adidas and Allbirds announce the first product from their collaboration, FUTURECRAFT.FOOTPRINT. At 2.94kg CO2e it represents a personal best for both brands as the result of a collective ambition to make a performance running shoe with no carbon footprint.
Seeing the possibilities of accelerating a carbon neutral future for sports and style, the two companies teamed up to forge a unique partnership: opening up their materials, supply chains and innovations to each other.
With each pair having a carbon footprint of just 2.94kg CO2e and created with 63% less emissions*, FUTURECRAFT.FOOTPRINT showcases a new approach to more sustainable design and an alternative method of manufacturing that drastically reduces carbon impact.
“Our partnership with Allbirds is a beacon of what can happen when competing brands from the same industry see the possibilities in coming together to design. By truly co-creating and providing each other with open access to knowledge and resources – such as Allbirds’ knowledge of carbon calculation and experience with natural materials, and adidas’ capabilities in manufacturing and performance footwear – this is a call-to-action for other brands, and a milestone in the sports industry achieving carbon neutrality,” said Brian Grevy, Executive Board Member Global Brands at adidas.
Embracing a lower-carbon development process, the teams collaborated digitally from development to delivery, working across multiple time zones on opposite sides of the world. Together, the Allbirds and adidas counterparts across product design, material innovation, sustainability and supply chain studied every component and all aspects of the process with an analytical methodology. In under 12 months, they reimagined materials, manufacturing techniques and even packaging to reach the lowest possible footprint – whilst chasing the vision for a low-carbon shoe without compromising on performance.
Tim Brown, co-founder & co-CEO at Allbirds said: “We believe that the challenge of solving climate change is the problem of our generation and solving it will not be done alone. We need to find new business models, new innovations and new ways of working together. Our partnership with adidas is an example of that. Over the past year, our two teams have raced as one to create a shoe as close to zero carbon emissions as we could possibly achieve. The results are an exciting step forward, and hopefully, an example for others to follow.”
Two of the brands’ proprietary technologies are coming together and working in synergy at the heart of the innovation. Based on adidas’ popular Lightstrike midsole and tested to the same performance standards, the FUTURECRAFT.FOOTPRINT midsole compound is reimagined with Allbirds’ sugarcane-based SweetFoam®, offering a low-carbon natural component.
Representing another material collaboration, the newly developed upper material is made with 70% recycled polyester and 30% natural Tencel – a material made from wood pulp – for a smooth, lightweight upper that lives up to performance expectations with a highly reduced carbon impact.
“With this project, less really was more. To keep minimalist not only in materials but also in construction, we went to extremes and left only what we really needed on the shoe to keep the performance properties.” said Florence Rohart, Sr. Footwear Designer at adidas.
Jamie McLellan, Head of Design at Allbirds added; “Both the upper and the outside construction are inspired by the Tangram Principle, with all individual parts in their entirety achieving as little scrap as possible in production in order to reduce waste.”
FUTURECRAFT.FOOTPRINT will see an initial launch in May with a raffle of 100 pairs to adidas Creators Club members, before a FW21 release limited to 10,000 pairs, and a wider release in SS22.
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