Wayz for Life is the way of being in life that Pedro Maçana chose after a consolidated career on and off national soil.
Initially, graduated in Management by FEP and at the age of 42, the creator of this sneaker brand identified the opportunity to make a difference based on principles of ecological, environmental and social sustainability, through a timeless design, quality ecological materials, and local production. Abrir no Google Tradutor • Feedback Google Tradutorhttps://translate.google.pt › … O novo serviço gratuito da Google traduz instantaneamente palavras, expressões e até páginas da Web entre português e mais de 100 outros idiomas.
It was precisely in the Footwear Design course at the Lisbon School of Design, which he joined in 2018, that Pedro met his current partner (and shoe designer) Daniel Gonçalves. Following the motto “Walk your Way”, together they created Wayz, a sustainable and socially responsible brand of sneakers, entirely produced in Porto.
Wayz, launched in December 2019 after a crowdfunding campaign at Indiegogo, practically did not know the world (or the market) in a non-pandemic time. Nevertheless, the path continues to be trodden with determined steps towards the rest of Europe and, in the press, is the launch of a product made with 100% recycled and vegan materials.
Since March 2020, Wayz has been part of CRU’s careful selection of sustainable brands. About Pedro, we emphasize his professionalism, courage and his contagious positivism.
What led you to create Wayz?
The creation of Wayz was born out of a personal trip, which brought me back to Porto, after 18 years working at a retail multinational in Spain, Portugal and France. A life change that created the opportunity to launch this project, combined with a passion for shoes and the desire to create a 100% Portuguese and responsible sneaker brand: Sneakers with a Humanistic Footprint.
Reveal to us what you usually have on top of your work desk, on a perfectly normal day
I am a little nomadic in my work habits. I have several desks and workplaces. With the pandemic, this habit was accentuated. When I have a desk, there is usually little: the computer, of course, my notebook, a glass of water or a canteen. The less things the better.
Tell us your top5 sustainable brands. What else do they have in common?
In the world of shoes, there are two brands that inspire me, Veja, a French sneaker brand and Red Wing Shoes, an American “work boots” brand. At Veja, I appreciate the sustained and organic way in which two young people created a brand of sneakers, with values, responsibility, sustainability, creating a network of partners and redistributing value among the various stakeholders. And the product, of course, especially the timeless design.
At Red Wing, I love the quality and timelessness of the product (decades-old design) and the fact that we can repair the boots, change the soles, and give them new life. True sustainability is in the (timeless) design and quality / durability of the product.
For the same reasons, I like La Paz and Isto, Portuguese clothing brands. Leaving the world of fashion, I really like the Brompton folding bicycle brand, an incredible product, thought and conceived for the movements in the city, with an unmistakable aesthetics / functionality.
What ways do you find to activate your brand and get the Wayz to your customers’ feet?
We use social networks a lot, Instagram especially, but also Facebook and Linkedin. In the last case, more to talk about the evolution of Wayz as a brand and the various initiatives in which we participate. In addition, we are present at events (Moda Lisboa, GreenFest, Planetiers, etc.) related to sustainability / conscious consumption and, whenever possible, also in the media (press, tv, etc.).
Copyrights, royaties, drawings, patents, trademarks … do you normally sail in these waters?Copyrights, royaties, drawings, patents, trademarks … do you normally sail in these waters?
All of this is extremely complex… as soon as we got to the Wayz name and logo, we decided to register the brand at a European level. We didn’t have any models designed or produced yet, but we knew it was important to protect ourselves. In spite of this, we are not free of threats and brave scares, which were only resolved by resorting to a trademark and patent protection office. It is a very delicate subject that should not be overlooked when launching a project / brand
What technological crutches do you use to dominate or simplify your day-to-day life?
I am very basic with technology. For me it has to be easy to use and create immediate value. So I limit myself to using Shopify, to manage and streamline our online store. Social networks, already mentioned, to communicate with our community, and chat, to communicate with our customers. Daniel, who founded Wayz with me and is the designer of our products, does not do without Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, and drawing software to create and illustrate our Wayz!
What is it like for you to be an entrepreneur in Porto / Portugal?
Either it is done with passion, resilience and some dose of madness, or else it is not worth it. I usually say that the trip is hard, but it is worth it.
And I think this is universal. I think it is no different because we are in Porto, or in Portugal. Our geographical location brings us advantages, we have factories around the corner and good know-how in the industry in general. But we also have drawbacks, access to the consumer is more difficult given the small size and weak purchasing power of our domestic market.
In other countries it will be different, we have to know how to live with this reality, adapt to do well and always better
What, for Wayz, is coming next?
Wayz has to grow as a brand, gain notoriety nationally and internationally. We want to enter several digital marketplaces, in several European countries. We also want to enter the B2B, retail market.
At the product level, the next step will be the launch of a product made with 100% recycled and vegan materials.
Wayz for life… who takes this route, step by step, with you?
Wayz was created by me and Daniel Gonçalves and it has been mainly a trip for two, in which we got to know and invite partners to work, occasionally or on a regular basis, with us and make the project grow. From the outset, our partners in product development, factories, material suppliers, etc., but also marketplaces and stores, such as CRU, that help us reach customers and publicize the brand, or other communities, such as UPTEC, which was key in launching the project.
Nothing is done alone, I deeply believe in collaboration and interdependence. It is said, alone we go faster but together we go further!
What differences do you find in the universe of sustainable consumption in the post-covid era?
The pandemic broke our growth as a brand. We hardly know what it’s like to have a brand in normal times because Wayz was born in late 2019!
In the way we work, we adapt, like everyone else. We postponed some projects and favored others. Regarding our products, nothing has changed. What we believed in before, makes even more sense during and after the pandemic: a high quality product, made ethically and responsibly, locally, with a timeless, versatile, genderless and seasonal design, sold at a fair price. These are relevant attributes that will win over Portuguese and international customers interested in creating a better world, in which we produce, consume and manage companies in a responsible and aggregating manner.
CRU Spotlight is a rubric of short interviews with people from the CRU community, focusing on aspects of their professional life as independent in the Creative Industries sector.
Text: Tânia Santos Edition: Rossana Fonseca Photos:Courtesy Pedro Maçana / Wayz