Honesty. It goes a long way. And, apparently, Adidas is taking that to heart with its new collection of environmental-friendly sneakers, featuring a printed message around the heel area that reads, "This shoe alone will not save the planet." The capsule, which consists of Three Stripes classic models such as the Superstar, Stan Smith, and Continental 80, are made from vegan leather and come with a 100 percent recycled lining as well as an outsole created out of 90 percent natural rubber and 10 percent waste rubber fillings. Additionally, on the Continental 80 pair, there's an algae-based midsole — a sustainable material we've seen on Kanye West's Yeezy Foam Runner clogs.
Subtle — Altogether, the entire collection is a simple take on three of Adidas' most iconic sneakers. The white upper on the Superstar, Stan Smith, and Continental 80 are only accentuated by the colored laces and the ironic statement that, as vegan and as sustainable as they may be, these shoes themselves can't solve the industry's waste problems. On the midsoles of each, meanwhile, you'll notice a speckled pattern that's similar to Nike's own recently announced recycled sneakers — including the Space Hippies and other styles with its new sustainable "Crater Foam."
"This shoe alone will not save the planet" — It's hard not to compare the on-the-nose statement on Adidas' line of vegan sneakers to that "irony" or "figures of speech" ethos from streetwear designers such as Virgil Abloh, who happens to be one of the most hyped collaborators of its eternal, bitter rival Nike. Abloh is known for slapping text graphics like "Shoelaces" on literal shoelaces. Still, there's more behind the meaning of "This shoe alone will not save the planet" for Adidas.
Over the past few years, the German sportswear giant has been working with nonprofits like Parley for the Oceans to create apparel, footwear, and accessories made entirely from recycled materials. And it recently enlisted NYC-based streetwear brand Noah, plus indie designer Sean Wotherspoon, to help it keep driving those efforts forward, as Adidas looks to make sustainable clothes and sneaker mainstream — or at least bring its green offerings to more people than ever before.
If you're interested in the vegan Superstar, Stan Smith, and Continental 80, they'll be dropping at online shops including Overkill on September 3 starting at about $100 per pair. Adidas is right — these sneakers alone won't save our planet from melting. But, if they can help hurt Mama Earth a little less and make you look good simultaneously, well, that's a win-win for everyone.