Cano is a German footwear brand that produces huaraches and leather boots in Mexico. The company is founded by two friends from high school who fell in love with the country and particularly the handcrafted huarache. They travelled through Mexico to find the artisans who can produce their shoes and found them in Michoacán, where Cano shoes are now being made.
Cano is very transparent. The company provides a full overview of how and where its shoes are being made, including images and stories from the Mexican workshops and the people working there. Its supply chain is relatively straightforward since it consists of a few local leather suppliers and the workshops where the leather is transformed into the footwear. All leather is sourced locally and certified gold or silver by the Leather Working Group. To further ensure ethical leather, Cano uses vegetable tanning. This is a natural alternative for chemicals. The cow hides are dyed with plant and earth based tanning agents, and naturally dried. Other materials it uses are natural crepe and soles from old rubber tires, which are environmentally friendly materials as well.
Cano mentions that it wants to provide its artisans with a great place to work and payment of a living wage. A living wage is important because it lifts people out of poverty and provides opportunities for education, housing and a healthy life. Cano also states that its workers don’t work longer than 8 hours a day and it provides holidays, lunch breaks and sick leave. These basic labor rights seem normal from a western perspective, but are very far from the standard in the fashion industry, and it’s absolutely great that Cano provides opportunity and does the right thing by empowering the people it works with.
There are things that can be improved at Cano of course. The company could provide more information about its environmental performance, packaging, transport, and so forth. But it’s a really small brand and those are steps it has yet to take. For now, Cano is doing absolutely great, and we hope it keeps going.