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Legendary tennis champion Roger Federer has recently launched his first tennis-inspired vegan sneaker. Partnering with Swiss footwear brand On, the new unisex tennis sneaker is made from vegan leather and is designed to be as lightweight as possible to reduce material consumption. Since its launch, the limited-edition shoes have already been sold out, with fans keenly waiting for a second round soon to be made available.
Called “The Roger”, the new vegan sneakers are a part of Federer and Zurich-based On’s collaboration dubbed “The Roger Centre Court 0-Series”. The shoes are made with animal-free leather, which in itself is less carbon-intensive to produce traditional cow’s leather and are cruelty-free as well.
“This new generation of tennis-inspired sneakers has been created with sustainability in mind,” said co-founder of On, David Allemann, who added that the vegan leather they used “has approximately 30% of the footprint of animal leather.”
It is also designed to minimise material consumption, weighing in at just one third of the weight of typical sneakers thanks to its lightweight Cloutec sole with a hidden “Speedboard” feature developed by On. According to the brand, the sole delivers “unrivalled cushioning” and helps return energy to the wearer to make each step feel light.
“The minimalist design and easy comfort of On’s shoes had me hooked years ago,” said Federer. “I wanted to infuse the tennis sneaker with the same lightness, comfort, and agility for every day.”
The tennis ace added that his new sneakers are proudly the “most comfortable tennis-inspired sneaker you will ever wear.”
The limited-edition shoe, retailed for US$249.99, was quickly sold out via an online raffle that closed a few days ago. On says that those keen to purchase a pair will have to wait for its next draw.
As consumers become increasingly conscious of their fashion choices, several sportswear brands have quickly begun to roll out plant-based, vegan-friendly and sustainable designs. Most recently, sportswear giant Adidas announced a partnership with eco footwear label Allbirds to create the “lowest ever carbon footprint shoe” for sports performance.
It follows Adidas’ pledge earlier this year that it will be using at least 50% recycled materials and plastic waste for all its products manufactured in 2020, and will be taking this figure to 100% recycled materials by 2024.
Last year, Reebok made public its first completely plant-based performance running shoe, which does not use any petroleum-based plastics and instead uses 100% natural plant materials such as eucalyptus, natural rubber and algae foam – making it both vegan and sustainable.
Nike, on the other hand, has hopped on the bandwagon by unveiling its new “Space Hippie” sneaker collection, featuring a range of vegan-friendly sneakers made using recycled waste, including plastic bottles and textile factory waste such as t-shirts and yarn scraps.
All images courtesy of On / Roger Federer.