Publications

PPP The interdependence of ecological and social aspects in the leather sector

Art.-No.: 2018-45

Year of publication: 2018

Presentation by Anton Pieper on the occasion of the International Conference “40 Years of Blauer Engel”, focussing on the integration of social criteria into ecolabels on the example of leather and footwear and discussing the challenges and possible solutions for addressing the aspect of social standards and human rights in ecolabels.

(Anton Pieper, 19 Pages)

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Still much to do. A report on the ecological and social labelling of footwear and leather

Art.-No.: 2017-65

Year of publication: 2017

One way for shoe companies to work on improving the social and ecological standards in their supply chain is through joining labelling and monitoring organisations. To assess the quality of these labels, a ‘label check’ is launched by Change Your Shoes on different label standards common in European countries.  This should not only help EU citizens in their purchasing decisions, but should also act as a guideline for European brands as to which is the best labelling initiative or monitoring organisation to join.
The global footwear and leather industry suffers from a long history of extensive violations of workers’ rights and disregard for environmental standards, as well as for the health of workers and consumers. It is clear that footwear and leather products produced under the labelling schemes like Austrian Ecolabel, The Nordic Swan or IVN Naturleder have a positive impact for consumers and the environment.    

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Something is a foot. How human rights standards and environmental regulations in the footwear industry are being quietly ignored by banks

Art.-No.: 2017-63

Year of publication: 2017

The aim of this investigation is to uncover and analyse financial relationships between European financial service providers and the European shoe industry and, in the process, address the following questions: Which loans and investments are being issued by which financial institutions, under what conditions, to which companies in the footwear sector? Do the financial service providers specify mandatory ecological and social guidelines or criteria for their business clients? Do financial service providers require responsible business management from their business clients, in particular with regard to the handling of social and ecological problems in supply chains?

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Fact Sheet: Watch Your Step. A Study on the Social and Environmental Impacts of Tanneries in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, India

Art.-No.: 2017-60

Year of publication: 2017

This study focuses on the impacts of Indian leather tanneries – on nearby communities, on the local environment and on tannery workers. Interviews with workers and other stakeholders were conducted and samples of soil and water around tanneries were collected to document environmental pollution and health hazards, particularly those connected to the toxic chemical hexavalent chromium. The research was carried out in the two Indian states of Uttar Pradesh (Kanpur and Agra) in the North and Tamil Nadu (Peranambut, Ambur and Chrompet) in the South.

(Anton Pieper u.a., 4 Pages)

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Watch Your Step. A Study on the Social and Environmental Impacts of Tanneries in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, India

Art.-No.: 2017-59

Year of publication: 2017

This study focuses on the impacts of Indian leather tanneries – on nearby communities, on the local environment and on tannery workers. Interviews with workers and other stakeholders were conducted and samples of soil and water around tanneries were collected to document environmental pollution and health hazards, particularly those connected to the toxic chemical hexavalent chromium. The research was carried out in the two Indian states of Uttar Pradesh (Kanpur and Agra) in the North and Tamil Nadu (Peranambut, Ambur and Chrompet) in the South.

(Anton Pieper u.a., 36 Pages)

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Summary_How to do better. An exploration of Better Practices within the footwear industry

Art.-No.: 2017-57

Year of publication: 2017

This report aims to highlight better practices within the shoe and leather industry in relation to both environmental and labour issues. It is designed primarily to share good practice learnings, case studies and results for others to follow and to share with all stakeholders’ examples of sustainable alternatives within the shoe industry. It is not designed to be used as a shopping guide nor does it attempt to rank or rate brands. The brands and cases included represent a snapshot of better practices, and it is not a ranking of the brands. Included cases represent partially a model of the holistic or integrated approach to produce more sustainable footwear. It aims to encourage producers and brands to do better within their own supply chains and to encourage national governments and the EU to strive for improved regulatory standards. At the same time, we hope that this report will also empower workers and trade unions by providing them with better practice examples to use in their own factories, regions, and supply chains.

The Change Your Shoes campaign hopes the cases and recommendations in this report will encourage companies and others to learn from the work being done by others, and that this information will allow greater cooperation between organised worker efforts and brands in moving forward on human rights due diligence.

(Anton Pieper u.a., 40 Pages)

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How to do better. An exploration of Better Practices within the footwear industry

Art.-No.: 2017-56

Year of publication: 2017

This report aims to highlight better practices within the shoe and leather industry in relation to both environmental and labour issues. It is designed primarily to share good practice learnings, case studies and results for others to follow and to share with all stakeholders’ examples of sustainable alternatives within the shoe industry. It is not designed to be used as a shopping guide nor does it attempt to rank or rate brands. The brands and cases included represent a snapshot of better practices, and it is not a ranking of the brands. Included cases represent partially a model of the holistic or integrated approach to produce more sustainable footwear. It aims to encourage producers and brands to do better within their own supply chains and to encourage national governments and the EU to strive for improved regulatory standards. At the same time, we hope that this report will also empower workers and trade unions by providing them with better practice examples to use in their own factories, regions, and supply chains.

The Change Your Shoes campaign hopes the cases and recommendations in this report will encourage companies and others to learn from the work being done by others, and that this information will allow greater cooperation between organised worker efforts and brands in moving forward on human rights due diligence.

(Anton Pieper u.a., 40 Pages)

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Giving labour rights the boot. Working conditions in the Turkish shoe industry

Art.-No.: 2017-32

Year of publication: 2017

Against the backdrop of the current political climate, compiling a report on a key industrial sector of Turkey’s economy, as well as on the situation currently faced by many of those it employs, is a considerable challenge for a variety of reasons. At present, the country is facing some of its most severe crises in living memory, including the ongoing civil war in neighbouring Syria, a continuing stream of migrants fleeing war-torn areas, disputes with the Kurdish population in the country’s south-east as well as dealing with dramatic shifts in domestic policy, terror attacks and a coup attempt in the summer of 2016. The state is also going through a tempestuous period in its relationship with its political and economic partners in the European Union. Within Turkey, the media, trade unions and civil society are being increasingly subjected to state repression and sanctions; the freedoms of speech and association are now second to the demands of public safety and terror prevention. Whilst these various processes remain relevant, this report will not explore them in greater depth but will focus primarily on the Turkish footwear and leather industry, the evidence produced by research conducted within the country as well as on the relevant structural causes of the established issues. Current political developments will, therefore, only be marginally examined.

(32 Pages)

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Fact Sheet: The real cost of our shoes. A journey into the supply chain of three global shoe brands

Art.-No.: 2017-20

Year of publication: 2017

The Real Cost of Our Shoes’ investigates the production and supply chain of Tod’s, Prada, and Geox, three major global footwear brands. It reveals continuously changing global production routes; where the mobility of capital, combined with outsourcing strategies, has created the perfect environment for continuously adapting products to consumers’ tastes and pockets, while driving working conditions and pay downwards.

(8 Pages)

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The real cost of our shoes. A journey into the supply chain of three global brands

Art.-No.: 2017-19

Year of publication: 2017

This report is an investigation into the supply chains of three major shoe brands: Tod's, Prada and Geox. The purpose is twofold: on one hand it aims to analyse their production strategies, while at the same time it aims to provide a snapshot of the working conditions existing in various points along global supply chains. From this point of view, the report can be considered as the continuation of the investigation conducted in 2015 by Change Your Shoes, which asked 23 major shoes brands, among the most influential in Europe, how they ensure the respect of workers' rights in their supply chains. The responses, analysed according to the authoritative framework provided by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, were published in the report entitled Trampling workers rights underfoot, in which Italian companies were positioned in the lower section of the ranking: Tod’s and Ferragamo did not even respond to the questionnaire, while Prada and Geox provided only minimal evidence to demonstrate that they apply serious policies to ensure compliance with human rights. There was therefore a need to understand why some brands did not respond and a  more in-depth exploration of the information provided to verify the substance of that information.

(64 Pages)

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