As the world continues to lessen and lessen its carbon footprint, there are certain industries where this is a more difficult task than others. For instance, even if an electric car precludes the use of fossil fuels, it still takes factories to make the vehicles. A net-zero carbon footprint is incredibly difficult to achieve, but for the world of shoes, it’s been getting closer for a few years now.
One such company that’s leading the way is Allbirds, whose carbon-negative, sugarcane-infused SweetFoam midsoles were the first of their kind upon debuting in 2018. In 2020, the San Francisco-based company became the very first fashion brand to delineate the carbon footprints of each of its products. And then, in 2021, it debuted the 2.94kg CO2e runner in partnership with adidas, which boasted the lowest carbon footprint of any shoe ever. It has since been challenged by other ambitious firms in the industry. However, Allbirds has just unveiled its plans (with teaser) for its upcoming M0.0NSHOT, which will be the first-ever sneaker with a net-zero carbon footprint.
To achieve this lofty goal, Allbirds has fastidiously sourced materials from around the globe. One of the biggest obstacles was finding the proper regenerative wool, which was eventually discovered in New Zealand. The farm is called Lake Hawea Station and, thanks to native plantings, ground clearing, and new pasture species, it’s able to produce premium merino wool with a carbon-negative result. Another element for Allbirds is the new SuperLight Foam midsole — a take on the SweetFoam — which consists of 80% bio content, including Brazilian-sourced sugarcane. Even the eyelets are made from carbon-negative bioplastics; microorganisms that turn methane into a moldable polymer. Everything from the packaging to the biofuel-powered shipping and electric delivery trucks will contribute to a net-zero carbon emissions goal.
While we don’t exactly know what the shoe is going to look like aside from a teaser photo and some concept drawings, we do know that the M0.0NSHOT is expected to be fully revealed in June for a spring 2024 release date. Keep a lookout on Allbirds’ website.