• Right-Sized Standards

    One-size-fits all "fashion" sustainability standards don't work in the real world. Because shoes aren't shirts.

  • Join us in Portland for the 2023 Shoe Sustainability Summit, where we'll focus on helping you think, act and do more sustainably in your roles to make a real impact across the hottest topics in our industry. Check out our 2022 Shoe Sustainability Summit Recap!

  • Programs

    Industry programs and resources to support your sustainability efforts

    Footwear Environmental Preferred Material (EPM) Guide

    "This guide was a collaborative effort by our FDRA working group and provides needed clarity and targets to help our industry work together towards amplifying a stronger foundation for sustainable footwear development."
    Dan Friedman, Chief Sourcing Officer, Caleres

     

    The guide is focused on providing environmentally preferred material (EPM) thresholds companies can use to:

    • benchmark current sustainability efforts against industry average

    • adjust internal material sourcing requirements to chose sustainable materials

    • provide sustainable targets to companies already above thresholds

    • align all shoe companies on same goals to increase impact and lower costs

    • guide retailers to tailor products to footwear industry performance levels

    FDRA's Footwear Factory Zero Waste Program

     

    More than a dozen companies use our plug-in-play program to reduce waste from their factories such as Target, Fila, Steve Madden, Caleres, Crocs, and many others. It is an industry wide program aimed at eliminating manufacturing waste in shoe and apparel factories.
     

    This program provides multiple benefits to brands and factories:

    • It helps factories identify, sort, and recycle waste to keep it out of landfills, providing a critical tool to significantly increase sustainability at the factory level. 
    • Our teams do all the work with the factories for you. 
    • FDRA subsidizes the program to help cover costs for our members. 
    • We also collect key emissions and other ESG data at the factory level to help you track and trace your overall manufacturing footprint.
    • Factories from China and Vietnam are eligible from FDRA member companies.

    Chemical & Physical Footwear Testing Guide

     

    The continued safety of footwear is a top issue for FDRA and the entire footwear industry. FDRA is the industry’s leading association on footwear product safety action and intelligence. It helps its members understand and adapt to the changing landscape of product safety standards and regulations through its comprehensive product safety program, including:

    • Footwear Chemical Testing Interactive Guide
    • Footwear Physical Testing Interactive Guide
    • Catalog of Global Testing Requirements
    • Quarterly Footwear Chemical Fail Rate Report
  • Shoe Sustainability Digital Training Center

    for Shoe Designers, Development, Materials, Sourcing and Supply Chain Professionals

     

    The most in-depth training anywhere on the most important shoe sustainability issues​: FDRA and The Footwearists have developed this training center to ensure footwear professionals have key insights, understanding and pathways forward on sustainability—providing a holistic look at critical issues to help achieve real progress and success. The digital content on this website is the most in-depth you will find anywhere, with key leaders and experts sharing ideas and strategy.

     

    CRITICAL AND MASTER COURSES

    Recycling, Waste, &
    Circularity

    Design, Construction, & Production

    Materials, Certifications, & Standards

    Coatings & Finishes for Achieving Circularity

  • Data

    Industry Benchmark Insight

     

    Results are from footwear workers across the industry, providing a unique insight into real progress and real challenges they face each day.

     

    “This is an extremely important report for footwear companies. It is the only report that gets real insights from workers across the footwear industry on ESG programs so companies can actually enhance their focus and strategies,” said FDRA Senior Vice President Andy Polk. 

     

    “We’ve collected responses on issue areas including new sustainable materials, impacts being measuring, and how much is sustainability becoming part of companies actual values and culture. The report presents a clear snapshot of where our industry is and where it is headed on environmental issues giving companies the ability to benchmark themselves against industry averages. This can help them see where they need to put in work and where they may be leading the pack. It also helps us see constraints to greater ESG efforts so that FDRA can help pull companies together to find collective solutions that can increase impact while decreasing costs. Those findings will fold into FDRA’s efforts for our members going forward to ensure companies have resources and tools to support their sustainable journeys.”

     

    View or download the report here.

    Consumer Insight

    FDRA members can contact us to get the full report.

  • 2022 Shoe Box & Packaging Sustainability Survey Snapshot

    2022 Shoe Box & Packaging Sustainability Survey Snapshot

    Powered by Nordstrom, FDRA conducted an industry-wide survey on shoe packaging waste and optimization issues to help the industry benchmark and refocus efforts. The results, taken from shoe veterans, point to a large amount of work yet to do by many shoe companies in various areas of packaging. FDRA is taking these findings to build out new sustainable packaging programs for its members in key areas. The goal is to help educate and align the industry for collective action on several key issue areas such as dunnage, shoe box sizing, poly bags and more—helping decrease footprints and costs.

     

    FDRA members can contact us to get the full report.

    FDRA members can contact us to get the full report.

  • Insights

    Expert Insights on Sustainability

    Sustainability Spotlight

    Hear stories of key efforts, ideas, innovations and Leadership in shoe sustainability

    footwear sustainable sustainability innovation

    Sustainability Innovation

    Find the latest news in footwear sustainability and innovation

    shoe sustainability sustainable innovation

    Critical Updates

    Monthly 2-minute read on critical updates, key trends, and upcoming events

  • FDRA is the footwear industry's business and trade association. In all, FDRA supports nearly 500 companies and brands worldwide, representing 95% of total U.S. footwear sales, making it by far the largest and most respected American footwear trade and business association.

    Contact us if we can assist with your sustainability efforts and your business.

    FDRA is now a partner of 1% For The Planet—learn more about the project and donate to support FDRA's Zero Waste Program. Business and individual members engage directly with approved nonprofit partners such as FDRA, providing monetary donations, volunteer time, in-kind donations and other forms of approved promotional support.