Adidas said Friday (May 19) that it will begin selling its more than $1 billion worth of leftover Yeezy sneakers later this month, with the proceeds to be donated to various anti-racism groups.
The German sportswear brand said recipients will include the Anti-Defamation League, which fights antisemitism and other forms of discrimination, and the Philonise & Keeta Floyd Institute for Social Change, run by social justice advocate Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd.
“After careful consideration, we have decided to begin releasing some of the remaining Adidas Yeezy products,” said Adidas CEO Bjorn Gulden in a statement. “Selling and donating was the preferred option among all organizations and stakeholders we spoke to. There is no place in sport or society for hate of any kind and we remain committed to fighting against it.”
Yeezy products have been unavailable to shoppers since Adidas terminated its partnership with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, in October 2022 following his antisemitic comments on social media and in interviews.
The items to be sold include existing designs as well as designs that were in the works in 2022 for sale this year, Adidas said.
At Adidas’ annual shareholders meeting earlier this month, Gulden said the company had spent months trying to find solutions before deciding against destroying the items and to rather sell them to benefit various charities that were harmed by what Ye said.
The company said Friday that the move has no immediate impact on the company’s current financial guidance for 2023.