Why made-in

Veganline.com/info/ethics shows how we score on Ethical consumers' checklist, but it wouldn't fit on a shoe label.

A simple way of finding good vegan shoes is to check where they're made.

From that, you can glance at the social security system in that country if there is one,  alongside spending on health & education which can be quoted as a number. You can see how that country scores for human rights and for democracy.

Social Security

International Social Security Organisation country profiles - ISSA.INT/country-profiles - are good for comparisons but slow for a quick glance

In 2018-19 the US Federal Social Security administration published a fast-loading one page transcript linked- from
https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/progdesc/ssptw/2018-2019/europe/index.html (cut-and-paste url)
Maybe there is a page somewhere that gives each country a score for a good social security system, simple enough to put on a shoe label, but the nearest found so far is a score for similar budgets - health and education.

Education & 
Health spending

CIA.gov/the-world-factbook quotes how much of GDP in each country, including your shoe purchase, goes on
https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/field/education-expenditures and
https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/field/current-health-expenditure 
Each country has a "people and society" heading listing figures like "school life expectancy" and "birth rate", the things that are probably low and high in countries without a social security system, or education and health spending. The effect of a high birth rate among the poor is to keep each generation poor, or poorer than the one before. Factory wages are falling in Bangladesh.

Human Rights & similar indexes

Freedombarometer.org has neat scores that could fit on a shoe label and a chance to compare country scores for useful votes, news, courts, and human rights. There are downloadable reports for each part of the world with a "Scorecard" format at the end. Then, right on the same page, they award high scores for economic freedom to import goods from badly-run countries which are cheaper for that reason, lacking the costs social security or an NHS or safety laws. This is something to do with the kind of people who write indexes of freedom; you don't find a neat human rights score on the Amnesty International web site for example. 

Ethical Consumer Magazine put it like this:

Rating countries is obviously going to be politically fraught, and it’s impossible to avoid political bias altogether. Many “human rights” indexes aren’t subtle about it – the Freedom of the World index, for example, produced by the US think tank Freedom House, asks the question below as one of many that determine the level of “freedom” in a country: “does the government exert tight control over the economy, including through state ownership and the setting of prices and production quotas?”

To them the democratically controlled NHS and set prescription prices indicate a tendency towards an oppressive regime.

You, like us, may disagree with this analysis.

Democracy Index

...is on Wikipedia which lists flaws in the system. The Economist is a magazine rather like the people who publish Freedombarometer.org . It chooses a jury of experts to think of numbers which fit on a shoe label. If you log-on to their site you can see a slightly more up-to-date score than the one on wikipedia.

CO2 per unit of electricity

...comes from the International Energy Agency. Each country page has a row of boxes near the top, and the two on the right are CO2 produced and electricity produced. Divide one by the other to get the number in kg per kw/h, or Terrawatts per Gigwatt Hour if you include all the noughts.

There's another figure for CO2 used to generate electricity for the grid and to make shoes, which varies more and is harder to look up.
Emmissionfactors.com requires a login and some experimenting to find a figure, and allows three searches per day.

https://press.davidnieper.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/UON-FINAL.pdf quotes the grid figures from a free onine summery for one year:
https://ecometrica.com/assets/Electricity-specific-emission-factors-for-grid-electricity.pdf 

Airmiles are anyone's guess

One estimate is that 8% or apparel transport is by air but this contrbutes 90% of apparel transport CO2. (source: https://archive.is/wip/O3KmL ) The trouble is knowing which goods come by air. This is a quote from Addidas - 

Fuel used in transporting goods from where they are manufactured to the selling markets creates carbon dioxide emissions, which are a major contributor to global warming. We aim to minimise the environmental impact of transporting our goods by reducing our use of air freight, the form of transport that causes the greatest emissions of carbon dioxide.

They tried working-out their emissions and publishing them through the 20-teens, but the results kept messing-up; the trial orders, the emergency top-ups, the samples and returns still went by air. For example in 2007 -

Compared to previous years, increased air and truck shipments in 2007 were partly caused by order re-allocations to meet delivery deadlines

Addidas stopped putting reports on their web site after 2016, but usually make some shoes close to where they're sold so their shoe average is better than their clothing average. That supports a guess that firms with a fast turnover of styles and no production close to home are going to use more airfreight, even if they are as well-organised as Addidas.

There are rules of thumb to say how much CO2 is produced per thousand kg per km on a long-haul flight (.59377 ) but you have to log-in to a site to see the figure and it's no help till you know the proportion of deliveries by air
(source: https://emissionfactors.com/ef/factor/294946)

Another point on the Addidas page is that they've reduced "volotile organic compound emissions" on long mass-production runs of shoes. Factory staff shouldn't have to sniff glue all day. This simply catches-up with European laws under an EU directive years ago.

Boatmiles don't produce much CO2 per shoe. Guangong is 20,509 km from Felixtowe (source: shiptraffic.net, in miles), producing 0.018kg of C02 per 1,000 kg per km (souce: Addidas quoted on greenrationbook.org.uk ).  That's 0.369 kg of CO2 per 1kg of Addidas boots. If an inspector from Europe visited a factory in China that would cost thousands of times more CO2.

Nike's inspector says she doesn't visit; auditing reports is a freelance desk job done in London. If she asked too-many questions in China or Vietnam she might get arrested for nose-poking, which she puts in a more polite way. Her interview puts opposite points of view to most of the ones put on this page so is worth a read.


( sources
Addidas https://archive.is/4ECEu - not linked as slow to load; emissionfactors.com below requires a log-on
https://emissionfactors.com/ef/factor/297656 0.00891 kg CO2 per tonne km by sea - so about 9 grammes - and 
https://emissionfactors.com/ef/factor/294946 0.59377 by air, counting just the long-haul part of the journey.
Addidas are quoted as using 18g per tonne km seafreight in Greenrationbook, probably including the return journey
The 8%-by-air figure is quoted in the David Niaper study from a European Union document https://archive.is/wip/O3KmL which quotes an obscure trade magazine article estimate of 20% freight by air in 2006, which in turn is hard to interpret, so the 8% figure is hard to pin-down )

Mundane choices


Vegan shoes on this site are chosen for mundane reasons like availability as well as ethical ones. UK safety boot suppliers closed, for example , but there was a safety boot supplier that was easy to deal with because they had a wholesaler in the UK as well as selling from Italy, which sounded like a good country to buy-from. Then they moved production to Albania, and it would have been hard to find another supplier and hold two generations of stock in different styles, which is hassle for retailers. So who knows about the social security system in Albania? Eventually, we found a way to look it up, along with something about Albanian democracy and human rights, and put it on the web site in a comparible way..

The same probably goes for retail buyers. It could be a factor when people buy white goods with energy ratings on a neat easy-to-read label. A lot of people have other preferences like not wanting to buy from a certain shop or a certain country, but they're not encouraged by the trade. That's why "made in" labels can help. If enough good shoes have "made in" labels and maybe some links like these, then it crowds of people  will be reminded that shoes come from somewhere, maybe even think about the country or glance at the detail. Evenually it might be trendy to buy good shoes.