STYLE AT A GLANCE: NATIVE SHOES
It seems the heavier the world gets, the more it needs lightness, and Live Lightly is a motto of Native Shoes, a company dedicated to designing shoes that are fun, comfortable, with a low climate impact and recycle can be – and were! and converted into playgrounds for children.
There’s only one Native Shoes store in the United States, and it’s right here on Straight Wharf. Founder Kyle Housman visited our island every summer as a child, biking to Surfside with his parents and enjoying the natural beauty here. Decades later, when he decided in 2018 to open the first US store for his Vancouver-based company, Native Shoes, he knew Nantucket was the perfect fit for him.
Native Shoes have simple, modern designs that are comfortable and durable for all ages and activities. Ideal for island living – boating, fishing, gardening, walking the dogs, going to the beach, outfitting kids for summer camp. There are ten different styles to choose from, including hikers, deck shoes, sandals and slip-on mules that pack easily for travel. Sizes range from 3 months to 13 mens. There’s even a harder profile shoe for kids who love to play hard.
Native Shoes are made of materials that are light, soft and flexible and do not absorb water or odors. They’re hand washable and come in a rainbow of colors, bold patterns and bold bling. The Stars & Stripes Jeffersons (one blue shoe with white stars and the other with red and white stripes) in adult and kid sizes are fun for the fourth, and Native Shoes has teamed up with Disney to introduce playful Mickey and Minnie patterns . The shop on Straight Wharf even has a Nantucket exclusive collection: designs not available anywhere else.
And the company is committed to helping the planet through its shoes and activism. Retail Manager Beth Lloyd-Thomas explained how Native Shoes – the company and the products – “make it easy to live carefree”. Two of Native Shoes’ key corporate goals are to do the right thing and practice “tiny activism,” which they aptly describe as “making a better world, one tiny step at a time.” They encourage innovative ideas (“ask more what ifs”), and while they take their efforts seriously, they don’t want to take themselves too seriously. This environmentally conscious company is doing everything in its power “to make our world less of a burden,” Beth explained. “We try to do something good for our environment and people.”
The Native Shoes Remix™ Project is the brand’s flagship sustainability initiative. Through a proprietary milling process, Native Shoes’ unique composition is transformed into a versatile and colorful material used in the manufacture of comfortable seating, springy playground surfaces, insulation and other recycled Native Shoes products. So far, more than 35,000 shoes have been modified to help build five new playgrounds. Over the weekend of August 13th and 14th, Beth is hosting a community-wide event at the Nantucket store, inviting people to bring their old shoes—any brand—for recycling and a 10% off coupon toward a new pair to obtain native shoes.
Bloom is another innovative environmental support program created by Native Shoes. This includes Rise technology, a manufacturing process that incorporates repurposed toxic algae from lakes and freshwater ecosystems into the lightweight EVA upper of the Bloom collection shoes. The effect is to purify up to 80L of water and 50m3 of air per pair!
In addition to these actions to ensure a positive future for people and the planet, Native Shoes has been working with a group of outside experts over the past two years to understand their climate footprint and learn how to live more easily on the planet.
Their legendary Jefferson is already one of the most environmentally friendly shoes on the market, with only 3.85 kg CO2e per pair. Every time you buy a pair of Native shoes, you say no to higher impact options, with a footprint of 10, 15 or even 20kg CO2e. Native Shoes strives to share its dream with others in the footwear industry: to one day create a shoe with a footprint of less than 2kg CO2e per pair.
Customers can not only feel good when buying Native shoes – Native shoes also feel good! Comfortable, lightweight and breathable, they are ideal for summer fun. They go easily from land to sea (they make ideal beach and boat shoes), as Beth commented Native Shoes “are happiest on the water”.
Available in both children’s and adult sizes, the Jefferson is a Native Shoes classic and also available as the Jefferson Bloom, which is made using the company’s Rise by Bloom technology. Ava Bloom is her slip-on slide that helps clear waterways with every step. The new line of Native Shoes sandals in five different styles is available at the Nantucket Store, along with all Native Shoes styles.
As sustainable as they are stylish, Native Shoes are a must for summer family fun on Nantucket Island.
Native Shoes is open daily at 40 Straight Wharf
and online at nativeshoes.com • 508-221-7223