Here we are in the year 2022, still manufacturing too much stuff that we don’t know what to do with once it’s no longer usable. Instead of pushing the “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra on individual consumers, we need the companies that make this stuff to take responsibility for the entire lifecycle of their products. But is turning sex toys into sneakers taking that idea a bit too far? Certainly not when they’re unused. Streetwear fashion brand Rose in Good Faith has partnered with sex toy manufacturer Doc Johnson to create the Plastic Soul sneaker, which is made almost entirely from damaged and defective adult toys.
Rose in Good Faith co-founder and CEO David Teitelbaum wanted the brand’s first sneaker to be an attention-grabber, just like the rest of their edgy luxury offerings. Rose in Good Faith built its cult following by celebrating culture through an authentic lens and taking risks. Teitelbaum and co-founder Akiva Alpert knew they wanted the shoe to be sustainable, and that the sex toy angle would ramp up excitement about the design. The brand spent nearly two years working on a process that could turn sex toys that didn’t meet Doc Johnson’s quality standards into a truly wearable shoe.
“When we started the design process, I wanted to create something that was both timeless and exceptionally useful,” Teitelbaum told Paper. “Turns out, we produced a shoe that’s more comfortable than any shoe on the market, and just like our collaborations, the piece tells a story. We hope the shoe will transcend time and inspire a new perspective on upcycling.”
The process grinds the former sex toys into tiny millimeter-sized chunks of thermoplastic elastomer mixed with non-bleach EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) foam, which is then injection-molded into the shape of the shoe. The Plastic Soul is a single-piece slip-on white shoe that sort of resembles an elevated, more stylish high-fashion version of Crocs.
“We are so proud of this partnership with Rose In Good Faith to promote sex positivity through fashion and innovation,” says Doc Johnson’s COO Chad Braverman. “It was important to us that we create a shoe that was conscious of environmental impact, which is why we are beyond thrilled to make these using our upcycled sex toy materials. We can’t wait to get these out in the world as part of our global movement to de-stigmatize sexual health and wellness.”
Perhaps some consumers will immediately be turned off by the idea of wearing former sex toys on their feet. But Rose in Good Faith is betting that it’ll be a selling point for their youthful clientele, who care about the environment just as much as they care about looking cool. “We are intersected between our community of hyper-progressive individuals and the broader luxury-fashion industry,” Alpert told Forbes. “You’ll see our fits worn in the mosh pit of a trap-metal show and in the streets during Paris Fashion week.“
Rose in Good Faith’s previous collaborations have included a six-piece luxury collection reviving 90s cult classic JNCO jeans as a series of bright baggy unisex garments, an Ed Hardy collection targeting early-aughts nostalgia, and a Greenpeace-themed capsule collection in partnership with the estate of late rapper Lil Peep.