Allbirds will 'rethink supply chain' for lowest-carbon shoe

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
29 May 2020

Adidas and Allbirds have announced a collaboration to produce a training shoe with the “lowest carbon footprint ever”.

Tim Brown, co-CEO of Allbirds, said the companies would have to “rethink supply chains and materials” to “develop an entirely new type of shoe”.

The firms said the footwear industry emitted 700m tonnes of CO2 each year and the average pair of running shoes had a carbon footprint of around 13.6kg of CO2.

“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 utilise renewable energy and fuels,” the firms said in a statement.

In a blog Brown said: “Over the next year, we’re committing to combining our talents and resources to create the lowest carbon footprint performance shoe ever, with the ultimate goal of a net-zero product.

“For two competitors, this is an unprecedented journey. We don’t know what the final product will look like, be made of, or how it’ll be constructed. We’ll have to rethink supply chains and materials and push ourselves technically and creatively to develop an entirely new type of shoe.”

James Carnes, VP of Adidas brand strategy, said: “Our brands don’t want to just participate in the sustainability conversation, we want to continue being catalysts and creators of substantial improvement.”

In February Adidas topped a ranking of firms based on their use of sustainable cotton.

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