, followed by Italy and Mexico each making 6 percent, and Brazil and India at 4 percent each. Despite Asia dominating footwear production, manufacturing for domestic consumption is robust in Europe, where 90 percent of what’s made there is also consumed there. Regardless of what Europe makes for itself, the region still relies on Asia when it wants to cut costs.
“Footwear is a labor-intensive product involving a considerable amount of manual low-skilled work. For this reason, many European footwear brands outsource all or part of the manufacturing to countries where wages are low and the regulatory environment lax,”. “In general, these countries offer weak environmental rules as well, which benefits cheap leather production, a core part of the leather shoes supply chain.”
Our long-term sustainability goals are to minimize the impact on people and planet while at the same time allowing and inspiring people to get out there to beat the elements. Sustainability is an integral part of our processes and is incorporated in our strategy as well as an important factor in all our decisions – big and small – on a global scale.
The aim is to ensure sustainable consumption and production; to provide sustained, inclusive and decent working conditions as well as to carefully consider and limit consumption of resources to combat climate change. By becoming better ourselves, we will also influence our stakeholders and consumers to make better choices – something that reverberates well beyond our own products.
To meet the current and coming sustainability challenges, focussing on the global goals that have now been clarified and quantified, we need to continue to constantly improve ourselves and to push our sustainability efforts ever forward.