Thu, 18 Jun | Zoom

Foot Work: what your shoes are doing to the world

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Foot Work: what your shoes are doing to the world

Time & Location

18 Jun 2020, 18:30 – 20:00
Zoom

About the Event

Tansy E  Hoskins is a journalist and author who specialises in  covering the textile, clothing, and footwear industries. This work has  taken her to Bangladesh, Kenya, Macedonia, and to the Topshop  warehouses in Solihull. She is the author of two books, the award  winning Stitched Up: the Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion and Foot  Work: what your shoes are doing to the world.

In 2018, 66.3 million pairs of shoes were manufactured across the  world every single day. They have never been cheaper to buy, and we  have never been more convinced that we need to buy them. Yet their  cost to the planet has never been greater.

In her urgent, passionately argued book, Tansy Hoskins opens our eyes to the dark  origins of the shoes on our feet. Taking us deep into the heart of an  industry that is exploiting workers and deceiving consumers, we begin  to understand that if we don’t act fast, this humble household object  will take us to the point of no return.    

According to this pioneering, pugnacious study, our shoes ‘are the  propulsion and the consequence of globalisation’. In 2018, 24.2  billion pairs were manufactured, mostly in poor conditions, say  industry experts interviewed by journalist Tansy Hoskins. Hazards  include noxious fumes, toxic chemicals, and poverty wages, as well as  the suffering of animals intensively farmed for their hides. She  proposes a move to plant-based, metal-free shoes made with non-toxic  glues and dyes – and even, radically, ‘shoe libraries’.

Andrew Robinson, Nature

From the first cottage industries to the use of robots, from  sneakerheads to Syrian refugees, and from the abattoir to homeworkers  in Asia, Foot Worktackles all aspects of the shoe industry. But it  does much more, too, by placing footwear manufacture in the wider  context of globalisation, capitalism, and consumerism. A superb primer  on everything that is wrong with our world – and how we can start to  change it.

New Internationalist

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