Allbirds and adidas are joining forces to create a sports performance shoe with the lowest-ever carbon footprint by 2021. The brands aim to implement innovative manufacturing and supply-chain processes, and explore renewable material resources with the hope of setting a new standard in the industry.

James Carnes, VP of adidas brand strategy, states that the two brands “don’t want to just participate in the sustainability conversation, we want to continue being catalysts and creators of substantial improvement ... to influence industry practices forever."

Allbirds co-CEO Tim Brown adds, “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.”

Currently, the average running shoe carries a carbon footprint of approximately 13.6kg CO22. As we all should be well aware by now, production will always emit greenhouse gases — creating new products will never be good for the planet, but implementing new strategies (like adidas did with the Futurecraft.Loop, pictured above, for example) at least attempts to minimize the damage.

Touching on this, Brown adds, “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.”

adidas has committed to reducing its carbon footprint by 30 percent by 2030, with the aim of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050 as part of its End Plastic Waste initiative. Allbirds, meanwhile, will continue its “Tread Lighter” program, which also strives for total carbon neutrality.

Need help decoding the sustainability buzzwords? Head here.

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