The Rick Owens x Veja Collab Is The Year's Most Sustainable Flex So Far

18 February 2020
Fashion, Rick Owens, Veja, Collaboration, Sustainability, Footwear, Sneakers, Menswear
Images: Courtesy of Veja
With materials such as recycled plastic and natural rubber, this collaboration is pushing for sustainable footwear options that are as sartorially savvy as they are ethical

With the current state of the climate crisis, consumers are becoming increasingly cautious about their fashion choices and the ethics behind their design. As fast fashion has come to be avoided, largely due to its contribution to micro-plastics in the ocean and the fact that 85 per cent of all textiles end up in landfill (something that increases when garments are poorly constructed), designers are well aware of the responsibility they have both on a personal level and for consumers, with the need to deliver sustainable fashion choices.

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That’s largely the mission of Rick Owens and Veja. Owens is a name that’s well known, with the designer’s sneakers and high-tops being some of the most coveted on the sneaker market. Similarly, Veja has established itself as one of the leading brands when it comes to sustainable sneaker models. When you consider the fact that almost all sneakers are made of plastic, many of which are impossible to recycle due to the various different parts that can’t be separated in the silhouette, the ethos behind the Veja and Rick Owens collaboration has never been more important.

In September the pair first debuted a collaboration that put sustainability on the map, with materials like banana oil, sugarcane, rice husk and natural rubber being used. Now, fans of the collaborative pairing will be pleased to know that Rick Owens and Veja have teamed up yet again for the release of two new sneakers, each with its own sustainable elements.

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The first sneaker builds upon the precedent set by Owens and Veja back with their first collaborative Fall/Winter 2019 V-Knit sneaker, which turned heads when it first debuted on the runway in Rick Owens’s Fall/Winter 2019 men’s show. The silhouette features details made from vegetable castor oil, while the upper is made from a wool knit, which many will know to be a natural antimicrobial material. In addition to these sustainable features, the insole and outsole are made from a combination of natural materials, recycled plastic bottles and natural rubber from the Amazon. Currently, the model is available in a beige colourway, as well as grey and black.

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As for the second sneaker, Owens and Veja have created a sneaker with a distinctive hiking style, and developed it for wear on rough, uneven terrain and natural elements. Labelled the “Venturi” silhouette, the hiking-inspired sneaker is made from corn waste turned into a leather-like material, a decision that allowed the designers to cut back on petroleum-based materials. Like the runner, the vegan hiking style has an insole and outsole both made from recycled bottles and natural rubber.

This sneaker is available in a black or white colourway, retailing for $255 USD, while the runner retails for $290 USD. Purchases can be made on the Rick Owens or Veja website.

Looking to get your hands on a pair of earth-friendly kicks? Check out our guide to the sustainable sneaker brands you need to know about.


Via GQ Australia