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Rice Husks Feature in Kenneth Cole’s Sustainable Sneaker

Kenneth Cole is betting that the only thing more attractive to today’s consumer than a comfortable chunky sneaker is a comfortable chunky sneaker, produced sustainably.

A year ago, Kenneth Cole unveiled the Maddox Jogger Sneaker, likely to capitalize on the growing and still dominant fashion sneaker trend. Since then, the Maddox Jogger has become one of the brand’s most popular styles and a mainstay in the Kenneth Cole footwear lineup.

Kenneth Cole decided to use that success to create an all-new, limited-edition line of footwear, which bowed on Nov. 14, based on the Maddox Jogger. Known as the Maddox Resource, the sustainable sneaker is made wholly with overstock material and recycled components like neoprene.

“The Maddox Resource is created from overstock material that would have otherwise gone unused by our team,” Kenneth Cole said in a statement. “More than 15 million tons of textile waste is generated in the United States alone each year, yet only 15 percent of that actually gets recycled. We are looking at ways to help change those statistics by designing more responsibly and this unique spin on our modern sneaker is one way to look good, for good.”

Kenneth Cole releases upcycled version of its Maddox Jogger sneaker, the Maddox Resource Jogger
The Maddox Resource can be composed of numerous, unique patterns formed from upcycled textile waste. Kenneth Cole

As a result of its upcycled production, each pair is unique as the overstock materials were not cut with a print layout in mind. Although this method was chosen as a way to optimize material yields, it also has the unintended effect of making sure that each and every pair of the Maddox Resource sold has the potential to be one-of-a-kind.

Every inch of the Maddox Resource is defined by its upcycled production, starting with outsoles packed with rubber grindings and discarded rice husk material to provide the fashion sneaker with sufficient bounce. Kenneth Cole said that discarded rice husks are currently an abundant waste material, making it a potentially valuable upcycling resource ideal for future large-scale productions.

And yes, even the laces of the Maddox Resource are composed of 100 percent recycled polyester.

“Recycled polyester lends to higher durability and saves energy,” Kenneth Cole said. “The neoprene and the laces’ yarn supplier are both Recycled Claim Standard Certified.”

The Maddox Resource will be available in limited quantities online and at the Kenneth Cole Bond + Bowery flagship for $225.