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Adidas, Allbirds team up for sustainable sports shoes

Sports giant Adidas and niche footwear disruptor Allbirds are teaming upto develop a sports performance shoe with the lowest ever carbon footprint. The two brands will “explore innovations across their entire supply chains with the aim of developing a product to launch in 2021.

The collaborative project wants to accelerate solutions to reduce the 700m metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted by the footwear industry annually. And it will focus on all aspects of footwear production from manufacturing to the supply chain, exploring renewable material resources. Currently, the average running shoe has a carbon footprint of approximately 13.6 kg CO2, the two firms said.

And they also emphasised that they wouldn't compromise on performance, a sensible move given that a sustainable shoe that really sells needs to be one that both athletes and other consumers can wear in the same way they would less sustainable options. It accepts that consumers won’t necessarily buy something that is very planet-friendly but doesn’t do the job as well as a more polluting product does.

As part of all this, both of them will open the doors to each other’s suite of sustainable innovations and unlock the opportunity to set a new industry standard in the fight against climate change.