Speed has come to define the modern fashion industry for all the wrong reasons. Collective Canvas was started in response to this relentless pace, to focus on sustainable creation and the promotion of mindful consumption.
We're not fans of fast fashion.
Once an industry dominated by local manufacturers creating products that were valued and intended to last for years, fashion is now dominated by a select group of retail giants. The rise of fast fashion has seen the industry become the fourth most polluting in the world, a result of flooding the market with cheaply made apparel, driving consumer demand with endless disposable trends and a culture dependent on heavy discounting.
People will always need new footwear and clothing. We just believe that products should be created in a manner that eschews the waste and rampant consumerism that has become so prevalent in favour of items that are considered and designed to last.
Up to 200,000 tons of textile dyes are lost to waterways each year
We take a holistic approach to the design of our products. Every material choice is considered, both on the impact of its creation, and the result of its use over the life of the product.
Our designs are intended to be simple; modern yet timeless. We design for durability, yet in the knowing that nothing can last forever. Eventually all products will become unusable. Our intention is that through the responsible use of natural materials, the bulk of our shoes are biodegradable at the end of their life.
We're by no means perfect, but we're committed to a process of continual improvement. From the materials and constructions we use, through to end-of-life considerations on every product we release.
A commitment to simplicity is reflected across every choice we make, from our use of natural materials and traditional construction techniques, to our dedication to functional, minimalist design.
As our world turns increasingly toward cheap, readily available synthetic inputs, our belief is that naturally derived materials are still our best option for creating products that are in harmony with the world we share.
Naturally grown materials such as organic cotton, natural latex rubber, and the use of renewable castor oil in our insoles make up 97% of the composition of our sneakers, while the use of water-based glues further help to reduce our impact on the workers making our products, and throughout the product's lifecycle.
During the development process we spend months on the ground working closely with our production facility to source and develop relationships with suppliers who share our values and commitment toward responsible production.
Our designs are a distillation of a love for the timeless yet imperfect nature of the classic canvas sneakers we grew up in, and an appreciation of the clean, simple lines and practical intentionality of 20th century Nordic and Japanese design.
Our intention is to skirt the relentless trend cycle of the modern fast fashion industry, focusing on creating products with an inherent simplicity and timeless nature.
All our products are the sum of countless creators working at each stage of the production process. From field to factory, we believe our customers deserve to know the provenance of the goods they're buying.
Our manufacturer is based in the city of Dongguan, Southern China. Today, Dongguan is one of the global capitals of shoemaking, attracting skilled craftsmen from as far afield as Italy, Spain, England, and Brazil.
We work exclusively with a single factory for all our production. Run by a collective of New Zealanders, British, and Chinese, both Western and Eastern values are reflected throughout the workplace culture.
They pride themselves in their commitment to ethical manufacturing. All workers are paid a living wage (including health insurance and pension contributions), are provided daily meals, on-site accomodation, as well as the option of free English classes.
We visit several times a year, working alongside the development and production teams sourcing, adjusting, and refining until products are ready to go to market.
From the beginning, our goal has been to offer responsibly made products at democratic, rather than exclusive, prices.
Partnering directly with our factory enables greater freedom, allowing us to use the highest quality materials, while our direct-to-consumer structure eliminates the costly wholesale markups that inflate traditional retail prices.
All our prices are laid out transparently, broken down by their core components, in order to give you a clear understanding of the true factory cost behind each element that goes into a pair of our shoes, as well as how our markup compares to that of the traditional retail industry.