Kanye’s latest Yeezy sneaker is made in part from algae as part of the brand’s move toward sustainability. Onstage at the Fast Company Innovation Festival today, West held up a pair of the new shoes and explained how the company is transforming, including making its products in the U.S. and moving its headquarters to a 4,000-acre ranch in Wyoming, where it will have its own hydroponic farm
“We’re going to be farming and going seed to sole,” West told the audience. The brand wanted to have its own farm so that it “could see every element,” he says. That includes the materials used for the shoes: By making foam from algae, the company can help clean waterways to protect wildlife and drinking water, and it can avoid using the fossil fuels typically used to make foam. West says the company is also exploring alternatives to harmful dyes. The shoes themselves were made in Atlanta.
“Eco-concerns are intersecting with what we do,” Steven Smith, the head designer at Yeezy, told the audience. “This is just the beginning of the future that Kanye envisioned for us to start working on.”