In a world that seems to get faster by the minute, Collective Canvas wants to slow things down. The New Zealand sneaker brand wants to shift the focus from fast-paced consumption to sustainable creation – a process that begins with classic, minimalist style using natural materials like 12.5oz organic cotton canvas and natural latex rubber. Inside the kicks, enhanced comfort comes courtesy of Eco-Ortholite insoles made from sustainably sourced castor bean oil and natural cork.
Collective Canvas is a something of a throwback, taking inspiration from a bygone era in which the footwear industry was made up of local manufacturers that turned out product intended to last for years. The brand’s operational philosophy stems from founder Oscar Anselmi, who comes from a family of fourth-generation shoemakers. Alarmed by the rise of fast fashion, Oscar recognized the need for a sustainable footwear company that takes a holistic approach to design, using carefully considered materials that make the shoe almost entirely biodegradable once it’s reached the end of its life cycle.
Inspired by the simple canvas sneakers of Anselmi's youth, Collective Canvas' offerings are modern, timeless and effortlessly wearable. Each pair is built for durability, featuring clean lines that recall the best of 20th century Nordic and Japanese design. Consistent quality is ensured by the fact that Collective Canvas works with a single production facility, located in Dongguan, Southern China, a region that's emerging as a global capital of shoe-making. All workers are paid a living wage with health insurance and pensions, as well as daily meals, on-site accommodations and available free English classes.
While Collective Canvas operates like a company from a pre-fast fashion world, distribution and pricing are both informed by the internet age. A direct-to-consumer approach eliminates wholesale markups, while transparent pricing lays out the true factory cost that goes into the production of each pair, with simple breakdowns delineating the value of each core component.
There are a total of three unisex styles, the Baan, Slip-On and Bal, each offered in versatile, straightforward colorways. Pick up your pair at collectivecanvas.com.