Canadian orthopedic shoemaker launches a new brand of earth conscious shoes for vibrant living

Chenna Baree, a project of the School of Unusual Arts, has launched a worldwide campaign on Kickstarter

saint john, New Brunswick, CANADA

SAINT JOHN, New Brunswick, May 02, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Chenna Baree shoe, a project of the School of Unusual Arts, is a stylish, earth conscious, super flexible shoe. The colorful palette of linen uppers, complemented by the natural rubber sole are designed for maximum flexibility and are free of animal by-products. Prototypes went out for testing to yoga instructors, tai chi practitioners, circus trainers, dance teachers, office workers and the general public. “The feedback has been ecstatic. There is a great market for these shoes,” said the designer, Paul Kasdan, “now to get the word out.”

A video accompanying this announcement is available at

Kasdan, a veteran orthopedic shoemaker spent 2 years learning Chinese, designing the shoes, and researching a factory in China that met his requirements before placing an initial order for testing. “I wanted to make a stylish, earth conscious shoe that was as close to the ground and as flexible as possible. I’ve been practicing tai chi my whole life and never found a shoe that offered me this kind of foot freedom,” said the designer.

The design is based on martial arts footwear worn by Shaolin Monks, as well as traditional canvas farming shoes in production for over 80 years in China.  Over the course of two separate trips to China, Kasdan located an authentic small factory which met his requirements for ethical treatment of workers, environmental awareness and great communication. The production runs are small and most of the assembly is done by hand.  Kasdan adds, “This is a unique shoe without question, but it is ultra-simple. There are no gimmicks. It’s about flexibility and feeling connected to the ground.”

Visit Chenna Baree on Kickstarter to pre-order the shoes, learn more about this story and to support the project.

About Chenna Baree

Chenna Baree is a project of the School of Unusual Arts, a registered Canadian not for profit corporation dedicated to the cross cultural understanding of the meaning of life. Chenna Baree is the first major project undertaken by the School.  In addition to exercise footwear, Chenna Baree has designed sitting cushions and stools in collaboration with local craftspeople.


Contact Data