Jaden Smith Launches First Vegan New Balance Sneaker

The 22-year-old is known for environmental and social activism and he has again delivered. Jaden Smith has launched his first unisex sneaker made from vegan leather and is a reflection of the actor’s passion for sustainable fashion. Smith collaborated with the footwear brand New Balance to creat The NB for Jaden Smith Vision Racer. The sneakers are inspired by Smith’s favorite New Balance designs, the X-Racer and 1700. The kicks were designed to reflection his “unique, bold, fashion-forward aesthetic.”

They’re made from partially recycled materials for sustainability and have a chunky thick bottom with an over-sized midsole made from reground EVA foam and recycled foam, castor bean oil and virgin polyurethane all make up the insoles. Smith and New Balanced first partnered up in 2017 when he became the brand’s official ambassador. This is the first product the two have worked on together. While working on the new sneakers, the brand said Smith had a hands-on approach to working with New Balances to create a new silhouette and while learning about the creation process from design and development to manufacturing and supply chain logistics.

Getty Images/Entertainment/Noam Galai

New Balances has commented on Jaden’s passion for sustainability and progressive fashion. Also, his appreciations for New Balance classics didn’t hurt either! “Shared values of transforming the status quo; staying true to oneself; giving back to community; and, respecting heritage while co-authoring a distinct future, are the foundation of the relationship between New Balance and Jaden Smith,” said Chris Davis, New Balance Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President of Merchandising. The new shoes, the Vision Racer, will launch in a Wavy Baby Blue colorway with additional colors being added throughout the year. The sneakers will retail for $150 and will be available to buy on the company’s website and in select stores on July 24.

This isn’t the first time Jaden Smith has taken on projects in an effort to aid environmental causes. In 2015, parents Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith helped found JUST Water. The company sells responsibly sourced water from upstate New York and packaged in a bottle made of 82% renewable resources. Smith was motivated to make a difference and to create a company that replaced all those single-use plastic bottles with something more sustainable. “I knew that it was going to be really hard to create, like, a new soda. And I knew that the recipe for water all over the world is pretty much the same and it was going to be a lot easier to create a new water bottle company than a soda company,” Smith told Fast Company in an interview. “And that’s what I wanted to do, and I was like, 12 years old.”

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