Apr 09, 2023
by Karl Smith
The adidas Superstar and Stan Smith Get a Double-Header Hemp Overhaul
by Karl Smith
Apr 09, 2023

And here we go: the Earth Day rollout begins in earnest. A slow parade of semi-new products and cursory collaborations created for the sole purpose of telling us just how much a brand loves the planet. But, questions about the impact of extra (read: unnecessary) production aside, Earth day releases do have something to offer – amongst the crowd, there’s a glimpse of what could be possible if this same philosophy were applied across the board, year-round.

And so it goes with the first official Earth Day entry from adidas – though, it has to be said, the brand has heavily upped its Earth-friendlier offering of late, working with third parties like Parley For The Oceans on multiple projects.

A double-header of reworked adidas staples, the Earth Day offering sees both the Stan Smith and Superstar given the increasingly popular treatment of a hemp overhaul to the upper.

Accented by red, green and yellow heel-tab crochet work, which adidas describes as a nod to “the counterculture movement of the ’70s that inspired generational change,” the Stan Smith effectively retains its Stan Smith-ness in most respects. There’s no change to the basics form of the silhouette, although the inherent natural quality of the hemp upper and organic cotton laces do soften the sneaker’s structure a little – particularly when combined with the off-white (or, “Chalk White / Wonder White”) coloration.

The Superstar follows much the same model – including a premium-feel TENCEL™ Lyocell lining, and natural rubber outsole – with a few notable differences in terms of aesthetics.

Instead of the heel tab, crochet work is applied to the Superstar’s large-scale three-stripes branding at the outer – a more eye catching detail than the Stan Smith version. The overall colorway, too, has a little more going on: coming in “Bliss / Magic Beige / Cream White,” the reworked sneaker is afforded a sense of depth through darker accents to the heel, inward-facing three-stripes, and lining.

As far as entries into the Earth Day canon go, these eco-revitalized classics are up there with the better offerings; there’s no last-minute addition of animal-based product to lend a “luxury feel” and both shoes claim a minimum of 50% hemp.

Whilst the question of whether they need to exist at all still begs more consideration, in terms of footwear that adidas describes as “part of [its] journey to design out finite resources and help end plastic waste,” this double-release ticks most of those boxes.

Priced at £110 and £90 GBP respectively, the Earth Day iterations of the adidas Superstar and Stan Smith sneakers are available now, via the brand’s online store and in selected physical retailers for EU and UK consumers.