CANO shoes were founded by Philip and Lukas in Germany. I met with Paula from their team to learn more about the mission and vision of the brand.
It all started when Philip studied in Mexico back in 2016. There he got himself immersed into the Mexican culture and their shoes. Back in Germany, Philip saw a potential market for those traditionally handcrafted shoes in Europe, and that was when he and Lukas decided to start the journey of CANO.
Their main goal, from day one, was to make this product more sustainable to have a positive impact on the fashion industry. Their main challenge was to find the right partners, so they decided to go back to Mexico and meet with thousands of different suppliers and workshops. Their mission was not only to find a supplier to create shoes, but also to get involved in the whole process, end to end, making sure the people behind the brand were working under fair conditions. They have been working with the same partners ever since, building a very strong relationship.
During this conversation, we talked about these difficult times, where it has come to light that some big fashion brands are not paying their suppliers*, and how CANO managed their relationship with the artisans. Paula started to explain to me how they usually place two big orders per year based on their Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer collection, but this year they decided to place a third order in between to support the artisans. In addition to this, in Germany, the government decided to reduce VAT until December to support the economy, so CANO decided to keep their prices, gathered these “savings” and donated to their artisans, asking them how they could improve their work conditions.
My last question, was about their opinion on “where they think the fashion industry is heading to”, which was a quite interesting topic to talk about with Paula as she studied “Sustainable Fashion” in 2019 in London. She commented that specifically speaking about Mexico, she has seen a shift in the shopping behaviour in the last three years, , as more sustainable fashion brands have been born. She talks about how this gives her hope, but for this to work, it is a two way job, not only for the brands to make positive changes but also for the customers to start buying more consciously. She is positive that we are going in the right direction slowly.
We both talked about how everything starts with people asking questions, and to be more aware of what are we buying. Then, with all the right information, it is easier for consumers to make the right choice.
With an amazing team behind CANO, it is clear to me that they are not just about selling shoes, they are about “Preserving craftsmanship in a modern world”.
*For more info about the #PayUp movement, click here