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  • Right-Sized Standards

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

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    FDRA member access only — please contact us for access code.

  • Shoe Sustainability Spotlight

    Real Progress Being Made. Real Programs and Ideas to Learn From.

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    Join us in Portland for the 2024 Shoe Sustainability Summit, where we'll help you think, act and do more sustainably in your roles to make a real impact.

  • Programs

    Industry programs and resources to support your sustainability efforts

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    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

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    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.
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    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
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    Shoe Sustainability Digital Training Center

    Key insights, understanding and pathways forward on sustainability for Shoe Designers, Development, Materials, Sourcing, and Supply Chain Professionals. Training from key leaders and experts provides a holistic look at critical issues to help you achieve real progress and success—the most in-depth training you will find anywhere. Course topics include: 

    • Recycle & Circular
    • Design & Construction
    • Materials & Standards
    • Coatings & Finishes
    • Leather Supply Chain
    • Shoe Uppers
    • Packaging Sustainability
    • Shoe Insole/Midsole/Outsole
    • Green Marketing Do's and Don'ts

  • Data

    Industry Benchmark Insight

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    2023 Shoe Sustainability Progress Report 

    “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. Too often those outside footwear judge companies with ignorant standards or rules. This report clearly outlines, more honestly than any ‘fashion’ ESG report, on the challenges posed to footwear but also the advancement our industry is making. It is clear that we do not live in a state of fear in addressing our challenges but work collectively towards opportunity and innovation. With a complex product, as stated time and again in the sound-off sections, we merely need a bit more expertise, capital incentives, and time to get the strategy right in each category. View or download the report here.

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    Consumer Insight

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    FDRA members can contact us to get the full report.

  • 2022 Shoe Box & Packaging Sustainability Survey Snapshot

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    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.

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    FDRA members can contact us to get the full report.

  • Insights

    Expert Insights on Sustainability

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    Kicks Over Coffee with Evoco

    Inside How New Sustainable Innovations Are Driving Positive Change

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    Kicks Over Coffee with Bloom

    CHOOSE RESTORATIVE: A Discussion On Where The Shoe Industry Is & Where It's Headed On Sustainability

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    Kicks Over Coffee with Dynamic Foam

    Customizing Your Sustainable Material Mix to Meet Specs and Budget

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    Sustainability Spotlight

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

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    Sustainability Innovation

    Find the latest news in footwear sustainability and innovation

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    Critical Updates

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

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    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.

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    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.