“It’s a complex product because there’s the aesthetic component, the performance component and the sustainability component.”
Adding to their assortment of minimal impact goods, Frank and Oak has launched a winter boot made with materials such as recycled rubber and plant-dyed leather. “We’re in a time where there are a lot of innovations in sustainability,” notes the brand’s co-founder and CEO, Ethan Song. “There are new sneakers coming out almost every week. We thought, well, we live in Canada, so we need to apply all this learning and technology to our climate.”
The Nevasca boot – named so after the Portuguese word for ‘snowstorm’, which is fitting because it’s made in a factory outside of Porto – is meant to be a bridge between a style that is light enough to wear throughout the day but offers warmth and comfort, has great traction, and repels snow and slush. “It’s a complex product because there’s the aesthetic component, the performance component and the sustainability component,” Song says.
To address these unique aspects, the Nevasca has several standout elements in both its look and functionality, such as combining discarded coffee husks with rubber to create sturdier toe caps and mudguards, and the use of recycled wool felt to produce a cozy but breathable lining. The use of leather that has been coloured in a chrome-free process is another notable detail. “In more traditional ways of dying leather, they’ll use chemicals or metals,” notes Song. “That’s both damaging to the workers and to the environment.” He also highlights that the leather utilized in the boot’s design is an agricultural by-product, helping to reduce the amount of waste generated by the meat industry.
While Frank and Oak has produced sustainably-focused pieces for a few seasons including outerwear, denim and cotton t-shirts, this launch marks the kick-off of their eco-conscious footwear offerings. “We’ve had shoes for the last couple of years,” Song says about conceptualizing and creating the Nevasca. “We decided about 18 months ago that we weren’t going to make [ones] that didn’t use sustainable materials anymore.” Talk about putting your best foot forward.
The Nevasca boot retails for $249 and is available now at frankandoak.com.