As a result of Adidas discontinuing its association with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, Okabashi, an Adidas manufacturing partner and family-owned footwear business in Buford, Georgia, laid off 142 employees.
“At this time, there aren’t enough orders to keep everyone employed. Sadly, according to the announcement, Okabashi is announcing the immediate layoff of 142 employees. A corporate spokeswoman told CNN that two-thirds of the company’s staff were affected.
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Following the musician’s infamous antisemitic outburst last month, Adidas (ADDDF) severed ties with him. The sportswear manufacturer said his recent statements were “unacceptable, vile, and dangerous,” adding that it “does not condone antisemitism and any other type of hate speech.”
Three possible consequences for Yeezy clothing are obliterating rebrand and exporting. Payments to Ye and his businesses and sales of goods bearing the Yeezy brand have ceased. The statement read, “Adidas plainly does not condone hate speech, and Okabashi likewise stands for these principles.”
Our sector specialist Cristina Sabaiduc spoke with @_bella_webb @voguebusiness about the best sustainability options for brands like @adidas and @Gap when left with unsold stock https://t.co/PHmD4K8LyI #textiles2030
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The company stated, “Unfortunately, this means Okabashi must halt its current production for Adidas.” According to the firm’s statement sent to CNN, Okabashi has been a U.S. footwear contract manufacturing partner for Adidas Yeezy items since April 2020.
To offer assistance and alternative work options for the affected team members, the company is “coordinating with local government authorities and manufacturers,” it stated. According to the shoe manufacturer, employees who are laid off will receive severance and extended healthcare coverage.
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Okabashi will continue to make its own branded products and is looking for further cooperation prospects as one of the last 1% of American shoe manufacturers, according to the statement. According to the company website, Okabashi, which has been in business since 1984, produces sandals that “are constructed of roughly 25% recycled materials.”
The alternatives for handling unsold Yeezy merchandise provide significant difficulties. Destruction or disposal of unsold goods influences the environment. High environmental costs are already associated with producing clothing and other goods, including increased water use, water contamination, and textile waste. Standard practices for removing unwanted clothing, like burning it in an incinerator, often worsen matters.
Georgia-based shoe manufacturer announces it is laying off 142 workers — representing two-thirds of its workforce — in the wake of Kanye West’s split with Adidashttps://t.co/drbslociv8
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) November 3, 2022
Rebranding products to mask the issue is another industry standard strategy, according to experts. It entails getting rid of or hiding the emblem of the struggling brand. Rebranding the Yeezy line of products might not be successful, according to Burt Flickinger, managing director of the retail consultancy Strategic Resource Group and a retail specialist.
Foreign markets are the most likely place for unwanted Yeezy products, as they are frequently the answer for problematic goods. A standard industry fallback is to ship the goods overseas to nations in need and where a product’s durability matters more than its brand or fashion.