Is the JJJJound x Adidas Samba 'Made in Germany' also manufactured in Vietnam?

JJJJound's Instagram story revealed a bit of a manufacturing origin discrepancy with their supposed German-made sneakers.

Street Style - Berlin - November, 2023
Street Style - Berlin - November, 2023 / Christian Vierig/GettyImages

Adidas and Montreal-based design studio JJJJound have come together to release a collaborative project with the timeless Adidas Samba silhouette. Advertised as having "A Special Story On Craftsmanship From Germany", the sneakers are of an "Off White/Core Black/Gum" color scheme and retail for USD 250 or CAD 330.

However, these shoes alleged a product of German ingenuity caught the eye of some very attentive social media users after JJJJound posted a photo on their Instagram story. In the said image, a disassembled pair of the collaborative sneakers are visible, but also readable in the shot is a little manufacturing tag that reads "made in Vietnam".

Are the expensive JJJJound x Adidas Sambas fooling consumers with its so-called 'Made in Germany' label?

For a sneaker that prides itself on representing its German factory roots, many found it quite odd for the expensive collab to also be made in a separate country. Clearing up the confusion with Complex, Adidas specified that the sneaker was crafted and finished in Scheinfeld, Germany, but also said "... components of the shoe are produced throughout the Adidas supply chain."

Adding to the mystery, there are no specific regulations regarding the amount of manufacturing that must occur in Germany for products labeled as being made there. This explains why the JJJJound x Adidas Samba can market itself as being German-made despite elements of the shoe coming by way of foreign production.

Another brand that found itself in hot water for a similar issue was New Balance and its line of "MADE in USA" products. The Boston-based footwear brand was flagged for a legal complaint by its customers who claimed they were coerced into thinking their American-made sneakers were 100% US-produced.

Adding in the fact the price tag associated with such sneakers was of a premium grade, New Balance was brought to court and a judge even denied their motion to dismiss the claim. It's not entirely clear to the consumer, but on the official New Balance website and on "MADE In USA" packaging, they state their products "contain a domestic value of 70% or more".

Whether you think they're deceiving consumers or not, the sneakers still cater to a particular niche of interest nonetheless, so it's probably not a big deal in their eyes. Unless you take them to court that is.

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