How Adidas and Allbirds Smashed Convention to Create a Sustainable Sneaker

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a pair of shoes: The brands’ collaboration makes good on their mission to "rewrite what's possible" when it comes to low-impact footwear.

Let’s start with the number 3. Well, actually, that’s rounding up. And as you’ll see, precision is important when it comes to the subject matter at hand. So let’s get more precise: 2.94. That’s the carbon footprint, in kilograms, of the aptly named Futurecraft.Footprint, a sneaker created by Adidas and Allbirds in a year-long project that broke with convention not only in its aggressive stance on sustainability but in the simple fact that two onetime competitors suddenly found themselves acting as collaborators.

You can’t buy this sneaker yet, but the purveyors are eyeing a fall release. (The price is also yet to be determined.) And while that means a bit of a wait for eager fans, the knowledge that this sneaker has been developed—and not simply to prove a point, but to be sold to real, live people—should be enough to still get any savvy shopper pretty pumped.

“For me, the most exciting part of this project was just breaking the rules of business a little bit,” says Hana Kajimura, the sustainability lead at Allbirds. “The climate crisis is so urgent, all these issues that we face are so urgent. There’s no reason why businesses aren’t sharing information back and forth to help drive to a low-carbon future. And what’s great about this collaboration is in the end it proved what we thought from the beginning: That if we worked together and shared what we both know, that we could get so much further together than either of us could alone.”

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