UNEEK x No Diploma: Unveiling the Artistic Fusion

UNEEK x No Diploma: Unveiling the Artistic Fusion

When inspiration strikes, the possibilities are endless! In celebration of the 10th anniversary of our open-air sneaker, UNEEK, we reached out to the talented minds at ‘No Diploma’ to craft an item inspired by the UNEEK design. 

But who exactly is No Diploma and what masterpiece did they create? We hit up Ben and James from No Diploma with some questions to get the scoop. Check out their responses below.

Q: Who is No Diploma? Can you give us a quick background on what it is you do and who you are?

No Diploma is a Montreal-based clothing brand founded in 2018 that has grown into a global community. Rooted in the belief that education goes beyond the confines of a classroom, No Diploma empowers people to forge their unique paths and embrace their passions.  From hosting workshops and community gatherings to spearheading initiatives like book exchanges, the brand is dedicated, to providing platforms for personal growth and self-expression.

Q: First thoughts on KEEN's UNEEK?

(Ben)
I love products with a story, especially ones with conscious and functional design. As soon as I put the shoes on, I thought, “wow, these are super comfortable!”. We kept the shoes on for the whole duration of the shoot, aha. I went to bed forgetting that I had them on, lol just joking but yeah these are comfy!

(James)
UNEEK provides a different kind of style yet provides comfort at the same time. After the team members and I put the shoe on, we couldn't take them off. It is a perfect shoe to wear around a studio while working. It also provides a versatile use out of them. I will definitely be wearing them on the beaches in the summer!!

Q: What item did the UNEEK inspire you to create and why?

(Ben)
The UNEEK shoes inspired us to create a one of a kind water bottle bag we called the "Hydration Safety Net". We wanted to create a product we've never made before at No Diploma, while combining style, function, and sustainability.

(James)
With the objective of using the cords from the silhouette to give the shoe a new life, we wanted to design a creative yet functional product that can be used on an everyday basis. After a few ideas and sampling some styles, we decided the materials from the shoe would provide a UNEEK, playful & workable water bottle bag.

Q: We know KEEN consciously creates footwear. How does it show up in your brand? This project?

(Ben)
As an independent brand, it can be challenging to get access to the right resources and reach the big MOQ (Minimum order Quantity) from the manufacturers, enabling us to get access to sustainable textiles or produce fully sustainable garments.

You do what you can with what you have; for us here at No Diploma we’re very proud to manufacture 70% of our goods in Canada, from the cutting to the sewing of our garments to the application of our prints & embroidery. Locally produced goods reduce carbon footprints while also supporting local manufacturers. With full transparency about how we produce our garments, we believe in educating our customers, leaving them with confidence in our products.

Additionally, each year we release small capsule collections by repurposing defected samples into new garments or using deadstock fabrics to make a limited run of products.

As part of this UNEEK x No Diploma project, we were able to repurpose some samples that weren't going to be used, and create a new one-of-one product. The aim of this campaign is to illustrate that upcycling is a simple and easy process that can be done at home with little equipment, encouraging more people to get involved. It's more accessible than people tend to think, so it was important for us to share this philosophy with our community.

Q: Why KEEN? What do you like most about KEEN and working with them?

(Ben)
We strongly believe in aligning ourselves with brands like KEEN, who consciously create, have a positive impact on the planet, and influence the next generation of brands like us, by giving designers a platform.

Working with KEEN is the best; they are a purpose-driven company with a strong mission who aim to leave an impact on this world, which is what No Diploma aspires to do as well.

Additionally, KEEN allowed us to express ourselves creatively, trusting our vision and giving us a platform to do so. As James would say, It’s a match made in heaven, aha. Just waiting for the day we get to create a shoe together ;)

As we wrap up this incredible collaboration with No Diploma, we hope that the innovative vibes of UNEEK continues to ignite a passion for exploration and creativity. Let its spirit inspire you to embrace your uniqueness, push the limits, and embark on exciting new adventures.

See collaboration video: here

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