Adidas hasn’t really been associated with high fashion for the bulk of its existence, but that all changed when it linked up with Kanye West prior to the incredibly anticipated release of the “Yeezy Season 1” line in 2015.
That inaugural collection was home to a wide variety of military-inspired apparel, but the crown jewel was inarguably the shoe dubbed the “Yeezy Boost 750,” which became one of the hottest commodities in the sneaker game after the 9,000 pairs that were initially released sold out in less than an hour.
That marked the beginning of a number of collaborations with the man who turned the rap game on its head with The College Dropout, and both parties did very well for themselves thanks to a virtually insatiable consumer appetite for everything and everything Yeezy.
However, things came crashing down following Kanye’s well-documented downward spiral in 2022, which resulted in Adidas taking an estimated $250 million hit after cutting ties with its disgraced designer.
It turned out that sum was really just the tip of the iceberg, as Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden warned investors the massive stockpile of unsold Yeezy inventory the company was sitting on was the driving factor behind the $750 million in operating losses it faces in 2023.
Earlier this month, Gulden warned Adidas had still failed to find a satisfactory solution to a very pressing issue, but it appears the brand has finally figured out a potential strategy.
According to The Washington Post, Gulden shared the current plan during a shareholders meeting on Thursday where he confirmed Adidas considered destroying the unsold Yeezy merch but decided there were better options on the table (“Burning is not the solution”).
Instead, he said the goal is to sell the remaining apparel while supporting some worthy causes in the process:
“What we are trying to do over time is to sell parts of these goods and then donate to organizations that help us and that also have been hurt by Kanye’s statements.”
It’s worth noting Kanye’s contract with Adidas reportedly states he receives 15% of the proceeds of all wholesale transactions, although it’s currently unclear if that would be the case if the brand attempts to recoup its losses.