Musician and entrepreneur Kanye West unveiled plans to make production of his Yeezy shoe brand more sustainable and to bring its manufacturing to America. He also hinted at moving away from harmful dyes prevalent in the textile industry.
“Within the next two years, our goal is to bring manufacturing back to America,” he told an audience at the Fast Company Innovation Festival in New York on Thursday.
Synthetic dyeing from the textile industry is estimated to contribute up to 20% of global industrial water pollution, according to World Bank data.
“Yeezy is going into innovation.”
“Our color is a big signature of the brand, but also dyeing is one of the things that is impacting the planet in the fashion industry,” the 42-year-old rapper said.
Over the summer, West shared details about a biodegradable sneaker made of algae.
West began collaborating with Adidas in 2013, after his partnership with Nike fell apart. Adidas declined to comment for this story.
- Adidas said yesterday that third-quarter sales were restrained in part by slow growth in the Yeezy franchise, according to Reuters.
- Although Kanye referred to himself as a billionaire at the Fast Company event, his net worth is estimated at $240 million by Forbes.
- In a wide-ranging discussion in which West called his Yeezy brand the “Apple of retail,” the businessman also mentioned other ways he’s looking to make production more local, bringing manufacturing to Wyoming, turning to farming and employing the incarcerated population. Earlier this year, he donated $1 million to prison reform charities.
- “Yeezy is going into innovation,” West said.