Six Smart Takeaways from the First Industry-Wide Shoe Consumer Sustainability Survey

Six Smart Takeaways from the First Industry-Wide Shoe Consumer Sustainability Survey

For Immediate Release – May 27, 2021 

(Washington, D.C. and Pittsburgh, PA – May 27, 2021) – The Footwear Distributers and Retailers of America (FDRA), the footwear industry’s business and trade association, and First Insight, the world’s leading technology company transforming how companies make product investment, pricing and marketing decisions, have completed the first industry-wide consumer shoe sustainability survey. The results, from a survey of over 1,000 shoe shoppers nationwide, will help companies better refine messaging, better target consumers with specific green marketing, as well as adjust sales, packaging and shipping strategies as the industry continues to pivot to ecommerce.

This survey was developed with input from over 100 shoe companies and experts and posed questions around understanding “sustainability” marketing language, recognizing claims, and what consumers prioritize around sustainable product, processes and company goals. The survey also inquired on topics like “vegan,” shoe boxes and packaging, and if consumers are willing to pay more for sustainably made shoes.

“This is one of the most important footwear reports for brands and retailers this year. It will help brands and retailers improve their “eco” marketing techniques, increasing sales, but it will also serve as a critical baseline standard for legal compliance for marketing sustainable shoes in line with Federal green guidelines,” said Andy Polk, SVP at FDRA and the footwear industry’s Sustainable Working Group lead.  “Shoe companies helped us formulate this to shine a light into blind spots, and our great partners at First Insight ensured the survey generated real, honest responses from shoe shoppers. The results and analysis are in-depth and will help our industry focus and prioritize products, processes and efforts on what consumers care most about to better hit the mark. If you are making and marketing eco-friendly shoes, you must incorporate this report’s results into your branding and sales strategies.”

“The focus on sustainability continues to rise and accelerate in society and in retail. Consumers want products and brands that align with their personal values,” said Gretchen Jezerc, SVP Marketing at First Insight. “Implementing Voice of the Customer predictive analytics and digital product testing enables retailers and brands to reduce waste and get to market faster by refining buys and eliminating poor performers before they are even produced. With First Insight, brands can get actionable feedback from their constantly-changing customers to ensure that consumers are getting the products they want, that match their values, described in clear language that resonates, at the right price.”

About FDRA

The footwear industry’s business and trade association. At over 95% of the entire industry, the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) is the largest and most respected footwear trade associated in the U.S. It represents and serves the entire footwear industry from small family owned footwear businesses to global footwear companies, as well as domestic manufactures, importers, and retailers. In all, it supports more than 250 companies and over 500 brands designing, producing, and selling great footwear to consumers all over the globe.

About First Insight, Inc.
First Insight is one of the world’s leading Experience Management (XM) platforms that empowers companies to incorporate the Voice of the Customer into the design, pricing, planning and marketing of products and service offerings. Through the use of online consumer engagement tools, the First Insight platform gathers real-time consumer data and applies predictive analytic models to create actionable insights, which drive measurable value. Customers include some of world’s leading vertically integrated brands, sporting goods companies, department stores, consumer products companies, mass merchant retailers and wholesalers. For further information, please visit


Email Andy Polk at to view the entire report.


FDRA Contact:

Andy Polk

Senior Vice President

First Insight Contact:

Gretchen Jezerc

SVP of Marketing