Images courtesy of Adidas and Allbirds

Allbirds + Adidas = big shoes with a small (carbon) footprint.

Nicole Clausing  – June 8, 2020 | Updated June 14, 2020

New Zealand-born, San Francisco-based B-Corp Allbirds and international shoe juggernaut Adidas are putting aside their differences to collaborate on an ambitious project: sneakers with zero carbon footprint.

Two direct competitors working together on an apparel line is nearly unprecedented, and the proposed product has never been seen before. The fashion industry is a notorious polluter, and there has never been anything like a carbon-neutral trainer. The average pair of athletic shoes releases 28.5 pounds of carbon into the atmosphere, and the average pair of Allbirds releases just under 17. That’s a long way from zero, but the companies are confident that by leveraging the power of Allbirds’ commitment to sustainability, and Adidas’ massive production and distribution capabilities, they can get that figure down to four or five pounds per pair initially, with zero the final goal.

The companies also hope that they are able to combine their strengths to make a shoe as stylish and comfortable as Allbirds’ leisurewear favorites and as high-performing as Adidas’ athletic gear.

When will these shoes hit the streets? Not anytime soon, as no timeline has been released, although the two companies say they have begun design work already. Hopefully we’ll have some stylish, Earth-friendly shoes to look forward to as we get outside and start exploring our world again.