http://opencorporates.com/companies/gb/05352621 Still curious as to why a bunch of people got together to sell Chinese shoes in 2005 and got so much public sector backing, I clicked on the directors' links for Anti-Apathy, a charity at the same address which mushroomed-up in the same year. Most directors give their jobs as "freelance consultant", and one as "water". Someone from the New Economics Foundation served his time, as did a Mr Ed Gillespie and Ms Lucy Shea of Futerra Communications who are mentioned further down this facebook page. Futerra aim to provide "social proof" of causes, according to an interview by Mr Gellespie. [no relation to the US politician]
The gist of it is that Futerra Communications helped use the term "ethical fashion" to share PR amongst a whole vague range of shops, just as the ad Agency J Walter Thomson invented the Cheese Bureau and the Ploughman's Lunch some time in the 1950s to share among a long list of national cheese marketing boards.
Somehow, ethical fashion pundits got state backing from UK Trade and Investment, Greater London Authority / London Development Agency, and a bundle of other taxpayer-funded offices that had just been set-up to try and put taxpayers out of work, promoting imported competition and implying that it was more relevant or more ethical. http://web.archive.org/web/20030402234930/http://www.antiapathy.org/story/story.html
The organisation has company-style accounts that don't say where the money comes from or goes but there was about £60,000 going through the books at one point. The name seems to have started as an event. There also registered as charity 119887 "to advance the education of the public in the subjects of social justice and environmental progress" and obtained funding for a an apathy-reducing website called TheNag.net from Esmeefairbairn.org.uk and the Tedworth Trust.
Quite soon the "re-fashion" side of the business started-up with all the usual names that are heard-of together and sometimes nowhere else. Accounts describe the relationship.
There's an overlap of directors with a thing called the New Economics Foundation and Anti Apathy, the event and charity that overlaps again with the folk who got lots of sudden subsidy to flog Chinese leather shoes and any other stuff they could find. I don't see an overlap of ideas; a page on the New Economics Foundation site about industrial strategy says that manufacturing and transport jobs are generally better than hospitality and retail; it acknowledges that UK manufacturing exists.
Planb4fashion may be easier to read on a single page
a blog by Veganline.com which is a veggie shoe shop