What Hellman's $1,352 Designer Shoe Collab Has To Do WIth Food Waste


For years, Hellman’s has leaned on a message of combating food waste.

The Unilever mayo brand has centered its Super Bowl ads around its “Make Taste, Not Waste” platform of transforming food waste into dishes making inventive use of leftovers with mayo. For Earth Day on April 22, the brand collaborated with Italy-based eco-friendly sneaker brand ID.Eight to find a different use for waste: sneakers. The 1352: Refreshed Sneakers, conceptualized and designed in collaboration with ID.Eight, were made from common food waste items including  corn, mushrooms, apples, and grapes, according to the brand, along with recycled materials.

Its name, meanwhile, also reflects the shoe’s astronomical price: $1,352. So why is a shoe made from waste and recycled material so expensive? Hellman’s priced the item to reflect the cost of food waste annually to the average household in Canada, where the campaign kicked off. According to a  2022 survey conducted by Hellman’s and the British organization Waste and Resources Action Programme, which reported the figure, around one in three consumers reported wasting the equivalent of a shopping bag of food per week (some of which, apparently, could be used to make sneakers).



To promote the 1352 sneaker, Hellman’s partnered with sneaker/streetwear influencer Romulus, emphasizing the prohibitive cost of the mayo brand’s “designer sneaker,” before revealing the message behind the number for Earth Day. It’s also giving fans a chance to snag the sneakers without the prohibitive price tag, launching a promotional sweepstakes with a charitable bent that runs through May 3. For every entry, Hellman’s has committed to donating an amount equivalent to 10 meals to Second Harvest, in support of the organization’s mission to reduce waste and rescue food otherwise thrown away.

“Hellmann’s has a longstanding history of taking the necessary steps to address, raise awareness, and reduce food waste,” Hellman’s Canada senior brand manager Harsh Pant, Sr. said in a statement. “With 1352: Refreshed Sneakers we’ve created a visual representation of Canadians’ food waste, aimed at sparking conversation and challenging consumers to take small steps to reducing that $1,352 amount of food that’s wasted each year.”

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