Adidas and Allbirds Team up to Design World’s Most Sustainable Shoe

The sportswear company and sustainability-focused Silicon Valley-based shoemaker are joining forces to create a high performance sneaker with the lowest possible carbon emissions. It’s an unusual partnership of two competitors in the fast-growing eco-friendly footwear space, with the aim of setting a new industry standard for sustainable sneakers.

“Today, the process of creating a carbon neutral performance product does not exist,” Vice President of Adidas Brand Strategy James Carnes said in an email. Adidas and allbirds Team up to design worlds most sustainable shoe.

“We intend to combine the innovation and technology our brands have developed to determine a way to create a performance shoe with the lowest carbon footprint and push the boundaries of today’s industry standards. We are aiming for zero.”

The goal, according to a statement from the two brands, is that by coming together, Adidas and Allbirds will have access to one another’s “suite of sustainable innovations,” allowing them to share ideas and collaborate on how to upend the supply chain and manufacturing process to make it more sustainable.

“There is an urgent need to reduce our global carbon number, and this mission is bigger than just Allbirds or Adidas,” says the co-CEO of Allbirds Tim Brown.

“Whether we realize it or not this is a race that we are all running together as a planet and it is one that trumps the day-to-day competition of individual companies.”

Allbirds is also largely known for everyday, “athleisure” sneakers, rather than performance sports shoes. The new partnership will combine its background in sustainability with Adidas’ expertise in performance footwear.

There’s a long road ahead to create a shoe with no carbon footprint.
Making a standard sneaker creates, on average, about 12.5 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, a common measurement for carbon footprint. Allbirds’ products average 7.6 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.

No official dates have been announced, but, given the task at hand, we’ll wait as long as it takes. In the meantime, rest easy knowing that the future of sustainable footwear is in good hands.

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