Allbirds and Adidas have announced an exciting new partnership. Image supplied.
In the spirit of togetherness footwear brands adidas and Allbirds have announced an exciting new collaborative project with the aim of accelerating solutions to reduce the 700M metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted by the footwear industry annually. The partnership will see the two brands innovate their manufacturing and supply chain processes and explore renewable material resources with the result being the lowest carbon footprint ever recorded for a sport performance shoe.
Fashion is traditionally an incredibly competitive industry and it’s unusual to see two rival brands collaborate in this way but to achieve this unprecedented goal, adidas and Allbirds will open the doors to each other’s suite of sustainable innovations. In doing so they’ll unlock the opportunity to set a new industry standard in the fight against climate change.
“Our brands don’t want to just participate in the sustainability conversation, we want to continue being catalysts and creators of substantial improvement,” says James Carnes, VP of adidas Brand Strategy. “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.”
“There is an urgent need to reduce our global carbon number, and this mission is bigger than just Allbirds or adidas,”says Tim Brown, co-CEO of Allbirds. “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.”
Everything on the planet has a carbon footprint and the production of a product emits carbon dioxide (along with other greenhouse gasses) that contributes to climate change but there are ways to reduce that. To create a product with the lowest carbon footprint possible, the collaboration will explore innovations across the entire supply chain–from material choices to manufacturing facilities and transportation methods that utilize renewable energy and fuels. Currently, the average running shoe has a carbon footprint of approximately 13.6 kg CO22 but with this new collaboration that could be greatly reduced which would be better for everyone.
“While we are prioritizing the planet, we’re staying committed to improving the athlete’s experience,” adds Carnes. “That means the end result should yield no compromises for athletes or the planet.”
The project between adidas and Allbirds aims to create an athletic shoe that meets adidas performance standards, which are among the most stringent in the industry while holding it to the highest standards of sustainablility. The shoe’s carbon footprint will be analyzed using Allbirds’s life cycle assessment tool, which measures the end-to-end carbon emissions and will determine the shoe’s success.
“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,” adds Brown. “This is a problem that won’t be solved by one company alone.”
Both companies have been working towards sustainability goals in their own ways with Adidas has committed to a 30% reduction in its carbon footprint by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 as part of its End Plastic Waste initiative. While Allbirds’s “Tread Lighter” program represents the brand’s ongoing practices to measure and reduce emissions across the entirety of the business, offsetting anything remaining to maintain a 100% carbon neutral business.
Together these two businesses have a great deal of resources and knowledge with their collaboration proving that working together is the way forward to solve the planet’s issues and create a better future for us all.