Tuesday 22 November 2011

A Pause For Po-Zu

There are those amongst you that could accuse me of being more enthusiastic about footwear than is entirely healthy. I can't help myself. I am a man with well-defined and esoteric tastes.

It doesn't help that that the vast and all-seeing net of bots and spies at my command keeps coming up with links to brilliant and innovative companies like Po-Zu. They are a British brand that launched in 2006 with two shoes, a kind of outdoor slipper for men and women. Since then, the range has exploded to include wellies and proper boots for stomping through misty English woodland. And something that looks like an Ugg boot for men. Not sure about that one.

Po-Zu are ethically sound, of course. Founder Sven Segal was inspired by the cradle-to-cradle ideas of William McDonough & Michael Braungart, and the shoes reflect that philosophy. The shoes have ethically produced latex rubber soles and all the materials involved, incuding the boxes they come in, are biodegradable. You can bury your shoes in your garden at the end of their life.

Po-Zu's USP is a coir "foot-mattress" in each shoe that moulds itself to your foot, ensuring an incredibly comfortable fit. I'm seriously impressed by the huge range in their online shop. There's a style on offer for most walks of life, if you'll excuse the pun.

FINE, OK, they don't just do shoes. Accessories include laptop bags and backpacks, and a shoe cream made from coconut that you can use as a moisturiser and lip balm. You could even, if the urge struck you, eat the stuff.

The site is full of great ideas and products. Po-Zu have a clever approach to retail, a light and funny touch that's somehow endearing. Their smart design has led to collaborations with Timberland and Maharishi, and I have the feeling we'll see more from these guys in the future. They're quite genuinely a step ahead.


Read more on the Po-Zu website, and check out this interview with founder Sven Segal on Planet Green.

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