Putting these sakura-pink kicks on your feet will help put more cherry blossom trees in Japan’s tsunami-struck Tohoku region.

When companies are marketing something that’s meant to be cool and fashionable, they usually want to have a cool, fashionable name for not just the product, but even its color. So I wasn’t all that surprised when I heard the names that Converse came up with for its tie-up with Japanese textile maker Toyoshima.

In the above photo, the pair on the left is Blue Mallow (named after a type of herbal tea), and one in the middle is Drip Coffee, which both seem like the kind of things you’d sip on a weekend afternoon while sitting in your favorite cafe and wearing a pair of well-broken-in canvas sneakers. And of course, with this being Japan, the shoes on the far right aren’t “pink,” they’re “Sakura.”

Except, it turns out that that’s not just a flowery name, because Converse is actually using cherry blossoms to make those shoes.

Toyoshima has developed a pink-colored dye that’s made with actual sakura petals, and that dye is what gives the special Converses their color. And don’t worry, no sakura trees were harmed in the making of the shoes. Japan’s cherry blossom trees are bred to produce a vast quantity of petals that fall naturally from the trees in beautiful sakura fubuki (“cherry blossom blizzards”), and Toyoshima only uses petals that have already dropped from the branches.

Actually, buying a pair of Sakura Converses will increase the number of cherry blossom trees in Japan, as a portion of their sales will be donated to projects planting sakura trees in areas of Japan’s northeastern Tohoku region that had forests and vegetation washed away during the 2011 tsunami.

The sakura shoes are priced at 9,000 yen (US$83), as are the Drip Coffee and Blue Mallow versions (which use dye made from coffee grounds and blue herbal tea mixes, respectively), and go on sale in August through Toyoshima Food Textile online store.

Related: Food Textile
Source: PR Times via Japaaan

Images: PR Times
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