Mercer Amsterdam has unveiled its first vegan sneaker, and it’s sourced from fruit.
In collaboration with Piñatex, the style uses leather alternative made from the leaves of the pineapple plant, which is a natural and sustainably sourced, cruelty-free material. The leaves, which are discarded from the pineapple harvest, are bought from farmers in the Philippines.
According to the Netherlands-based company, this is the first luxury sneaker brand using this type of leather-alternative material.
“We really wanted to focus on fruit because of the additional ‘wow’ factor. Nobody expects this and that’s what makes it cool,” founder Pim Dresen told FN. “We have been trying and testing for a long time to get it done with mango and strawberry leather but we could not get it right. Then we discovered Piñatex, which offered an amazing material ready to use, tested and all. Plus we love pineapple.”
As the importance of sustainability for consumers continues to be on the rise, more and more companies are taking cue.
With this iteration, Dresen wants to change the perception of what being vegan could look like in fashion. He said, “Being in the factories a lot I see and feel the need for a change. People need to know that there are very good alternatives for leather.”
Mercer Amsterdam, a New York City street style-inspired brand, used its popular W3RD (pronounced “weird”) silhouette for the launch of the vegan style. The retro runner takes cues from the ’90s.
The lining used for the W3RD Vegan Pineapple shoe is made a microfiber textile called OnSteam, which gives off the feeling of real leather but is 100 percent breathable. The material is made from an environmental point of view, using no real leather or damaging chemicals in the process.
The shoe will be available for preorder from March 18 to 31 on Merceramsterdam.com, retailing for €250 ($284). Deliveries will start at the end of April.
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