adidas allbirds collaboration
Photograph courtesy of Allbirds

Adidas and Allbirds Team Up to Create Running Shoe with Lowest Ever Carbon Footprint

Here's everything you need to know about the groundbreaking new collaboration.

German sportswear giant Adidas has today announced a collaboration with sustainable sneaker brand Allbirds that will see the pair bring together their expertise to create a sports trainer with the lowest ever carbon footprint.

The monumental undertaking will see both brands share their respective sustainable innovation resources with one another in an effort to create the world-first shoe. It’s no small feat, particularly when you consider that, according to recent research, the footwear industry produces 700 million metric tons of carbon dioxide every year. Broken down, that means that one pair of synthetic running shoes has a carbon footprint of between 11.3 and 16.7kg CO2 alone, according to Adidas.

In order to create a sports performance shoe with the lowest ever carbon footprint, the brands will reevaluate the manufacturing and supply chain processes (including facilities and transportation) and innovate where necessary, and explore renewable material resources. The goal is to create a shoe that measures up to Adidas’ strict performance standards for its athletes whilst achieving the best possible score via Allbird’s recently launched life cycle assessment tool which measures end-to-end carbon emissions. “While we are prioritizing the planet, we’re staying committed to improving the athlete’s experience,” James Carnes, the vice president of brand strategy at Adidas, said in a release. “That means the end result should yield no compromises for athletes or the planet.”

He added, “Our brands don’t want to just participate in the sustainability conversation, we want to continue being catalysts and creators of substantial improvement. The recent progress that our brands have made in the name of sustainable innovation has created the perfect momentum for this partnership to influence industry practices forever.”

Tim Brown, the CEO of Allbirds, also noted that the shared goal of carbon neutrality between the brands eliminated any sense of competition. “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. I am hopeful that this partnership will be an example for others to follow as we pursue a more sustainable, net zero carbon future.”

He continued, “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.”

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