A good idea/A bad idea
Yesterday saw the release of the first 100% vegan adidas football boot through a collab (supposedly) between Paul Pogba and Stella McCartney. If we want to be diplomatic, the colourway of the boot can be described as polarizing. But while this splits opinion, the boot itself seems like a great idea. After all, a push towards vegan products means that the boot is accessible to more people and cruelty-free. Provided you are willing to pay the premium for them, of course. Despite this change, it does mean that adidas are admitting that none of their boots have ever been completely vegan.
For some people this is not an issue. But for others, like James of BootWizardBootReviews (who is vegan), this means that they have been unknowingly using boots with animal by-products. It must be quite frustrating to avoid leather boots for years, only to be completely undercut by adidas (and most likely, every other brand). Deciding to do something with the best of intentions and then be caught off guard by the market should not be surprising at this point, but here we are.
However, this is not just an issue for vegans. The non-vegan parts could possibly be collagen (skin, bone, tendon, etc.) that is used to make glue. While we typically think of horses being used to make glue, sometimes cattle, rabbits or even fish are used to make animal glue. I did some digging but could not figure out what kind of animal adidas uses for their animal adhesive. This is an issue because even if adidas even occasionally uses cow-based glue, that automatically means that these products could be off-limits for some Hindus or even some Buddhists as well. Of course, this will vary based on one’s personal beliefs, but it is not a good look.
There is the thought that adidas might only be doing these boots as a limited addition because of increased cost of using a non-animal based glue (if that is what has been changed) but if that is the case, it does make me wonder why the retail price of the boot is not that far off from the regular model. Maybe the process is more expensive for a vegan-friendly product. On the flip side, the more a material is used, the cheaper it becomes to produce over time. Well, supposedly.
Now, some of this argument depends on supposition about faiths and costs. However, for vegans this is understandably disappointing. Here adidas are openly admitting that none of their football boots have been completely vegan before. So, while adidas deserve some praise for coming up with this, questions like why it took this long to come up with this product, and why they did not do this from the launch of the Freak series still remain. It makes me wonder if they will be using vegan friendly materials for their boots from now on. Or maybe this is just a ploy to use star power and seem environmentally and animal-friendly for plus points, when it could be argued that this should be the bare minimum that all brands should be striving for in their non-leather products at this point.
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ALL PHOTOS CREDIT: SOCCERSHOPKAMO