What does legacy mean to you? Often, we consider our legacies in terms of the future – something we leave behind to show that our lives have made an impact, improving circumstances for the next generation. Change, after all, is by definition an ongoing process; the old replaced by the new. Reebok’s latest campaign, #WriteYourLegacy, embodies this sentiment. Rather than getting stuck in the past and things we can’t alter, they want to encourage us to challenge the status quo and design the future we want to see. Whether we’re putting our voices towards a social movement, making more ethical shopping choices or taking up a scary new hobby, each day we’re slowly shaping our own legacies. It’s an empowering thought and one that we’ll be taking into the new year – a fresh start inspired by being the change that we want to see happen now.
As 2020 proved, our time frame is rapidly transforming. In every aspect of our lives, the pandemic has altered perspectives, invited reflection and shifted priorities. From the global to the local, making a difference in a few years no longer cuts it; now, it's all about those vital everyday decisions. Taking this idea of legacy into 2021, Refinery29 is teaming up with Reebok to bring you ‘Reebok Presents: #WriteYourLegacy’, a three-part Zoom series hosted by Refinery29’s Fashion Editor Georgia Murray, in conversation with major players from the worlds of sustainability, fashion and business. Each is dedicated to leaving you inspired to get working on designing your legacy now – not later.
At the heart of #WriteYourLegacy is Reebok’s newest sneaker, the [Ree]Cycled Classic Leather Legacy. Inspired by the past but designed with the future in mind – and a sustainable future at that – the Legacy is made with at least 30% recycled materials on the upper. It comes as part of Reebok’s sustainability initiative, a long-term and ongoing commitment upheld by two pillars: [REE]Cycled, which focuses on creating products using recycled materials, and [REE]Grow – manufacturing products with at least 50% plant based materials.
Design-wise, the inspiration for the Legacy can be traced back through the brand’s archives. A distinct hybrid of Reebok’s iconic Aztec shoe and the Classic Leather sneaker, complete with the Aztec’s bold Vector design and contrast side stripes and the Classic Leather’s exposed, logo-embossed tongue, the Legacy is itself a reflection on Reebok’s retro athletic roots. Bringing the brand full circle, it is a decidedly modern sneaker with a moulded 3D silhouette, 3M reflective details, a speed lacing system, statement rubber platform sole and colourways that fluctuate from neon orange to electric blue, acid green and lemon yellow. It's a colour palette that promises a brighter tomorrow for those bold enough to seize it.
Inspired by the concept of legacy, Reebok has partnered with three activists who are creating a more positive future to celebrate the launch of the Classic Leather Legacy sneaker.
Based across the world, each is a homegrown movement with a global vision; amplifying unheard voices and changing perspectives within their local communities. In Birmingham, RAAH. and their quarantine-friendly RAAH. fest are supporting young people, refugees and victims of human trafficking, using virtual community gatherings to bring together those who have come face-to-face with these real world problems and those who want to help. In Toronto, Canada, The Kickback are using sport, sneakers, art and community spirit to empower underserved youth, and in Seoul, South Korean artist Youngmin Kang is dedicated to transforming the stigma surrounding rubbish by creating beautiful, unique pieces of art out of waste plastic.
The idea of making a change can be scary but #WriteYourLegacy is all about being excited and emboldened by the change you can make, no matter how big or small. In fact, as Reebok and each of these activists prove, it’s in the small ways – committing to more sustainable practices, sharing stories, connecting people – that we make the biggest changes of all.
Through our ‘Reebok Presents: #WriteYourLegacy’ sessions, we hope to bring people together to spark some of these important conversations. Taking place over January, February and March 2021 and held as Zooms (which will later live on IGTV), we’ll be kicking things off with London-based, slow-fashion designer Lydia Bolton, talking all things sustainability and waste reuse.