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Brief Published: 3 Jun 2020

Adidas & Allbirds Join Forces to Develop Sustainable Sneaker


Adidas and US footwear start-up Allbirds are pooling their resources to create a sustainable high-performance sneaker with the lowest carbon footprint of any shoe on the market.

Due for release in 2021, the aim is to create a shoe with a carbon footprint of just 2kg by rethinking manufacturing and distribution methods. According to Allbirds, the average carbon footprint of its existing products is 7.6kg, compared to 12kg for a standard sneaker.

Allbirds has focused on sustainability since its inception, becoming the first fashion brand to add carbon footprint labels across all its products in April 2020. Meanwhile, Adidas has long worked with British designer Stella McCartney on sustainable lines, as well as with US-based non-profit Parley on products made from recycled ocean plastics. 

While Adidas’s eco investigations have mainly been concerned with finding sustainable and recycled material alternatives, Allbirds has started to address wider issues, such as the carbon emissions caused by transport and distribution.

The collaboration is of particular note as Adidas and Allbirds are technically competitors in this category. Sharing knowledge opens up the possibility of achieving their sustainability goals far more quickly than they would going it alone – emphasising the need for brands to prioritise sustainability on a larger scale if any real changes are to be made.

For more on sustainability initiatives in the fashion industry, see our latest Sustainability Round-Up and our Spotlight report Sustainable Fashion: A How-To Guide. For more on this type of progressive collaboration, see Luxury Fashion’s Open-Source Thinking.