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The concept of fashion has always been directly linked to consumption and novelty, but nowadays it has become disposable: use it, throw it away and buy it again. In 2021, 22,000 million shoes were produced worldwide - about 2.8 per person - and the expected useful life of each pair is just 1 year. Footwear is responsible for 1/5 of the environmental impact generated by the fashion industry, despite representing less than 1/10 of its total value. However, an ecological and environmental awareness is beginning to take hold among designers, industrialists and consumers. The exhibition “TREND or FUTURE? Footwear and Sustainability", created by the Footwear Museum in partnership with the Footwear Technological Center of Portugal and the Portuguese Association of Footwear, Components, Leather Goods and Substitutes, presents innovative projects, materials, products and actions towards a more sustainable future for footwear production in Portugal.
Ecodesign, bioeconomy, environmental footprint and recycling are terms that have already entered the vocabulary of footwear. The sustainable commitment is at the root of many products and accompanies the entire value chain through the selection of raw materials; the management of production systems; energy options and reduction of emissions and waste; of social agreements; packaging, transport and communication options; forecasting the use, maintenance and end of life of the products. Nowadays, many designers already criticize the very concept of trend and look for slow, non-seasonal fashion that has as its principle a circular economy of saving raw materials and energy. In the last decade, several biomaterials applied to footwear that explore new raw materials and revitalize agro-food by-products have appeared on the market. Materials derived from fossil fuels and waste are beginning to be recycled and reintegrated into production chains. Raw materials are the most visible side of sustainability, but there are many important themes such as decarbonization, digital transformation and, of course, social sustainability. Without giving final answers and aware that sustainability is a process in development, the last space of the exhibition “TENDÊNCIA ou FUTURO? Footwear and Sustainability” is a mirror and a showcase open to new projects.

Patent at the Shoe Museum from 5 november 2022 , to 25 june 2023.

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