Sneaker brands collaborate all the time, but they usually do so with companies outside of the footwear industry. Adidas’ latest joint effort, though, involves sustainable shoe maker Allbirds, and the two hope to create a high performance sneaker while also cutting down on their greenhouse gas emissions. They plan to use Allbirds’ lifecycle assessment tools and Adidas’ carbon footprint analyses to determine how to best reduce carbon dioxide output while maintaining performance standards. Adjustments to the supply chain -- from materials, to factories to shipping -- should help cut down on emissions, as should leveraging more renewable energy sources.
According to Adidas, the carbon footprint of a pair of sneakers made of synthetic materials ranges between 11.3 and 16.7 kilograms of carbon dioxide. (Shoes that use leather have an even bigger footprint.) Allbirds says that it takes about 7.6 kilograms of CO2 to produce a pair of its sneakers, on average. Together, the two companies hope they can create a high performance shoe with just two or three kilograms of emissions, and eventually want to reduce that number to zero.