World Footwear


Brands that matter - Part I

Aug 29, 2019 Portugal
Brands that matter - Part I
Sustainability is on everyone's agendas and talks. As a result, the Portuguese footwear industry is looking for ways to adapt and succeed in this new reality
As sustainability becomes an imperative for businesses and as consumers become more and more conscious of the impact their decisions have on the planet and their lives, companies are facing extra challenges.

Today we bring you some Portuguese companies with projects focused on sustainability and with original products. Get to know them better.

Zouri Shoes

The brand's motto is "From the ocean to your feet". It seems like a story coming out from the movie screens, but it isn't. Two friends from the Minho region, in the north of Portugal, met and created a footwear brand. It seems quite normal, if not for the shoes that were made...with plastic bottles picked up from the beach. "Unless we take urgent measures, in 2050, our oceans will have more plastic than fish", the brand website reads. From walks on the beach, the dream of cleaning the ocean arose. Adriana Mano and António Barros, both involved in the footwear sector, decided to transform bottles and pieces of fishing nets left on the beaches into summer shoes. "Each pair of slippers or sandals incorporates between 80 and 100 grams of plastic: we are talking about 8 or 10 bottles", Adriana confirmed. This is how Zouri was born. The brand decided not to incorporate any animal products in their shoes and therefore Zouri as a eco-friendly vegan brand. From cork to rubber, all the raw materials used are natural.

More information on the brand's website: LINK.


Raquel Castro's brand is internationally known for the use of cork: "Cork has a series of characteristics, such as water-tightness, that led me to believe that it will be used in a lot of products in the future. We need to pay a lot more attention and be more involved with the environment. Climate change is far from being a myth and there are various cases of polar ice caps melting, water levels rising, and more recently, extreme heat waves, particularly in Europe, with unprecedented deadly fires in Portugal and Greece". These events inspired Rutz to create the CorKorganic Co. line, which seeks to blend cork with environmental, organic materials, filled with natural colour. CorKorganic is one of the first collections by Rutz walk in cork that is completely focused on sustainability, the environment and veganism. An Eco-Vegan collection that chooses non-animal, non-polluting materials or materials that substantially reduce CO2 emissions in the atmosphere: cork, organic cotton, microfibres and natural rubber soles and cork particles.

More information on the brand's website: LINK.

Lemon Jelly

Shoes that smell of lemon seemed to be a dream, but Lemon Jelly became a reality five years ago. Fun, colourful and now...approved by PETA. The brand recently gained vegan status assigned by the international association. But it's not alone. Concerned about the environment from day one, Lemon Jelly recently presented the Wasteless line, composed of items made using waste. In the company's own words: "when we talk about the production of high-end items, waste is inevitable. When we realized the level of waste we had, we decided that we needed to urgently do something in order to change". This is a collection where waste is transformed into new pairs of shoes.

More information on the brand's website: LINK.

Related Organizations

  • CTIC – Portuguese Leather Technology Centre

    CTIC – Portuguese Leather Technology Centre

  • APIC - Portuguese Leather Industry Association

    APIC - Portuguese Leather Industry Association

  • CTCP - Portuguese Footwear Technological Centre

    CTCP - Portuguese Footwear Technological Centre

  • Shoe Museum (Portugal)

    Shoe Museum (Portugal)