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Contributing to the revival of cultural heritage

Our shoes are produced with explicit consent and benefit sharing to the indigenous community that provided the expertise and skills. We actively contribute to documenting, protecting and reviving their heritage.

Through education and the community fee, which is a financial compensation for the use of the indigenous intellectual property, we promote local use of the heritage-footwear and we stimulate local employment based on the heritage.


The details of the claim as described below have been established with reference to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance (Collective benefit, Authority to control, Responsibility, and Ethics).


When we say “contributing to the revival of cultural heritage” we mean :

1. Free, prior and informed consent from Indigenous community has been obtained for the use of all heritage-related data on shoes and feet in a transformative process. With transformative process we mean a process to adapt footwear to other markets and environments (climate, substrates, ..) eg the European market.

Data includes :  

  • Data on shoe-design

  • Biomechanical data (eg scans of feet) 

  • Contextual data (eg interviews on meaning of making and walking, data on production processes)

  • Data on sustainability (mainly linked to materials) 

  • Data on socio-economic situation of cobblers

2. The collected heritage-related data on shoes and feet is stored in a data repository that allows transparency on the content, use and users of the data.

3. The indigenous community and Future Footwear Foundation have together determined access to and usage of all heritage-related data collected by Future Footwear Foundation and its research partners.

4. To gain access to and use the data, an engagement plan must be submitted that indicates how genuine and reciprocal relationships with the indigenous community will be developed and maintained throughout any transformative process. This plan also indicates how the indigenous community will be informed about the results of any transformative processes.

5. The indigenous communities are acknowledged as the owners and custodians of their heritage in all communication about the use of the data and all derivatives that are directly or indirectly based on these data

6. As mentioned above, a community premium is paid that cobblers can invest in in structural improvements of their lives and working conditions as they see fit. This premium is a compensation for the use of their cultural heritage, and is contributing to the revival of their communities.

7. To preserve and revive cultural heritage, training for cobblers is organized in several connected knowledge layers (crafting, geography, anatomy, biology, anthropology, hunting, walking …).

How does the Future Footwear Foundation ensure compliance with these requirements ?

  • Future Footwear Foundation is engaging a neutral third party to perform yearly sit visits to support the maintenance of the above requirements. If any compliance requirements are not met, Future Footwear Foundation and the third party will work with the parties involved to put in place improvement plans.

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