If a person in a foreign country ‘goes native’, he or she begins to live or dress like the people who live there. Used humorously, to go native means to take on some (or all) of the cultural traits of the people around you, often said of people who go to foreign countries or far away cities. These traits may include dress, language, accent, etiquette or religion, to mention a few.
Well, something like that has happened to me when the Primer Group launched their latest NATIVE shoes store at Centrio Mall last November 27. Only the second Native store in Mindanao after SM City Davao, Cagayan de Oro was chosen on the strength of consumers’ strong response to the brand as market tested in Primer’s other stores Res|Toe|Run, Bratpack, and Duty Free Philippines.
I came to appreciate where that strong response is coming from once I slipped on my first pair of LENNOX NATIVE Shoes. I couldn’t believe that such a light and svelte looking shoe could be so comfortable to walk on!
For one raised on the hefty tradition of the original Earth Shoe, the local Road Runners and the innumerable spawn it has now scattered across the shoeverse, this material and design seemed to go against everything I heretofore deemed as comfortable and ergonomic footwear.
Founded in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 2009, NATIVE’s paradigm from Day 1 was to design, produce, and sell lightweight foam-injection molded-EVA shoes.
This unique material — the lightest and most comfortable available — molds to your feet, is antimicrobial and odor resistant.
Inspired by classic, casual silhouettes, Native Shoes are made from foam-injection molded-EVA, a lightweight, durable and comfortable material. Along with a unique, low-emission manufacturing process, Native Shoes are washable, waterproof and odor-resistant, and they have the design pedigree to help you gain bragging rights as among the best designed shoes around.
Native’s Fitzsimmons Boot was awarded the Red Dot Seal of Quality for High Design in 2011 at the Essen Opera House in Aalto Theatre, Germany. The Red Dot Design Award is one of the most renowned international product competitions. https://www.vancouverisawesome.com/2011/03/17/native-shoes-wins-a-red-dot-award/. Far across the Atlantic, Native’s Jimmy Boot was similarly honored as among the Top 10 Best Designs in Canada listed by The Canadian Design Resource for 2011. https://edgedavao.net/indulge-lifestyle/2011/11/03/native-wins-2011-red-dot-award-for-product-design/ However, both models are currently not available in Native stores in the Philippines.
And it’s not only in design but philosophy that endears Friends of the Earth to NATIVE Shoes which have been certified as being “Beast Free”.
Beast Free has been an integral part of NATIVE’s DNA since Day 1. Not a hair or hide on any animal, anywhere, has been used in the creation of their products that they’ve been certified by PETA as an approved vegan brand.
“Being Beast Free means respecting our animal and human friends equally. Beyond that, it means we respect the choices you make in your daily life, one of which is choosing which shoes to slip on before heading out the door.”
NATIVE is for anybody, anywhere, anytime!
Some words of advice when buying your first pair of NATIVE EVA shoes though: They run a half size smaller. If you go to the Native website and click FAQ it will tell you that if you wear an in-between size to order a size down. So if I'm you’re say 6 1/2, order a size larger if you intend to wear them with socks.
And some words of caution on top of that: As the podiatric equivalent of a prized family heirloom, extra care should be taken in caring for your NATIVE EVA shoes. Strictly for hand-washing only with mild soap and baking soda, wash with a cloth or soft brush and let dry in a cool shaded area. NEVER put your shoes in the washing machine, dryer, or dishwasher! EVA shoes are heat-formed, so they can be heat-deformed and there goes your most prized pair of kicks!
And if that’s not enough reason, here’s another to go get your own pair of NATIVE kicks today: By 2023, every step of the Native Shoes product process will be 100% life cycle managed.
The Remix Project
Introducing our first initiative on this journey, The Remix Project – turning your well-loved Native Shoes into something new! We’re collecting worn out Native Shoes, recycling them and giving them new life in projects across our community.
The unique composition of Native Shoes can be reground into a versatile material that is useful in the creation of seating, playground flooring, insulation and more. Leveraging a proprietary regrind process, we are able to break down the materials found in every style of Native Shoes including sandals, slip-ons, knit sneakers and boots. From that point – there’s no telling where your soles could turn up!
To kick off the project we will be accepting Native Shoes for recycling at our flagship location in Vancouver, and at our brand new store in San Jose’s Santana Row. In addition to expanding our collection program across Native Shoes retail stores, we are partnering with key retailers to provide more collection opportunities to our customers.
Help us build a playground. THE GOAL: 10,000 SHOES BY DECEMBER 31ST 2018
While that’s starting in the US this year, I’ll not be surprised if The Remix Project makes landfall in our shores by next year at the latest, considering the state our inner seas are in with all that plastic.
Besides Centrio in Cagayan de Oro and SM City Davao, you may also grab your favorite pair of NATIVE Shoes at the following malls: SM City Cebu, 2nd level North Wing; SM North Edsa Annex – Upper Ground floor; SM Mall Of Asia – 2nd level Entertainment Wing; Trinoma Kiosk, 2nd level; Rob Place Manila Kiosk, 2nd level Midtown Wing; Glorietta 4, 2nd level; SM Megamall, 3rd level Mega Fashion Hall.
NATIVE Shoes are also available at Res|Toe|Run, Bratpack, and Duty Free Philippines.