Reformation has partnered with New Balance for a sustainable sneaker collaboration.
This marks the brand’s first sneaker collaboration. Last year, the brand collaborated with By Far and since then launched an 11-piece collection in May, followed by a second collection in Sept. Previous collaborations included lingerie with Cosabella; sweaters with La Ligne, as well as Dôen; prints with House of Hackney and kids’ clothing with Oeuf.
“The industry is in need of some serious systemic change and we want to be a part of solutions to clean up the industry, whether that’s helping to develop new closed-loop fibers, ensuring living wages for our factory workers or innovating more-efficient dye practices,” Yael Aflalo, founder and chief executive officer of Reformation told WWD.
The shoe collection comes in three styles and five colorways and leverages classic looks such as New Balance’s 574 and X-90 sneakers that are filtered through Reformation’s “effortless aesthetic,” in the words of Nicole Underwood, associate marketing manager of New Balance.
Post-consumer recycled polyester is used throughout, while inserts introduce a mixture of EVA foam and Bloom algae. As a sustainable alternative to petrochemical-only foams, Bloom is also used in the footbeds of outdoor shoe brands, Vivobarefoot and Sole. The tannery uses a chrome-free tanning method which received Gold status from the Leather Working Group.
Using eco-friendly materials and practices, the collection marks another example of a sustainable product collaboration that results in a flurry of media attention and consumer awareness, but only really matters if the companies involved are investing long-term in greening their supply chains.
Reformation is a 100-percent carbon, water and waste-neutral company. And its “mission is to bring sustainable fashion to everyone,” as Aflalo said. Collaboration is key, and Reformation won’t rest until it creates a more sustainable fashion community, one collaboration at a time.
“We also see opportunity in collaborating with like-minded brands and our suppliers to push for better and create innovative solutions,” said Aflalo.
As WWD reported this July, New Balance joined RE100 and signed the U.N. Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, which aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
New Balance is also a member of the ZDHC Foundation, of which competitor brands such as Adidas, Nike and Puma, are also members. The ZDHC is aimed at the global implementation of safer chemical management practices.
As for what practices New Balance is adopting in its supply chain, John Stokes, head of global sustainability, said; “We are working with factories and mills on energy efficiency, promoting better access to renewable energy, and working across the industry to identify a path forward to eliminate new coal from the supply chain.”
While no exact metrics were confirmed on the amount of recycled materials in its product lines, Stokes said that New Balance is working to drive change through highly strategic footwear models and high-volume foundational materials and components that are used across a range of products.
The collection is available for purchase from Reformation and New Balance (online only) later this month.
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