Nordique Interview 2019

Canem Studio is a Scandinavian brand creating sustainable and stylish collars and leads for dogs, and was founded only this year by Thea Dyring – a Norwegian designer with a fashion background and a dog obsession. The small team is made out of a handsome Scottish IT fellow, a sweet old lady with a knitting machine, a pack of three furry product testers and of course Thea, who handles all the creative direction, design and leather crafting.

Iggys running

How did the idea come about?

Between us, my partner and I have three dogs – a tiny, furry Shetland sheepdog, a big, old Labrador retriever and a long, slinky mixed breed. So we’re well represented in several body and coat variations. Coming from a design background and being (admittedly) above average concerned about style and fitting, I’ve on several occasions found myself struggling to find collars and leads that please both my hunger for Scandinavian design and all the unique needs of my mixed little pack of dogs. The idea evolved from me searching to satisfy three different dog necks and my wish to create something for the pet industry that doesn’t compromise my core values in order to sell large volumes at unsustainably low quality and cost. The unmasked truth is that a large portion of the dog gear you find in Norwegian pet shops are mass-produced, low quality, plastic goods. Living in a time with imminent threats of ecological disaster, it was clear to us – if we were to add something to this market, it should be something natural and sustainable – something created using high-quality natural materials and traditional leather crafting techniques. So, we started mapping the idea of being able to produce our goods solely based on demand and to keep the production local in my little hometown in Norway. And so, Canem Studio was born.

Bedlington Terrier

What makes Canem Stand out from other brands?

We want to stand out by bringing a hint of art and fashion into the pet industry. For us it’s not just about creating something purely based on the appearance of one individual collar, but about the collection and the “Canem universe” as a whole along with the mood and feeling it generates when viewed in its entirety. We also want to stand out by taking Canem Studio out of the “fast fashion” brand category. Everything we offer is made to order in our little studio in Drøbak, Norway. The “made to order” process avoids fast pace, over-production pitfalls and allows us to produce solely based on demand. This means that we generate almost no waste and a very small footprint on mother earth. It also means that each order will be specially made for you and it allows you to request size, fitting and colour changes on your items.

Italian Greygound in the city

Where do you source your materials?

We try to source as much as possible from Norway and Scandinavia, and our main focus is always to support local, environmentally friendly production. It has been our goal from the very start to create something that would leave a small footprint; we mainly use natural, biodegradable materials with main focus on Norwegian wool and Swedish vegetable-tanned leather. By sourcing locally, we limit the carbon footprint of transport miles, but even more importantly – our materials are traceable, which means that we can be certain of the animal welfare standard of the farms where we get out raw materials from.

How would you describe the style of your products?

As a Norwegian designer, my goal is to keep the Scandinavian minimalist vibe in my work, as well as adding a hint of my own contrasting maximalist signature. Our first collection has been brought to life by bringing together some of my favourite wool and leather techniques. This effort attempts to keep some classic touches from bridle as well as adding a touch of that much-coveted Nordic design signature.

Bedlington Terrier

Text by Lifestyle page Nordique /

Photography by Henrik Udnesseter