Text by Justin Ng | Photos courtesy of Veja
Rick Owens and Veja have teamed up for an eco-friendly sneaker capsule
The shoes consist of 45 percent bio-based materials including banana oil, sugarcane, rice husk, and natural rubber
Veja x Rick Owens sneaker in dust gray
Veja x Rick Owens sneaker in butter beige
Veja x Rick Owens sneaker in black
You don’t have to be wasteful to be a hypebeast. Too often, we see young hype prospects line themselves outside Kith at 6 a.m on a school day just to catch that elusive pair of lottery sneakers. But whether you’re reselling your Jordans or Yeezys at inordinate prices via Grailed, or simply waiting for the next trophy shoe to place in your shoe cabinet – never to be worn or touched – that shoe comes at a cost. Almost all sneakers are made of plastic, sometimes with as many as 20 different parts that make it almost impossible to separate and recycle. Designer Rick Owens knows this feeling well: His cult-coveted sneaker boots and high-tops have sold at record prices for over a decade, but he too realises the unhealthy consumption practices he’s been endorsing. That’s why he’s teaming up with French label Veja for a sneaker capsule that, while still hype in appearance, has a eco-conscious facet to it that teaches us all a valuable lesson on responsibility. While the two brands are on seemingly opposite ends of the shoe spectrum, Veja founders Sébastien Kopp and Ghislain Morillion and Owens have much to relate to. Namely, both Veja and Rick Owens do not operate on hype: While Owens dissociates himself from the influencer-driven, click-bait fashion system, Veja’s main focus is on the innovation and technology itself, sourcing all of its raw materials directly and building every step of its supply chain. In fact, both eschew traditional advertising (and in Veja’s case, any form of advertising). And while plenty of celebrities (from Meghan Markle, Emma Watson to Eddie Redmayne) have been spotted sporting Veja sneakers, the brand hasn't planned to capitalise on this any time soon. The end result is a shoe that focuses on the product: through Veja's sneaker technology that Kopp's team spent five years developing, the collaboration shoe is made up of 45 per cent bio-based materials including banana oil, sugarcane, rice husk, and natural rubber. Not to mention, they work just as well (if not better) as a pair of running sneakers that will have you humming across your morning jog with comfort and ease. A wise uncle of a friendly neighbourhood superhero once said, “With great power, comes great responsibility”. Rick Owens certainly endorses this message. Will you?


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