Professional skater Kenny Anderson partnered with shoe brand Converse to release a new vegan skate shoe and apparel line earlier this month. The “Cons X Chocolate Kenny” collection includes cotton apparel and three unisex, classic Chuck Taylor shoe styles made from recycled canvas and animal-free glue that feature organic cotton laces. The athlete hosted launch parties for the line in Los Angeles and in Paris, at which he insisted vegan food was served. “I am not vegan by default,” Anderson tells VegNews. “I am vegan for very strong reasons.” After being a vegetarian for six years, the skating champ went vegan more than three years ago after discovering the environmental impact of eating animals and a desire to be more compassionately connected to the world around him. “I want animals to live and die naturally,” Anderson says. “We can give more to this earth than we take.” Anderson hopes his new Converse line sparks an ongoing conversation regarding the use of animal products for athletic wear among skaters and shoe brands. “It’s all a part of aligning my actions with my values,” Anderson says. “It was important for me to not have my signature on any product that is against what I believe in.” Anderson has several vegan projects in the works and will be a featured speaker at the second annual vegan festival Circle V—founded by musician/animal activist Moby with performances this year by Waka Flocka Flame, Reggie Watts, and DREAMCAR—in Los Angeles in November.