Okabashi Brands, a Georgia-based shoe company and Adidas partner, has laid off 142 workers after Yeezy shoes stopped being produced, the company announced Friday.
Adidas cut ties with Yeezy creator Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, in light of Mr. West’s anti-Semitic social media posts and media appearances. As such, sales and production of Yeezy shoes have stopped, as have payments to Ye and his companies.
“Adidas clearly does not tolerate hate speech and Okabashi also stands for these values. Unfortunately, this means Okabashi has to stop its current production for Adidas. As of right now there are not enough orders to keep all employees busy with work,” Okabashi said in a statement to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The laid-off employees represent two-thirds of Okabashi’s workforce. The company’s Georgia plant had been a partner manufacturer for Adidas Yeezy Foam Runner shoes since April 2020.
Those laid off will be afforded extended health care coverage and severance. Fifty-eight workers remain at the plant, which opened in 1984 and is one of the 1% of shoe manufacturers based in the U.S., according to website Footwear News.