After 10 years in the fashion and footwear industry, collaborating with brands like Adidas and Arc’teryx and working as head designer for Native Shoes, Kevin Reid was ready to make his own kicks—ones that could really go the distance. “Traditional manufacturing is all about short cycles and seasonal releases. The moment that a season is done, the products become obsolete,” explains Reid. “It generates so much waste.”
Casca's 3D printers.
Eager to step up to a more eco-friendly venture, he teamed up with college friend (and fellow outdoor enthusiast) Braden Parker. Reid designed the product, Parker worked on the business model, and they launched Casca Designs out of a Kitsilano basement in 2018.
Casca eliminates waste offcuts by using 3D printing technology, so each component of the shoes is created to be the exact shape and size required. The shoe material is a recyclable thermal plastic. (“We can basically put our test pairs into an industrial blender and make more from them,” Reid explains.) But being manufactured by robots doesn’t make the shoes rigid—in fact, Casca consults with a local orthotic lab for each new style.
Casca’s founders, Braden Parker and Kevin Reid
Reid compares investing in supportive footwear to eating organic or getting regular exercise. “You might think that orthotics are nerdy, but proper foot support can do wonders for the entire body,” says Reid. “Our balance, posture and energy levels can all benefit. And that’s possible without sacrificing style or design.”
Casca’s latest sneaker, the Avro recycled knit shoe, is made using recycled plastic bottles. It took over a year to develop, says Reid. “It needed to last as long as our standard product.”
The Mount Pleasant store.