The Cocoze patent pending coconut fibre shoe has it’s origins in the Gulf Oil Spill in 2010. Two of the company’s co-founders were trying to win a million dollar prize in a contest to develop a method of cleaning up the oil spill. Their idea involved using coconut pith as a soaking agent for the oil. In trying to clean up the oil spill, an interest developed in working with coconut coir (fibre). In learning about the properties of coconut fibre, they started using it for agricultural purposes and making household items like dish scrubbies and bath mats.
While living in Nelson, BC, in a “light-bulb” moment, co-founder and president, Pierre Thomson cut out coconut fibre from the mats in the shape of his feet and attached them to his feet with string. A few weeks later, he made a second pair using duct tape and coconut fibre which he wore regularly while logging and cutting down trees. Originally created and designed for its comfort and natural feel, the shoe over time revealed its ability to exfoliate the dead skin cells from your feet (similar to a pedicure) leaving them smoother and looking beautiful. Also, the high tensile strength of coconut fibre proved extremely durable withstanding the wear and tear in the back woods of British Columbia, Canada where the shoe was born.
With focused inspiration, Pierre began making the Cocoze shoe by hand in the basement of his home in Nelson, BC. In December 2011, the Cocoflop was launched in Vancouver at the "One of a Kind" trade show where the shoe was extremely well received. The demand for the shoe prompted the company to build partnerships in Thailand to make the shoe. Production in Thailand allowed for continued improvements in both quality and design as well as cost efficiencies. All of Cocoze shoes still remain hand made today.
The Cocoze Patent
The Cocoze shoe is built upon a patented technology allowing for a shoe sole made entirely of coconut fibre using any binding agent. Natural rubber is the preferred binding agent used for our shoes. The combination of coconut fibre and natural rubber results in a foot bed and sole that is extremely durable, flexible and comfortable. All of Cocoze's shoes are built around this patented coconut fibre sole.
The Cocoze Environmental Footprint
The natural properties of coconut fibre demand that only a tiny carbon footprint is used in the production of our shoes. The density and high tensile strength allows for only minimal mechanization in the manufacturing process. Thus, our shoes had to be made primarily through skilled hand craftsmanship. Moreover, the sun is used to dry the natural rubber on our shoes. We found the heat of the sun always gave the best looking finish and result for our shoes over any other type of mechanized heating methods. The inherent nature of coconut fibre always returned us to a production process that Mother Nature intended.