Shoe and Leather Production

Where do our shoes come from? How are they produced, and by whom? What are they made of, and under which circumstances are they produced? The footwear industry works as a good example to explain the increasing globalized value chains, which are highly non-transparent and do often come along with exploitation and human rights violations in the producing countries. Individual stages in the value chain of shoes, especially in the first stages, are highly labor intensive. Some production stages are not only labor are not only including handicraft, but are frequently fulfilled in the form of homework, which e.g. is very cost-intensive in Western European countries, due to the high wage levels an labor standards. SÜDWIND examines where exploitation and human rights violations in the producing countries are occurring along the whole value chain and develops potential solutions jointly with several stakeholders.


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.


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