Shoe retailers have come under pressure from activist groups calling for urgent action to improve safety conditions in the footwear industry.
Campaign group Labour Behind the Label has written to 11 shoe retailers including Boohoo, Office, Schuh, Primark and Harvey Nichols urging them to provide more transparency in their supply chains, alongside a petition with over 10,000 signatures.
The group said 85 per cent of all leather sold in Europe is tanned with chromium in a process which produces a toxic chemical linked with causing cancer, blindness eczema and asthma.
Protesters will take to shopping centres on Saturday in Bristol, Manchester, London and Exeter to raise awareness of the dangerous conditions and poor wages for leather workers producing goods sold on the high street.
“We have written to 11 leading UK shoe brands and retailers, but unfortunately most have not responded fully to our questions – including Schuh, Primark and Boohoo.com,” Labour Behind the Label‘s Nicola Round said.
“Shoe brands hide behind a lack of transparency and public awareness, but their customers want to know that the people who make their shoes are treated with respect.
“That‘s why people around the country are taking part in this urgent day of action. Over 10,000 people have signed our petition so far, and we want to give more people the opportunity to make their voice heard.
“People across the world are waking up to the links between the shoes and clothes they buy and exploitation of workers by well-known brands.”