Daily Insights

The Sustainability Race

By: Mackenzie Baker | Jun 11, 2020

Sustainable sneaker brand Allbirds is teaming up with activewear powerhouse Adidas to create a low-carbon sports shoe by Spring 2021. 

While Adidas provides manufacturing prowess, Allbirds brings sustainability innovation to the collaboration. Both brands have taken to social media to promote the shoe, releasing a series of tweets and posts teasing the collaboration and all the environmental benefits the shoe will include. Every element of the creation, from the shoelaces to the packaging, will have a focus on limiting carbon emissions. While a typical sneaker has a carbon footprint of 12.5 kg, this shoe will have below 2 kg

Allbirds initiated the partnership with a desire to prove that the sports industry can have an “environmentally responsible” shoe that works for athletes. The brand, known for its wool sneaker, has built its name on sustainable and recycled shoes. Adidas, on the other hand, has been slower to join the eco-friendly movement. Though Adidas is considered a competitor to Allbirds, the brands teamed up following Adidas’ pledge to use only recyclable polyester by 2024 and become carbon neutral by 2050. 

Sustainable shopping is top of mind for younger consumers, with a Gartner report finding 73% of millennials prioritize sustainability over a product’s price. Additionally, the Coronavirus pandemic has pushed consumers to shop more from purpose-driven brands. The new shoe could appeal to this growing category of consumers looking to buy products that are Earth-friendly. 

The collaboration could give Allbirds a presence boost while helping Adidas progress in its pledge to be more sustainable. Furthermore, the partnership could inspire others in the activewear industry to focus less on short-term sales, and more on long-term environmental benefits going forward.