at steve madden

Leveraging the power of fashion to be a global force for good.

At Steve Madden, we want to leverage the power of fashion to be a global force for good. Our vision is to provide stylish individuals the opportunity to be bold and inspiring in expressing their individuality, while caring for others, our planet and future. But let’s get real. We still have a long way to go. We are committed to take our responsibility and make our mark, becoming more sustainable with every step. We want to uncover, minimize and eliminate our impact. With this goal in mind, we’ve identified four key areas where we will focus our efforts on: equality, inclusivity, environment and waste.


At Steve Madden, we stand for equality. From day one, we have used the power of fashion to promote equality, individuality and inclusivity. No matter who you are or where you come from, we are all equal. This is true for our customers, our partners, our employees, but also for everyone working in our global supply chain.

Everyone working for Steve Madden, directly or indirectly should be free from discrimination, child labour and forced labour. Everyone should have a safe and healthy working environment.



Sustainable fashion should be accessible for all, regardless of size, shape or income. We want to offer responsible and fashionable choices for everyone, democratizing sustainable fashion.



We’ll always make fashion, but we want to do this in the best possible way for each other, our planet and future.

Taking responsibility for our impact starts with being honest: where do we stand today, what needs to change? We need to become fully aware of our impact so we can minimize it. In order to, eventually, give back to the environment and society.

We have to refresh how we design, make and consume fashion. We’ll be looking at our materials and products, how they’re made, packed and transported. Innovation and smart solutions will offer an essential alternative to traditional methods.

To tackle climate change, we need to track our impact and improvements. Therefore, these smart solutions need to be measurable, science-based and ever evolving, reacting to the changing environment.



We’re a fast fashion brand; we love trends, and this will never change. In the future we want to continue reacting to new trends as fast as possible while simultaneously taking responsibility for our products.

Therefore, we need to rethink, redesign and change how we operate. To reduce our waste and lower our impact on the environment we make the move towards circularity. We’re motivated to implement circular design principles into our production processes and keep our products in use for as long as possible through take-back, preloved and repair programs.



In Spring 2020, Steve Madden brand shoe boxes changed to 100% recyclable boxes made of 90% post-consumer waste and 10% virgin pulp farmed from sustainably managed forests. The shoe box incorporates natural dyes and adhesives exclusively with no chemical finish. The tissue paper is 99% post-consumer waste, 1% virgin pulp, and printed with plant-based ink.




We joined the Leather Working Group to support more environmentally responsible leather manufacturing.

The Leather Working Group aims to improve the leather manufacturing industry by creating alignment on environmental priorities, bringing visibility to best practices, and providing suggested guidelines for continual improvement.

Please visit www.leatherworkinggroup.com to get more detailed info about the Leather Working Group.

Cool Planet Shoe Boxes

Cool Planet
Shoe Boxes

YEAR 2021

Cool Planet by Steve Madden shoe boxes are completely recyclable, made from 90% post-consumer waste, and designed thoughtfully with a handle to help reduce the use of shopping bags.

Cool Planet Steve Madden

Cool Planet by
Steve Madden

YEAR 2021

Cool Planet is a sustainable innovation brand within Steve Madden, whose mission is to deliver today’s fashion in a better way. The brand has three core principles that guide its designing and manufacturing processes – use less, reuse more, and invest in environmental protection with every pair purchased.

Learn more about the brand and initiatives here

Amber Hikes

Diversity, Equity and
Inclusion Training
with Amber Hikes

YEAR 2020

Amber Hikes, Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer at the ACLU, partnered with Steve Madden in November 2020 to completely overhaul the company’s approach to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programming with two interactive workshops: an Inclusive Leadership seminar for the executive team, and an all-staff training focused on intersectional allyship.

Amber also engaged in a fireside chat with Steve Madden, our CEO, Ed Rosenfeld, and President Amelia Newton Varela, discussing a range of topics from mentorship to privilege.

The company will continue these efforts throughout 2021 and beyond, with the understanding that this important work is ongoing.

Shoe Boxes

Shoe Boxes

YEAR 2020
IMPACT Environment

In Spring 2020, Steve Madden brand shoe boxes changed to 100% recyclable boxes made of 90% post-consumer waste and 10% virgin pulp farmed from sustainably managed forests.

The shoe box incorporates natural dyes and adhesives exclusively with no chemical finish. The tissue paper is 99% post-consumer waste, 1% virgin pulp, and printed with plant-based ink.

All packaging is certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council, the standard barer of sustainable lumber product sourcing. It is also sourced from tree plantations and not through deforestation.

Our packaging factories actively collect, sort, and return recyclable waste to the appropriate materials vendors. All returned waste is eventually upcycled into new post-consumer waste materials.

Now that the color of our boxes is the same for all women’s, men’s and kids’ shoes, our factories can also do longer runs without stopping the machines, which uses less energy.

Shoe Recycle Program

I:CO Shoe
Recycle Program

YEAR 2020
IMPACT Environment

In January 2020, Steve Madden launched a partnership with I:CO to reuse or recycle unwanted footwear. Anyone can bring in their unwanted shoes (any brand in clean, dry condition) and place them into our Shoecycle box, staged at select NYC store locations. The shoes are then sent to our partner I:CO, who gives them a new life.

Reusable Shopping Tote

Shopping Tote

YEAR 2018
IMPACT Environment

In 2007, we replaced plastic shopping bags with reusable totes at all full priced retail stores.

Since then, these reusable shopping totes have evolved and are being constructed from recycled polyester.

Design Action Group

Sustainable Design
Action Group

YEAR 2020
IMPACT Environment

The Sustainable Design Action Group is a collective of designers and product developers that are committed to exploring and implementing more sustainable design practices and environmentally preferred materials into our business.

The group held its first meeting in September of 2020.

(DEI) Council

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
(DEI) Council

YEAR 2020

The DEI Council is an internal council responsible for establishing, overseeing and implementing the company's DEI strategic plan.

Employee Resource Groups

Employee Resource Groups

YEAR 2019

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) play an essential role in advancing inclusive business practices at Steve Madden.

SM Pride, an ERG for LGBTQ+ employees and allies, held its first meeting on Dec 12, 2019.

Black Sole, an ERG for Black employees and allies, held its first meeting on Nov 13, 2020.

D&I Gap Assessment

D&I Gap

YEAR 2019

In 2019, we conducted an analysis of how Steve Madden stands in the broader community when it comes to providing equal opportunities for minority employees in the workplace and across the supply chain. The firm delivered a strategic plan based on that assessment, which serves as the foundation for our efforts in 2020 and beyond.

Guided Meditation for Employees

Guided Meditation
for Employees

YEAR 2019
IMPACT Communities

In October 2019, Steve Madden began partnering with B.STILL to offer 15-minute guided meditation sessions for employees at its Long Island City headquarters and NYC showrooms.

$100k Donation to Black Lives Matter

$100k Donation to
Black Lives Matter

YEAR 2020
IMPACT Communities

On June 1, 2020, Steve Madden expressed his solidarity with protestors speaking out against George Floyd's murder and against the underlying systemic racism that plagues our country.

The Company also donated $100,000 to Black Lives Matter on this date and began matching employee donations to civil rights and social justice organizations.

Voto Latino Partnership

Voto Latino Partnership

YEAR 2018
IMPACT Communities

Steve Madden began its partnership with Voto Latino in 2018, when it sponsored Lyft rides for those in need of transportation to the polls. In 2019, Steve pledged to donate $1 million in support of VL’s 2020 voter registration goals. In January 2020, the Company kicked off the $1 million partnership with an in-store voter registration initiative within 81 of its retail locations across the country. In 2021 the Co-Founder, President, and CEO of Voto Latino, Maria Teresa Kumar, joined the Steve Madden board of directors and will be a member of the Company’s Corporate Social Responsibility Committee.

PPE Donations to Hospitals & Organizations in Need

PPE Donations to Hospitals &
Organizations in Need

YEAR 2020

From March to June, the Company donated $200k worth of medical supplies, masks, and shields to local hospitals, including Elmhurst Hospital in Queens. The Company also donated at least 50,000 fashion masks to various hospitals, organizations, and homeless shelters throughout Brooklyn and Queens.

Fearless Fund


YEAR 2020
IMPACT Communities

In 2020, we partnered with the Fearless Fund to provide 50 Women of Color entrepreneurs free enrollment to their 12-month Get Venture Ready program, designed to acquire training, knowledge, mentorship and skills needed to gain access to capital. Fearless Fund’s mission is to bridge the gap in venture capital funding for women of color founders building scalable, growth aggressive companies.

Public Denouncement of Discrimination

Public Denouncement of Discrimination Against the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Population during the COVID-19 Crisis

YEAR 2020
IMPACT Customers

On May 7, 2020, Steve Madden joined Open to All and other global retailers in signing an open letter denouncing the racial disparities and targeting of API people during the COVID crisis.

Read the letter here.



YEAR 2020
IMPACT Customers

The #CREATEWITHMADDEN mission is to continue to diversify our creator network with influencers, artists and musicians and share our platform to amplify the voices of creative BIPOC.

UN Global Compact

UN Global

YEAR 2019
IMPACT Governance

On October 16, 2019, Steve Madden became a member of the UN Global Compact, joining almost 10,000 other companies who are committed to aligning their strategies with universal principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

Open to All Pledge Signing

Open to All
Pledge Signing

YEAR 2019
IMPACT Customers

September 5, 2019, Steve Madden joined other members of the fashion industry to sign a pledge to maintain a safe and welcoming environment for people—including employees, visitors, customers, vendors and clients—regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, immigration status, religion or disability.

2019 Sustainability Report

Sustainability Report

YEAR 2020
IMPACT Governance

In 2019, the Company partnered with a consulting firm to develop a comprehensive sustainability strategy and roadmap to prepare and publish a GRI sustainability report. The report was published in July 2020 and can be found here.

Our Work with FABSCRAP

Our Work with

YEAR 2019
IMPACT Environment

FABSCRAP is a one-stop textile reuse and recycling resource. They pickup the fabric scraps, then process them by identifying and sorting the materials, with the end goal of either recycling or reusing the materials.

To date, we’ve recycled 1575 lbs. of scraps which have saved an estimated 11.5 tons of CO2 which is the equivalent of planting 173 trees.

Our Pledge with Global Green

Our Pledge with
Global Green

YEAR 2021
IMPACT Environment

With every online Cool Planet purchase, we will be donating a set amount to Global Green, an environmental nonprofit dedicated to helping people, places, and the planet.

With our support, Global Green will create an eight acre Climate Park near the Ojai city hall to serve as an educational center for teaching the community how to live a sustainable lifestyle.

It will educate individuals on how to reduce climate change impacts and live in harmony with the environment.

Ojai will serve as a model for a holistic system that improves the sustainability of the existing landscape and community. This will include biodiversity, watershed management, renewable energy, educational opportunities for local schools, on-site leadership training and eco-visitation opportunities.

Turning Plastic Bottles into Fabric

Turning Plastic
Bottles into

YEAR 2021
IMPACT Environment

Did you know that polyester is made from plastic? And creating new polyester means extracting fossil fuels from the ground and turning it into plastic, which will then be part of our environment for hundred of years.

That’s why we created the Valeryy and Electrik. The fly knit upper material is made with post-consumer plastic bottles, which gives a new life to single-use plastics and helps us limit the use of virgin plastics in our supply chain.

Our Commitment with Carbonfund.org

Our Commitment
with Carbonfund.org

YEAR 2021
IMPACT Environment

Carbonfund.org is a non-profit organization that makes it easy and affordable for any individual or business to reduce and offset their climate impact.

Our commitment is to offset all CO2 emissions associated with shipping orders from our warehouses to your doorstep.

For every order processed through our website, we’ll work with Carbonfund.org to invest in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and reforestation projects that reduce the same amount of CO2 from the environment as was emitted in the process of shipping the order.

Outsoles Made with Footwear Waste

Outsoles Made
with Footwear Waste

YEAR 2020
IMPACT Environment

The footwear industry produces millions of tons of waste. Pre-consumer waste is generated in the manufacturing process in the form of material scraps and factory defects. And post-consumer waste is often incinerated or sent to landfills once consumers dispose of their pre-loved shoes.

When we created Cool Planet by Steve Madden, we wanted to give a second life to footwear waste. Every Cool Planet shoe is made with recycled soles from preloved shoes or from materials leftover from the footwear industry.

By reusing these valuable materials, we’re conserving nonrenewable resources and reducing pollution caused by landfilling and incineration.

More Color, More Pride

More Color,
More Pride

YEAR 2021
IMPACT Communities

This Pride Month, join us in supporting the LGBTQ community and the vital work of Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, the Ali Forney Center, and the Marsha P. Johnson Institute.

With every Steve Madden purchase, you’ll have the option to add a small donation to that week’s featured non-profit. Steve Madden will match 100% of donations made on SteveMadden.com, so your contribution goes even further.

Add on donations will benefit our non-profit partners on the following days:

  • June 2nd – 10th:  Callen-Lorde
  • June 11th – 20th:  Ali Forney Center
  • June 21th – 30th:  Marsha P Johnson Institute

About ShoppingGives
ShoppingGives helps us collect and distribute sales-driven donations to verified and trusted non-profits through our e-commerce website. 100% of your donation goes to the chosen non-profit. ShoppingGives does not receive a percentage of any donations.

About Callen-Lorde
Callen-Lorde Community Health Center provides sensitive, quality health care and related services targeted to New York’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities — in all their diversity — regardless of ability to pay. To further this mission, Callen-Lorde promotes health education and wellness, and advocates for LGBTQ health issues.

About the Marsha P. Johnson Institute
The Marsha P. Johnson Institute protects and defends the human rights of Black transgender people. They do this by organizing, advocating, creating an intentional community to heal, developing transformative leadership, and promoting our collective power.

About the Ali Forney Center
The Ali Forney Center’s mission is to protect LGBTQ youths from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently.

Our Partnership with New Design High School

Our Partnership
with New Design
High School

YEAR 2021
IMPACT Communities

Steve Madden employees visited New Design High School to donate sewing machines, sewing kits and fabric scraps leftover from our factory in Long Island City, Queens.

New Design High School is an innovative design-focused public high school located in the Seward Park Educational Campus in the Lower EAsi Side of Manhattan. The instructors guide students to find their own unique talent and purpose by providing life coaching, peep-to-peer life circles, and social and emotional curriculum.

Investing in the development in NYC’s young creative talent is vitally important to the future of fashion. We look forward to a long-term partnership with New Design High School and their students.

A Juneteenth Conversation

A Juneteenth

YEAR 2021

In observations of Juneteenth, we invited Dr. Efua Obeng, an associate professor at Howard University, to host an internal conversation about how companies can advance racial equity.

The session was a part of a larger effort to create space for open and honest dialogue about how our workplace culture can become increasingly more welcoming and equitable.

Disability Pride Month

Disability Pride Month

YEAR 2021
IMPACT Community

In celebration of Disability Pride Month we’re supporting outstanding organizations that are creating a more inclusive and equitable society for people with disabilities.

To support the disability community, Steve Madden will donate to our non-profit partners and match 100% of donations made on SteveMadden.com.

Runway or Dreams works toward a future of inclusion, acceptance and opportunity in the fashion industry for people with disabilities.

Open Style Lab is dedicated to creating functional, wearable solutions for people of all abilities without compromising style.

Miss Amazing is a self-esteem movement led for and by girls and women with disabilities.

Changing the Face of Beauty is committed to equal representation of people with disabilities in advertising and media worldwide.


Creating a Welcoming Environment
for Non-Binary Colleagues and Clients

YEAR 2021

Last Thursday, Steve Madden employees across the country joined Finn Brigham (he/him) from Callen-Lorde for a learning session about transgender and non-binary culture.

In this session, Finn spoke with employees about the building blocks of identity and about the differences between sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and sex assigned at birth.

Employees walked away with an up-to-date vocabulary relating to these topics and with concrete strategies for creating a welcoming environment for our transgender and non-binary colleagues and clients.

Callen-Lorde is a leading non-profit organization in LGBTQ healthcare. To learn more and to get involved in their work, visit callen-lorde.org.

Hispanic Heritage Month

Celebrating Hispanic
Heritage Month

YEAR 2021
IMPACT Communities

From September 15th to October 15th, join us in giving to organizations benefitting the Hispanic and Latinx communities by adding a donation to your purchases made through SteveMadden.com, and we’ll match each gift dollar for dollar.

Votolatino is uniting and empowering the Latinx community by helping voters get registered.

The Hispanic Federation empowers, strengthens, and supports Hispanic communities, families and institutions through work in education, health, immigration, civic engagement, economic empowerment, and the environment.

Boriken Neighborhood Health Center provides bilingual medical, dental, health education, and social services to the residents of East Harlem without regard to the patient’s ability to pay.



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