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PRESERVING TRADITIONAL CRAFTSMANSHIP WITH CANO

THE CANO SHOE SS20

Philipp Mayer & Lukas Pünder are the founders of Cano, a sustainable shoe brand embodying traditional mexican craftsmanship. Today, Staiy tells the story behind their top-quality huaraches.

Words By Sophie Badaoui

29/03/2021

Philipp Mayer first fell in love with huaraches when he was studying at Tec de Monterrey in Guadalajara. When he came back to Düsseldorf, he met his long-time friend Lukas Pünder for a beer. After introducing him to the concept of traditional mexican craftsmanship and showing him a pair of huaraches that he brought back home, they both decided to “make an impact”.

“Seeing the artisans with their amazing skills and not being valued broke our heart. We saw the potential of their craft and wanted to create a product with them that people value and help them to earn a fair wage” they share. After months of planning their venture as they were both interning at L’Oréal, Philipp jumped on a plane and went on a quest to find “Mexico’s best huaraches artisans”.

 

THE CANO SHOE SS20

Cano:
History and Heritage

From its name coming from Mexicano (which means Mexican in Spanish) to its products’ identity, Cano is deeply connected to its historical and cultural heritage.
When asked about the brand’s vibe and spirit, the founders reply “Tradition, Craftsmanship, Transparency.”
The huarache is usually a cheap, disposable shoe that is available at every Mexican street market.
This image clearly doesn’t do justice to the artisans putting their heart and soul into producing them.
As they are vegetable tanned and handcrafted, hours of minutious work and attention to detail are invested into every pair.
These unique skills are passed from generation to generation and are hard to find in our modern world. 

THE CANO SHOE SS20

THE CANO SHOE SS20

Traditional Style,
Natural Materials

Therefore, Philipp and Lukas aim to support artisans so that the huarache gets the appreciation it deserves.
To do so, they focus on sustainability and quality, covering different areas: in regards to design, they follow an “atemporal style so it can be worn throughout seasons”, representing “a traditional style that will last longer than a trend”.
Their design is usually inspired by traditional ones, molded into distinctive contemporary ones. Concerning materials, the shoes are made from vegetable tanned leather, which is chromium free. The rest of the materials used are recycled or as natural as possible, like natural rubber sole and upcycled airplane tire sole. They are currently looking for a vegan alternative that doesn’t contain PU or polyester.
Finally, regarding ethics, they rely on transparency and traceability.
Using a retraced supply chain transparency tool, they give a voice to their products: they can tell their story, showing where, by whom, and what they are made of.

Care for artisans

Another crucial point in their production is the respect and care for the artisans.
They always make sure that their partners share the same values and treat their employees decently, with proper working conditions and fair wages. Furthermore, they try to reduce waste by using recycled paper for packaging, shipping plastic free and avoiding returns shipping by guiding their customers through sizing and fitting. 

THE CANO SHOE SS20

When asked about their own definition of sustainability, they reply
“sustainability is much more holistic for us than for most people. To us it is not only about taking care of our environment but also about how we treat the people around us. Living a life of service to others and our environment is what sustainability means to us.”

They highlight this statement by encouraging brands to be more transparent through their second company, retraced.co. They “help brands take responsibility for their supply chains and make sure their partners work on social and environmental sustainability.”

Quality over quantity

However, they don’t see sustainability as a sufficient solution for fast fashion waste. They see the core problem as “the concept itself” : “companies like H&M and Inditex made people believe that they need a new garment in their closet every day. Now that these brands are moving towards sustainable fashion as well, one might think that this is great and that soon sustainable fashion will take over conventional fashion. No one needs that many clothes, no matter if these are produced ethically and sustainably or not. Every year, 50 billion pieces of clothes end up in landfill and this is what needs to be changed.”

“Get Advice” 

Finally, their advice to young entrepreneurs is simply to get advice. As they were very new to the industry, they made the mistake of producing 500 pairs that turned out to be completely unsuitable for the European market. Fortunately, they were able to bounce back from it, perpetuating the preservation of traditional mexican craftsmanship in our modern world.

Shop Cano’s products
from staiy.com

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THE CANO SHOE

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THE CANO SHOE

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THE CANO SHOE