Sportswear brand adidas has teamed up with footwear company Allbirds to develop a sports performance shoe with the lowest ever carbon footprint.
Despite being competitors, the brands want the future of the footwear industry to be more about collaboration than 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,” said Tim Brown, co-founder and CEO of Allbirds.
The footwear industry emits 700 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide annually - the equivalent of 80,755,44 homes’ energy usage for one year. The partnership will work to reduce this number across manufacturing processes and through sustainable materials, as well as renewable energy and fuels in transportation.
Both brands have made commitments to reducing their carbon footprints in the past, with the End Plastic Waste initiative by adidas and Allbirds’ Tread Lighter programme. The adidas x Allbirds athletic shoe will be tested alongside adidas’ carbon footprint tools and Allbirds’ life cycle assessment tool, in addition to adidas’ strict performance standards.
“Our brands don’t want to just participate in the sustainability conversation, we want to continue being catalysts and creators of substantial improvement,” said James Carnes, VP of adidas Brand Strategy. “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,” added Brown.
By Rebecca Hitchon