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Allbirds launches 'world’s first net zero carbon shoe'

By Cenia Zitter


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Allbirds' 'first net zero carbon shoe'. Credit: Allbirds.

Apparel and footwear retailer Allbirds, which is known for its sustainable efforts, has designed what it claims is the “world’s first net zero carbon shoe”, called M0.0NSHOT.

The shoe’s upper is made of regenerative merino wool, grown in New Zealand at the Lake Hawea Station (LHS), while its midsole consists of a newly-developed sugarcane-based foam that contains 80 percent bio content, both being carbon-negative.

The brand got creative with the design of the eyelets and partnered up with Mango Materials, which set up a process that turns methane - a greenhouse gas released by sheep - into a polymer-like substance that behaves like a plastic, minus the carbon emission.

The final product will be sent out on biofuel-powered ships and picked up by electric trucks from the port, while being wrapped in sugar-cane based Green PE, a carbon negative packaging.

‘Net zero’ sneaker

The key method to the achievement is the make-up of raw materials that both emit and capture carbon, which ultimately results in a net zero product and therefore doesn’t rely on offsets. In order to measure a product's carbon footprint, Allbirds introduced a new method in partnership with LHS that considers these dynamics, providing a more holistic overview of emissions in the end, it said in a release.

M0.0NSHOT Design Board. Picture: Allbirds

As the industry’s standard per produced shoe is at 14 kilograms of CO2e, M0.0NSHOT is a significant next step for other brands too, with Allbirds deciding to openly share its ‘open-sourcing toolkit’. Tim Brown, co-founder and co-CEO of the brand said: “M0.0NSHOT isn’t a silver bullet for the climate crisis - it’s a proof-point that, when we take sustainability seriously, and are laser focused on carbon reduction, we can make incredible breakthroughs.”

The brand marks this project the apex of its previous years’ work and called it the natural next step after having created a shoe in collaboration with Adidas in 2020, which was the lowest carbon shoe at the time with 2.94 CO2e.

Head of sustainability at Allbirds, Hana Kajimu, said: “We believe this will revolutionise the path to net zero, and act as rocket-fuel for the entire industry. We could spend decades debating the finer points of carbon sequestration, or we can innovate today with a common sense approach.”

The shoe will be revealed at the Global Fashion Summit in Copenhagen in June and released in early 2024.

Sustainable Fashion