Futurecraft.Footprint: Adidas X Allbirds Unveil ‘Lowest Ever Carbon Footprint’ Performance Shoe

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Reports of global sportswear behemoth Adidas and sustainable shoe company Allbirds working together to develop a near-zero carbon footprint shoe dominated last year and now the wait is over, as the sportswear giant and the sustainable fashion upstart have partnered on a running sports shoe dubbed Futurecraft.Footprint, which boasts a carbon footprint of 2.94kg CO2, which they claim is the lowest carbon footprint ever recorded for a shoe.

The footwear industry alone emits 700 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, and the Adidas X Allbirds’ collaboration is an effort to bring this number way down and create environmentally shoes that are better for the planet as well as for the people.

For 12-months, the duo worked to change their manufacturing and supply chain techniques to create a low carbon footprint shoe and decided to transform its Tier 1 factories’ energy into using renewables, neutralized its shipping emissions and used less air in its packaging leading to overall less weight.

The result is the unveiling of the Futurecraft.Footprint with a carbon footprint of 2.94kg CO2e that is calculated analyzing the total amount of GHGs utilised in producing the shoe.

When compared to a traditional running shoe that produces about 12.5 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions as calculated by Allbirds along with another MIT study that found that a “typical pair of running shoes” produce “30 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions,” the shoe from this collaboration can be considered as the ‘world’s lowest ever carbon footprint’ shoe with Adidas going one step forward and stating that the new pair has 63% fewer emissions than its own Adizero RC3 sneaker.

Based on Adidas’ proprietary performance cushioning tech like its Lightstrike midsole, the shoe is made of a compound that utilizes Allbirds’ sugarcane-based SweetFoam lending a low-carbon natural component to the footwear. In addition, the upper material is created with 70% recycled polyester and 30% natural Tencel, a material developed out of wood pulp that provides a lightweight upper built for high performance.

In a press release, executive board member of global brands at Adidas, Brian Grevy, said: “By truly co-creating and providing each other with open access to knowledge and resources — such as Allbirds’ knowledge of carbon calculation and experience with natural materials, and Adidas’ capabilities in manufacturing and performance footwear — this is a call to action for other brands, and a milestone in the sports industry achieving carbon neutrality.”

By truly co-creating and providing each other with open access to knowledge and resources, this is a call to action for other brands, and a milestone in the sports industry achieving carbon neutrality

Brian Grevy, executive board member of global brands, Adidas

According to Adidas, an initial launch will see 100 pairs be dropped by way of raffles for its Creators Club members, with a larger release slated later this year of 10,000 pairs with a much widespread release expected to start by spring 2022.

The Futurecraft.Footprint is a part of Adidas’s own Futurecraft line that employs alternative innovations and technologies that change the way sportswear has been produced and consumed with other projects like one that combines 3D printing with robotic automation, and another which is a recyclable Loop initiative.

In other news, Allbirds recently open-sourced its version of a carbon footprint calculator that can be found at FreeTheFootprint.com for the entire fashion industry in an effort to reduce the overall carbon footprint it produces and even encouraged the sector to use carbon footprint labels for its products.

In addition, it has joined forces with Clean Agency, an environmental consultancy company to calculate the environmental impact of each of its products from the raw materials used to the end of life with consumers able to access all this data online promoting transparency and sustainability in the fashion industry.


Lead image courtesy of Adidas.


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