nat 2™ is known for cool sneakers of the highest quality as well as for sustainability and innovation. Can you please introduce yourself?I come from a family of shoe designers, in the 6th generation since 1856. In 2007 I founded the label nat-2™ in Munich. The unisex brand designs non-seasonal collections with a special focus on quality, innovation and sustainability. The label uses unique and unusual materials, some of them are vegan.Our sneakers are produced by hand and fair in a small luxury family factory in the Italian region Marche. This is where other top brands like Balenciaga or Alexander McQueen produce, too.
As a shoe and leather expert, what does vegetable tanned leather mean? And what is the difference to normal leather?
Why is chrome avoided deliberately? How does chromium affect health and how does it affect nature?Chromium means chemical tanning, but what’s more important is the disposal of the chemicals! Chrome-tanned leather is not necessarily harmful to the environment or hazardous to health. Many people confuse Chromium with chrome VI, a substance that can be produced during chrome tanning and which is said to be carcinogenic.Tanned leather tanned without Chromium is not automatically vegetable tanned – other chemicals can be used, too. Vegetable tanning on the contrary uses a natural tanning agent, which means it is environmentally friendly and saves resources.
How do I recognize vegetable tanned leather?Mostly in terms of color, haptics and appearance. For the non-expert, however, it is almost impossible to see a difference.
Is it possible to produce vegetable-tanned leather in all optics?Only certain types of leather can be vegetable tanned. In addition, there is no pure white or pure black, as these tones do not occur in nature.
nat 2™ experiments with different raw materials in order to create new paths towards sustainable shoe design. How do you become aware of new materials?We work with universities, laboratories, artists, material designers, material suppliers and other brands from different fields. Sometimes we also develop our own materials or combinations.In this process, we have already created shoes from corn, cork, stone, wood, recycled ox blood, coffee, hay meadow, braided aluminum, fungus, milk, recycled fish leather, recycled PET, olive leather, rhubarb leather and organic cotton.
Where does this road lead? How do you see the future of sustainable shoe design?
Furthermore, I hope that outstanding design will play a greater role again in the future. Bauhaus, for example, has shown how timeless design can be.The Crade-to-Cradle and recycling approach will also be important in the long term.
OUR FAVORITE SHOES FROM NAT-2™
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