Adidas is giving its iconic Superstar shoe a planet-friendly spin, with a little assist from famed sneakerhead Sean Wotherspoon.
The sportswear giant unveiled Wednesday its aptly named SuperEarth initiative: a “reimagining” of its signature style that reconsiders every element of the shoe, from the upper to its outsole.
The result, Adidas says, is a Superstar sneaker that not only “endeavors to end plastic waste” but is also completely free from animal ingredients, making it one of only a handful of vegan kicks from the brand.
“People know that I’m vegan, and it’s a foundation of who I am; it’s a cornerstone of all my projects, and part of sustainable living,” Wotherspoon, co-founder of vintage and resale empire Round Two, which has stores in New York City, Los Angeles and Miami, said in a statement. “Adidas loved it and we started to look at all the ways we can bring vegan materials to the Superstar.”
The reimagined Superstar sneaker’s upper and lining comprise 100 percent recycled polyester. The sock liner is made from leftover OrthoLite material with a cover derived from renewable cork. To craft the outsole, Adidas employed 90 percent sustainably sourced natural rubber and 10 percent waste rubber, creating a “bricolage effect of color flecks throughout.”
The collaborative sneaker has been finished off with floral patterns hand-drawn by Wotherspoon. Embroidered threads hang off the upper, a nod, Adidas says, to the Y-3 Super Position shoe, which flaunts similar tassels.
Adidas has bigger plans for its SuperEarth program, which it says will strive to reduce material waste during the footwear-manufacturing process through pattern efficiency and the use of recycled content.
Already, the sportswear maker has pledged to use only recycled polyester in its products by 2024. Earlier this year, Adidas announced that more than half of the polyester used in its products in 2020 will stem from recycled plastic waste. Its ongoing partnership with ocean-conservation nonprofit Parley for the Oceans continues to upcycle marine-bound plastic debris from coastlines into high-performance apparel and footwear. This year, Adidas introduced two new fabrics—Primeblue and Primegreen—composed of 100 percent recycled polyester.
Wotherspoon himself is a seasoned collaborator, working with Asics and Nike in the past to put his personal mark on the streetwear staples.
The Adidas x Sean Wotherspoon SuperEarth Superstar sneaker will be available online at select retailers from Aug. 29 at an as-yet-announced price.