About Us

As a membership-based organisation, the British Footwear Association is made up of a network of UK based footwear manufacturers, designers, wholesalers, service providers and retailers.

Our focus is to promote and enable the footwear sector both domestically and across the globe through a range of activities.

With members ranging from the smallest artisan shoe-makers to the largest and best known brands in the world, the BFA’s reach and exposure is significant. Through our membership, links to Government and internal resources, we provide expertise, support, advice, guidance and insight across a wide range of topics, ensuring we help each and every member achieve their goals.

We are strong believers that ‘together we are stronger’. We use this mantra to help unite the UK footwear industry and reinforce its global reputation for world leading, high quality and original footwear products and services.

History of the BFA

How and why it all began

On 1st December 1898 Company 59737, The British Footwear Manufacturers Federation (BFMF) was registered. This registration formalised the existing affiliation of UK Regional Footwear Manufacturing bodies. The BFMF changed its name to the British Footwear Association at an Extraordinary General Meeting on 27th March 1996.

BFA History

Lucy Reece-Raybould

Chief Executive

Lucy joined the British Footwear Association in June, 2019 and is proud to be its first female Chief Executive.

From Swatch in its heyday in the early 90’s, through her own marketing and PR company and on to licensed brands like Guess, Versace and Lacoste, Lucy has worked across a wide sector of the jewellery sector in an operational and marketing capacity. Most recently as Executive Director of Business Development and Marketing of the Company of Master Jewellers, looking after members, suppliers and events.

Lucy is now putting her experience, energy and drive to great use for the BFA and its eclectic mix of members.

Each day I bring my heart and sole...

“In this ever-changing society, the most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart. They are real and sustainable. Their foundations are stronger because they are built with the strength of the human spirit, not an ad campaign. The companies that are lasting are those that are authentic.” Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks

“While Howard was speaking on Starbucks, I believe nothing could be truer of the UK footwear industry. We are a collective, a family, of businesses and individuals from every walk of life who have poured their passion and spirit into this amazing industry, and I am incredibly grateful to be a part of it.

“Each day I bring my heart and sole (pun-intended - they're currently Wuzzos!) to my desk because I believe in this industry and the people within it, and I will never stop celebrating, championing, and supporting the sector, ensuring we nurture young talent and maintain the UK footwear businesses pivotal role on the international footwear stage, both commercially and strategically.”

LUCY REECE-RAYBOULD, CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Meet the board

British Footwear Association Board Members

Robert Perkins

Robert Perkins

BFA Chairman
Mike Watson-Smith

Mike Watson-Smith

Sourcing Director, Airwair International Ltd
Paul Savrimoothoo

Paul Savrimoothoo

UK & Ireland Managing Director Pentland Brands
Vanessa Podmore

Vanessa Podmore

Founder, Podmore Consulting Ltd
William Church

William Church

Joint Managing Director, Cheaney Shoes Ltd
William Miles

William Miles

Partner, Briffa
Rink Bindra

Rink Bindra

Head of Omni Channel, Tower London
Jane Wilson

Jane Wilson

Chief Executive, William Lamb Group

If you’re interested in becoming a director of the BFA and think you could help promote the footwear industry please get in touch with Lucy at ceo@britishfootwearassociation.co.uk.

Our Working Groups

Led by the BFA Board

Our Board of Directors-led Working Groups meet on a quarterly and bi-annual basis to discuss various topics that are relevant to the core strategies at the heart of the BFA. By hosting these Working Groups, we ensure the BFA addresses key concerns and stays on track to achieve its future goals.

Membership & Marketing

Commerce & Trade: Ecommerce,Customs and Duty

Production, Training & Future Technologies

Sustainability & Environmental, Social, And Governance (ESG)

Each Working Group contains at least one Director from the BFA Non-Executive Board of Directors. They share information directly with the Executive team to enable them to focus on what matters most to Members in these areas. These Groups also foster the qualities and skills we look for in future BFA Board Members and we welcome new participation.

BFA working groups
BFA working groups

Sector Specific Groups

Enquire About Our Sector Roles

The BFA participates in sector-wide groups to achieve shared goals. We operate as secretariat for a joint committee on health and safety issues alongside Community Union, UKFT and UK Leather, and for the FIJCC which mediates factory and manufacturing employee relationships with Community Trade Union.

National Footwear Leather and Textile Health & Safety Working Group

Footwear Industry Joint Consultative Committee (FIJCC)

Each Working Group contains at least one Director from the BFA Non-Executive Board of Directors. They share information directly with the Executive team to enable them to focus on what matters most to Members in these areas. These Groups also foster the qualities and skills we look for in future BFA Board Members and we welcome new participation.

Networking Groups

Request to Join a Group

Our more informal Networking Groups provide opportunities for Members to engage with the BFA and each other through informative and engaging conversation. We also offer WhatsApp Groups focused on retail, manufacturing, small business, brands, sourcing and HR that many of our Members find useful.

Business Leaders - Soles

Manufacturers

Customs & Duty

Business Leaders - Uppers

Women in the Footwear Industry (WIFI)

Finance Directors

Each Working Group contains at least one Director from the BFA Non-Executive Board of Directors. They share information directly with the Executive team to enable them to focus on what matters most to Members in these areas. These Groups also foster the qualities and skills we look for in future BFA Board Members and we welcome new participation.

BFA working groups