During the Fast Company Innovation Festival, Kanye West announced some particularly innovative plans for his Yeezy sneakers. In 2020, the rapper-slash-hype beast plans to launch the Yeezy Foam Runners, which are a bit reminiscent of Crocs but in a reinterpretation that fits the signature style of Yeezy and Adidas.
What is so special about this model? The Yeezy Foam Runners came to be from an unconventional plant-based material: seeds. The plant in question, a type of algae, could release foam that can then be modeled into a pair of sneakers. This sustainable initiative would contribute to the protection of waterways (and thus the people and animals who use them) and prevent the release of fossil fuels that happens in the traditional production of foam intended for sports shoes.
West was already planning to relocate the production of his label to Wyoming, where Yeezy's headquarters would also be located. A farm with its own hydroponics will be built on a ranch of more than 4000 hectares, according to the rapper.
During the conference, Steven Smith, the sneaker designer who has worked with major brands in the past and who is also the man behind New Balance and the Reebok Instapump Fury, said that this is just the start of a green future he envisions with West. Also in terms of current developments, West said that they are looking for alternatives to harmful dyes and that some of the shoes are produced in Atlanta instead of low-wage countries.
While the wait for the release of Jesus Is King was a big question mark for a long, long time, it seems transparency is a priority when it comes to West's new shoe designs. When the shoes come out, it will be interesting to see whether Yeezy's devoted followers begin talking more about sustainability, as well as the greater effect that may have on the culture.