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Positively transforming cobblers’ lives

The cobblers producing our shoes do so in good working conditions, receive a living wage and receive an extra premium to invest in structural improvements to supplement the current working environment as they see fit.


When we say “positively transforming cobblers’ lives” we mean :


1. Cobblers work in fair employment conditions. This means respecting all relevant and applicable laws and regulations of the country in which the manufacturer operates, and minimum:

  • Cobblers have a free choice of employment

  • Cobblers are of legal age

  • Cobblers have formal contracts with their employers

  • Cobblers work in conditions that are safe and hygienic

  • Cobblers are not subject to harsh or inhumane treatment

  • Cobblers do not work excessive hours

  • Cobblers have access to a grievance procedure and a third party for guidance in case of a conflict. An accessible and anonymous channel to voice complaints is in place and a log of complaints is kept.


2. Cobblers are paid a living wage : a formal, agreed calculation is in place ensuring that Workers, who are paid at piece-rate, are paid fairly and able to meet legal minimum wage, or above, within normal working hours. If possible, workers are included in national social security systems and have access to basic insurance.


3. As a compensation for the use of their indigenous intellectual property, a community premium is paid. Cobblers can invest this premium in structural improvements to supplement the current working environment as they see fit. Through a participatory process the cobblers are involved in the decision on how the premium is used. As a general rule, the community premium should benefit the entire community, not only the cobblers.

How do we ensure compliance with these requirements ?

  • Future Footwear Foundation organizes  yearly visits to its manufacturers. During these visits Future Footwear Foundation has direct contact with the workers.

  • Manufacturers are contractually obliged to proactively share complaint logs.

  • Future Footwear Foundation pays the community premium to the Guild, the formal or informal membership-organisation representing the cobblers. The Guild is contractually obliged to discuss the use of the premium with the cobblers in a participatory process, and implement the community’s decision.

  • Manufacturers are contractually obliged to obtain prior consent of Future Footwear Foundation when engaging subcontracting parties.

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