Eric Liedtke, former Adidas executive, is launching his own sustainable, Zero Waste streetwear brand.
Every year, over 100 billion garments go from manufacturers to consumers, which makes up around 14 clothing items per person on this planet [source]. From that 100 billion, millions of garments end up in landfills, where most fabrics either never decompose or take years. And that is just part of the problem; the fashion industry is also responsible for over 8% of total global greenhouse gas emissions [source]. In addition, most manufacturing processes use chemical dyes that intensify water pollution.
Adidas’ former executive, Liedtke, has decided to take the matter into his own hands. Responsible for partnering Adidas with celebrities like Beyonce and Kanye West, Liedtke has a reputation for building sustainable brands. And it appears that he’s bringing that knowledge and experience to create a Zero Waste streetwear that would potentially outlast any of the brand campaigns he’s ever built.
Liedtke’s new Zero Plastic Fashion seeks to tackle the ongoing issue of Polyester Lace clothing that ends up in landfills every year, adding to the growing land pollution. Since a polyester shirt can take up to 20 – 200 years to properly decompose [source], there’s a need for a quick solution. And that is to replace polyester with organic materials that decompose far more quickly.
Liedtke is currently on the Parley For The Ocean’s steering committee, a non-profit organization that works with big fashion brands to encourage the production of products made from recyclable marine plastic. According to Liedtke, a fashion that doesn’t use fossil fuels and decomposes quickly is the “Holy Grail ” for the future of fashion. “We are trying to build the next Supreme or Yeezy, but from a sustainable perspective,” Liedtke said in an interview.
Leading with the tagline, “Don’t Feel Bad”, Liedtke wants to address the waste concerns rather than just greenwashing the products. The Zero Waste brand will include hoodies, shirts, and t-shirts made from organic wood pulp materials including Tencel and cotton, and will use sustainable materials to replace plastic buttons. The venture is backed by Connect Ventures and is co-founded by Paul Gaudio, a former creative director at Adidas.
The Zero Waste will have its first drop this fall and will include flannel overshirts, graphic t-shirts, and hoodies designed as a collaboration between local artists and businesses in Portland, Oregon. Liedtke has plans to launch sustainable footwear that can minimize the synthetic materials used as glue and soles in conventional footwear.
Regarding the footwear plans, Liedtke said in a statement, “No one is doing that because we have to innovate the entire supply chain. I’m a free agent, so I can go out and try to create these things, try and die.”
Many big brands have taken sustainability initiatives in the past few years, including Allbirds’ sustainable activewear and PANGAIA’s sustainable materials. With Liedtke jumping on the sustainability bandwagon, we can only expect a positive change in fashion.