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British Footwear Association Launches Online ‘Shoe School’—This Is What it Will Cover

Workers in the U.K. footwear sector looking to learn more about shoemaking have a new resource in a trade group’s online “Shoe School.”

According to the British Footwear Association (BFA), the Shoe School will be directed at staff working in business support, communications, sales, sourcing and retail—essentially any position that could benefit from a greater understanding of how footwear is made.

The course will be split up into five units, BFA said, including a lesson on feet, footwear and sizing that examines the importance of fit in developing shoes.

Other lessons include “An Introduction to Footwear Construction,” in which students learn the basic principles of manufacturing and terminology and “Making Fashion Footwear the Cemented Process,” which covers design and development of fashion footwear with cemented construction.

Materials and components are also covered, along with the ethics and sustainability of footwear manufacturing. The course will take around two hours a month to complete, BFA said.

In April, the group called for a six-month rent freeze for U.K. footwear retailers to protect suppliers throughout the crisis via government loans to landlords. Forrester Research projects U.K. retail will experience an 11.4 percent drop this year as a result of the coronavirus impact.

Retailers and brands including JD Sports, New Balance and Clarks signed onto the statement.