Those YEEZY Foam Runners sure look stupid right? Right?! Or…?
We have to admit, while we can’t get behind and will likely never get behind the resurging popularity of Crocs, Kanye West’s attempt at a foam-based slip-on shoe is starting to win us over. Our reasoning isn’t because the Foam Runner will feature Adidas and YEEZY branding, that would be stupid. Rather, it’s the proposed manufacturing process that has caught our editorial eye.
Why? It all starts with algae.
Yesterday at the Fast Company Innovation Festival in Manhattan, Kanye West and YEEZY head sneaker designer Steven Smith hit the stage to talk about the future of YEEZY, which included the announcement that production would be moving from China to the United States at a new YEEZY headquarters in Wyoming. The 4,000-acre ranch (yes ranch) will have its own hydroponic farm to ensure West and his team see every element of the production process as they attempt to craft the YEEZY Foam Runner from algae.
“We’re going to be farming and going seed to sole,” said West. Cute.
The initiative’s goal is to help clean waterways in order to protect local wildlife and drinking water while significantly reducing the fossil fuel usage that is common during the production process of foam. West also mentioned that YEEZY Supply is in the process of seeking out alternatives to harmful dyes. So basically Kanye is bringing jobs to America and seems to have some growing environmental concerns, yet a lot of us are sitting here pretending his presidential ambitions are just Kanye being Kanye.
“Eco-concerns are intersecting with what we do, this is just the beginning of the future that Kanye envisioned for us to start working on,” said Smith.
Just how eco-conscious this shoe actually ends up being remains to be seen. As of now, it will only “partly” be made from algae. Still, it’s a start and YEEZY is a big brand, so this may usher some larger industry change — God knows Kanye has been a trendsetter before.
The YEEZY Foam Runner is set to drop sometime in 2020 for just $70 a pair.