Halifax entrepreneur named as top UK footwear industry influencer

A Halifax entrepreneur has been named in the British Footwear Association’s (BFA) annual list of the UK’s most important, influential and inspiring industry figures.
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Simon Payne is founder of Sole Responsibility, which is based in Halifax and is a re-commerce business which has saved 120,000 pairs of shoes and trainers from landfill since launch.

He was named in the sustainability category of the BFA’s Footwear 50, which recognises leaders who are making a real difference in the footwear industry.

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Sole Responsibility has also been shortlisted in the prestigious Drapers Sustainable Fashion Awards in the re-commence category.

Simon PayneSimon Payne
Simon Payne

The awards ceremony, which will take place on Wednesday, March 13 in London, recognises the strides that are being made in reducing the industry’s environmental impact and creating fairer working conditions.

Simon said: “It has been a phenomenal year for Sole Responsibility and we are extremely proud to receive this national recognition which is testament to the whole team working tirelessly behind the scenes.

“The BFA’s Footwear 50 features the who’s who of the industry and being recognised alongside key players from big brands including Nike, Clarks, Dune and Marks and Spencer’s is an amazing achievement.

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“Alongside this, being shortlisted by Drapers is a real pinch-me moment. Drapers is the leader in all things retail trends and analysis and to be recognised alongside big recommence names is phenomenal.

“As a business our sole aim is to give seconds trainers and shoes a second chance. We save trainers that may have been sent to landfill, often because of a very small imperfection, and sell them to budget and eco-conscious shoppers. We’re proud to be an official sustainability partner of JD Sports.

“We’ve been in business for almost a decade and as more and more people become determined to make more sustainable fashion choices, slowly but surely seconds are starting to take their place in the spotlight as a tangible way that people can save money and the environment.

“This year we are even more determined to put seconds footwear on a pedestal and raise awareness of this sometimes forgotten sector of the fashion industry. Being recognised by national award schemes goes a long way of helping to further boost this awareness.”