Allbirds’ designers and engineers have designed shoes whose production produces no additional carbon emissions into the atmosphere. The first shoes with a zero carbon footprint will go on sale in spring 2024
According to Allbirds’ research, the production of ordinary trainers generates around 14 kg of carbon dioxide. Considering the amount of shoes sold worldwide, one can imagine how much carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere annually by the footwear industry alone. If you want to create shoes with a zero carbon footprint, their production must be planned from the very first stage of production
The M0.0NSHOT shoes were first presented on 27 June 2023 at the Global Fashion Summit in Copenhagen. This is a platform that aims to promote eco-friendly solutions in fashion. What’s more, the authors of the M0.0NSHOT shoe concept have released a report on the entire production cycle and are encouraging other manufacturers to benefit from their experience by minimising their carbon footprint. The project has been made available on an open source basis
However, the path to reducing carbon emissions was not straightforward. First, in 2018. Allbirds created a foam sole that was made from sugar cane and had a negative CO2 balance. The foam, called SweetFoam, was used in the new M0.0NSHOT shoes
The next step was to make customers aware of how much carbon dioxide is produced during production. To this end, in 2020 Allbirds became the first fashion brand in the world to label all its products with a carbon footprint message. Just one year later, they partnered with the Adidas brand, resulting in a shoe design whose production involved the emission of almost 3 kg of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This is much less than the aforementioned standard trainers. However, the appetite to achieve an even smaller carbon footprint was greater
Allbirds partnered with Lake Hawea farm in New Zealand, which produces high-quality wool from merino sheep. This is a farm that has implemented solutions to absorb more carbon dioxide than it emits. One of the ways the New Zealand company has managed to achieve this is by planting greenery
Another step to reduce the carbon footprint was the use of a midsole, SuperLightFoam made from sugarcane, which contains 70 per cent bio-based ingredients compared to other industrial foams. Such a material was made using micro-organisms that absorb meth and turn it into a polymer. The latter can be moulded like plastics
There is also a zero carbon footprint in the packaging of the shoes. Allbirds has also developed a transport system that relies not on the lowest cost, but one that relies on the use of less environmentally damaging vehicles. During sea transport, biofuel-powered units are used and land transport is carried out using electric vehicles. The shoes will be available for purchase as early as early 2024
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