Since 1988, the Doi Tung Development Project has been successful in transforming thousands of disadvantaged hilltribes in Northern Thailand into self-reliant as well as socially and environmentally responsible citizens. Once opium growers and drug traffickers, the local people now have various honest job opportunities under the DoiTung brand. DoiTung’s unique business model creates profits that nurture back to the community and revive the environment.
In 2019, DoiTung reached out to Onitsuka Tiger to form a partnership. Over the next 18 months, the Thai textile designers and the Japanese manufacturing team worked together to develop products that reflect the sustainability journey of both organizations. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the team continued to work tirelessly. The outcome is a handmade textile put together from spinning the thread into delicately woven fabrics. In comparison to machine-woven fabric, the fabric featured in these products is much softer, and the patterns more delicate.
This product encapsulates both uniquely Thai and uniquely Onitsuka Tiger qualities. Our mission was to create a product with a timeless design, durable and comfortable construction, which would be appreciated by the diverse peoples across the globe. All three global models are created through environmentally-conscious manufacturing processes, and sustainable materials.
The textile adopted for the three models used in this collaboration are based on patterns carefully selected from a range of traditional fabrics. The vibrant red and blue in this fabric are evocative of the tricolors featured in the Onitsuka Tiger Stripes.
The other two MEXICO 66 models, exclusively in Thailand, are in black fabric with Onitsuka Tiger Logo embroidered in one model and a tiger pattern in the other. The main monotone fabric of the shoe’s upper is carefully woven at DoiTung using 100% recycled PET thread from plastic bottles. The Thai-exclusive models have a monotone base, and featuring our logo on the border. The intricate tiger-patterned fabric compliments the effortlessly chic feel. Red and yellow on the sole are a nod to key colors for DoiTung and Onitsuka Tiger.
This collaboration combines Thai craftsmanship and Onitsuka Tiger’s iconic footwear, meaningful employment and positive social action. These unique new shoes represent both the culture and natural environment of Thailand as well as Thailand’s friendship with Japan. This collaboration creates sneakers with a tactile backstory, redefining the meaning of “cool” in today’s fashion.