Afew Goods, the independent clothing label by German sneaker and streetwear store AFEW, has a clear vision on the impact it wants to make in the apparel and footwear industry. The label wants to step beyond the typical collaborations the store has expertly done since its opening in 2008 and make a positive influence not only on its customer base, but more importantly the planet. The result is the brand’s very first sneaker created from scratch called the Yamasura.
The Yamasura is an Earth-friendly sneaker that is handcrafted in Portugal with vegan and eco-conscious design aspects, such as a BLOOM algae EVA midsole, recycled PU insoles, as well as synthetic suede, nubuck and mesh panels throughout the upper.
“With the Afew Goods Project we want to bring together the worlds of streetwear and sustainability,” the label states on its site regarding the overall apparel line. “We are well aware that we are part of the ecological problem that the fashion industry has caused. But we rather try to find a better solution, than to just witness.”
Afew Goods’ approach centers around being more conscientious and transparent throughout the full design and production process. A dedicated microsite that includes a full materials cost breakdown and developmental video outlines the behind-the-scenes of creating the inaugural sneaker.
The first Yamasura comes in a “Soil” colorway as a direct reference to the materials used in the sneaker and the start of where Afew Goods believes the future of design lays. The materials that go into the sneaker are just as important as the design itself. “It’s our symbol of the base for everything that will be coming in the future, which everything is built on,” said AFEW co-founder Marco Biergen when describing the Yamasura.
Inspired by the ’80s and ’90s kicks sneakerheads have come to love, much of the Yamasura silhouette feels familiar allowing for a sustainably-focused shoe to fit right into everyday outfits. Additionally, design cues of the shoe’s midsole are a direct nod to the twin side radiators of the iconic Ferrari Testarossa. But more impressively, the midsole itself is made from a special EVA mixture sourced from algae by the company BLOOM, an innovation recently seen in the sustainable Rebook Forever Floatride GROW running shoe.
Just as Afew Goods did not want to make another collaborative shoe with yet another footwear brand, it was important for the brand to develop all elements of the Yamasura themselves. “When we started developing the shoe, we decided pretty quickly, that we did not want to use an already existing generic sole but create the design from scratch instead,” the brand says.
The Yamasura’s efforts don’t stop at the shoe itself. Much like AFEW’s past sneaker collabs, packaging is highly considered, giving a glimpse of the design process as a sketch pattern found inside the box and on the tissue paper. The box is produced in Portugal like the shoe and crafted using 100% recycled FSC-certified paper.
This is only the beginning for Afew Goods, a team set to change the ways of independent brands from the ground up. Although the label wasn’t able to create a fully sustainable, recyclable, or biodegradable shoe, it’s the push to achieve that feat that’s important. It’s a goal even the biggest sportswear brands continue to work towards. So you can certainly expect to see exciting progress from the brand in the near future.
“It’s very important to be honest with ourselves and our customers. The sneaker has lots of innovative and sustainable elements already, and we’re super proud of that,” said Afew Goods co-founder Andrew Biergen. “But we need to develop it further to be able to say that the sneaker is 100% sustainable, which right now it isn’t.”
The Afew Goods Yamasura is currently available via raffle and will be released on July 31 for €209.95 EUR (approximately $250 USD) in store and online at afew-store.com. Learn more about the design and production process behind the sneaker at afew-goods.com.
Elsewhere in footwear, Jaden Smith and New Balance are dropping a color, vegan-friendly sneaker pack this weekend.