Caboclo not only makes products with low environmental impact - their products have a real story to tell.
Helping to promote regional culture and the local community, the brand works in a region called Cariri - the cradle of the “leather civilization” - located in the northeast of Brazil. During the colonial period, cattle was introduced to the area. At that time, local artisans developed deep knowledge of leatherworking and passed these skills from one generation to the next. However, in the 1960s, the artisans could not keep up with the pace of modern manufacturing. The heirs of the “leather civilization” appeared lost. Caboclo got to know the region and found the remaining artisans who still know the story and practice the techniques from their forefathers.
The brand started working with just one artisan to study the traditional process of making a sandal, seeking to recover the original materials and make production as ecological as possible. Caboclo found a tannery that still treats leather in a chrome-free way, without toxic chemicals that have a negative impact on the environment. The tanning quality remains the same, with the main difference being that the chrome-free treatment takes longer (24 days as opposed to 24 hours when using chemical tanning). The brand also decided to reuse old tires, working with the side of the tire for a more comfortable and durable sole. Traditional craftsmanship is also key: the brand brought back some traditional techniques like embroidery. The embroidery embellished on the leatherwork is considered the identity of the artisan and takes almost two years to learn.
With demand growing for the shoes, Caboclo invited other senior artisans and young artisans to join. Today, they work with 23 artisans in the Cariri region. Together, Caboclo and the artisans have developed new products, walking a delicate line between tradition and modernity.