• Access The new Footwear 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 the industry average
    • adjust any internal material sourcing requirements above the thresholds to chose more sustainable materials now as they enhance efforts
    • provide "Green North Star" sustainable targets to companies already above thresholds and help align all shoe companies on the same goals to help increase impact and lower costs
    • provide retailers with a guide so that material requirements are tailored to shoes instead of clothing or other products that do not meet our industry product performance levels
  • Industry Data

    Industry Benchmark Insight

    FDRA, the footwear industry’s business and trade association, has just released its 2021 Shoe Sustainability Benchmark and Progress Report. 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.

  • Latest Key Insights

    Experts Discussing Key Issues Around Sustainability

    PODCAST 268: Inside Teva’s New Program to Recycle Sandals LISTEN



    PODCAST 264: The Amazing Sustainable Journey of Saucony’s New ZERO Plastics Shoe LISTEN



    PODCAST 263: How Technology is Enhancing Shoe Sustainability PracticeS LISTEN



    PODCAST 256: Innovating Better Things in a Better Way With Jad Finck of Allbirds LISTEN

    PODCAST 213: Tiffany Beers on software people should use during these turbulent times, new sustainable footwear, digital events, and more! LISTEN



    ARTICLE: how companies can lessen their global footprint while increasing their bottom line. Find 8 easy steps to greater sustainability here!



    FOOTWEAR INNOVATION VIDEO: An in-depth discussion on sustainability and recyclability of footwear through the lens of Adidas' Futurecraft Loop WATCH



    PODCAST 154: FDRA's Footwear Innovation Advisor Tiffany Beers joins Shoe-In Show as the crew discusses updates on renewable materials. WATCH


  • Latest News

    Click to View All

    Top News Articles We've Seen Around Sustainability

    Caleres Sustainability Goals — Environmentally-Preferred Materials for 100% of products by 2025 READ NOW

    Converse used 7,000 second-hand Hawaiian shirts to create these sneakers READ NOW

    Ugg’s 5-Year Sustainability Efforts Bear Fruit With New Plant Power Capsule Collection READ NOW

    Saucony Originals launch zero-percent plastic shoe READ NOW

    Steve Madden’s New Cool Planet Brand Points the Way to Making Sustainable Fashion Affordable READ NOW

  • FDRA Programs and Resources

    FDRA's Footwear Factory Zero Waste Program

    FDRA's Footwear Factory Zero Waste Program is focused on creating a waste diversion program that proves a return on investment for both brands and manufacturers. It is aimed at optimizing material use and manufacturing practices as well as helping factories understand and implement recycling programs. Learn more here.

    Footwear Material Exchange Platform

    FDRA helped create the Material Exchange — a platform focused on helping brands and material suppliers cut down on material waste prior to usage through better material selection, as well as helping brands be able to see sustainability specs of materials before development begins. ME will help eliminate tons of material waste over time.

  • Sustainability and Responsible Sourcing Organizations

    Non profit groups that focus on footwear material development and the manufacturing processes

    The objective of this multi-stakeholder group is to develop and maintain a protocol that assesses the environmental compliance and performance capabilities of leather manufacturers and promotes sustainable and appropriate environmental business practices within the leather industry.

    The SAC is transforming the apparel, footwear, and textile industry through standardized measurement. For the first time, factories around the world can use the Higg Facility Social & Labor Module to measure social impacts of the value chain. And with the Higg Facility Environmental Module they can assess environmental impacts.

    Members of the global cotton supply chain are now collectively addressing the negative impacts of mainstream cotton production by supporting this globally recognised definition, generating market demand for Better Cotton, and sharing information and knowledge to enable continuous improvement on everybody’s part.

    The Responsible Wool Standard is an independent, voluntary standard. On farms, the certification ensures that sheep are treated with respect to their Five Freedoms and also ensures best practices in the management and protection of the land. Through the processing stages, certification ensures that wool from certified farms is properly identified and tracked.

    OEKO-TEX® offers companies of the textile industry several certifications and services to have their products tested for harmful substances by independent institutes, and to optimize their production conditions and their supply chains with regard to sustainability.

    An independent 3rd party certification ensuring that products come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits.

    BLUESIGN traces each textile’s path along the manufacturing process, making improvements at every stage from factory floor to finished product...As a solution provider and knowledge broker, BLUESIGN acts as an independent verifier to secure trust and transparency. Corresponding to this approach, BLUESIGN encourages the industry to increase their efforts in sustainable processes step by step.

    Textile Exchange is a global non-profit that works closely with our members to drive industry transformation in preferred fibers, integrity and standards and responsible supply networks. We identify and share best practices regarding farming, materials, processing, traceability and product end-of-life in order to reduce the textile industry’s impact on the world’s water, soil and air, and the human population.

  • Shoe Sustainability Summit 2021


  • 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 business, or you have questions about this site.