Popular gaming and lifestyle brand Razer has partnered with sustainable shoe brand Cariuma to release sneakers as part of its 'Go Green' initiative, specifically to help reach its goal of saving 1 million trees.
Cariuma is a sneaker brand dedicated to only using sustainable materials, and maintaining ethical operations and manufacturing that have similar reforestation goals in mind; ideals that make them the perfector collaborator in Razers' long-standing objective. For every pair of shoes sold, both Razer and Cariuma have pledged to save 10 trees through an existing partnership Razer has with the charity Conservation International.
Razer has created several sustainability pledges in recent years as part of its #GoGreenWithRazer initiative that has seen the release of product lines designed to raise awareness about global issues, alongside public partnerships with eco-friendly brands to try and help resolve them.
One such previous example is Razer's work with ClearBot, the marine trash cleaning robot, as well as its line of Kanagawa Wave apparel made of fabric comprised entirely of marine plastics recovered from beaches.
While they don't feature the iconic Razer RGB Chroma lighting, the Cariuma shoes come in either hi-top or low-top styles with two different color options available. The shoe is completely made from GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified cotton and a natural rubber sole, and all four variations feature Razer's sustainability mascot 'Sneki Snek', a character that has prominently appeared on official merch throughout the 'Sssave The Trees' campaign.
The low-top variant of the sneaker retails for $89 (around £65 / AU$125) while the hi-top style is priced at $98 (around £75 / AU$140). Currently, the goal counter sits at just over 900,000 trees saved, with hopes that numbers will pass the 1 million mark by the program's anniversary in March 2022.
Opinion: I'm glad someone is shouting about this
I've spoken rather candidly about my own 'eco-anxiety' and the effect that modern human life is having on our planet, so while I appreciate that criticism will be found regardless, I'm soothed by the fact that some companies are really making a big deal out of trying to do better.
Razer is hardly going to fix the world, but it certainly shouts louder about sustainability than many other gaming and lifestyle brands with a similar community platform, and having interviewed senior representatives previously about its intentions, the efforts do feel genuine.
Product releases for charity drives and sustainability goals are nothing new as while it would certainly make more sense for plain old cash to be donated directly to the goal, people at home prefer to get something in return for their investment.
At the very least, Razer is using its large public platform to keep its fans educated on ecological matters so that even if gamers aren't buying any of the merchandise, they become more educated on the issues surrounding our environment. It's not perfect, but in a world where it feels like most companies are content doing nothing, I'm pleased that tech brands like Razer are dedicated to trying to do some good.
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Jess is a former TechRadar Computing writer, where she covered all aspects of Mac and PC hardware, including PC gaming and peripherals. She has been interviewed as an industry expert for the BBC, and while her educational background was in prosthetics and model-making, her true love is in tech and she has built numerous desktop computers over the last 10 years for gaming and content creation. Jess is now a journalist at The Verge.