San Francisco-based sneaker company Allbirds never backs down from a challenge. When the company was faced with the issue of petroleum-based and unsustainable sneaker soles, it regrouped and developed “SweetFoam,” the first EVA foam made from sugarcane. With the sneaker industry’s lack of sustainability at the forefront of the discussion, Allbirds has taken the issue head-on with the help of Adidas.
Allbirds announced an industry-shaking collaboration with the giant sneaker company in order to create a carbon-neutral sneaker. The sneaker has been in development for nearly a year and will “accelerate solutions to reduce the 700M metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted by the footwear industry annually.”
“There is an urgent need to reduce our global carbon number, and this mission is bigger than just Allbirds or Adidas. 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,” said Allbirds co-CEO, Tim Brown.
Adidas is matching their commitment: “Our brands don’t want to just participate in the sustainability conversation, we want to continue being catalysts and creators of substantial improvement,” CP of Brand Strategy for Adidas James Carnes said.
Per the press release, “the carbon footprint of a typical pair of running shoes made of synthetic materials is between 11.3 and 16.7 kg CO2.” This, of course, contributes to climate change. Now consider all of the shoes bought in your lifetime by you, your friends, family, co-workers, and so on. The carbon footprint begins to add up.
Adidas and Allbirds have created programs that are committed to carbon neutrality in the production of their products. Allbirds created its Tread Lighter program, which outlines their promise to measure and reduce emissions. Similarly, Adidas created the End Plastic Waste campaign to reduce their carbon footprint by 30% by 2030 and become entirely carbon neutral by 2050. In the near future, we will begin to see more and more footwear companies begin to tackle this problem.
“Our great hope is that this partnership will catalyze other people to share both their best ideas and research so that we can work together in the fight to live more sustainably. This is a problem that won’t be solved by one company alone, “ Brown said.
No official date has been announced for the drop, but the sneakerhead community excitedly waits for the newest trend in footwear.