In what the company bills as one small footprint for a shoe but a giant leap for the shoe industry, San Francisco-based Allbirds just launched the world’s first net-zero carbon shoe.
The M0.0NSHOT shoe features a merino wool upper, a sugar cane-based foam midsole and bioplastic eyelets—all of which are carbon negative, according to Allbirds.
Some elements of the shoe’s production emit carbon while others capture it, with the net-zero calculation achieved by balancing the two. The design doesn’t rely merely on carbon offsets, which makes the product net-zero as opposed to carbon-neutral.
The carbon efficiency does not stop with the shoe itself. Allbirds designed new, carbon-efficient packaging for the M0.0NSHOT—which will travel by biofuel ocean shipping and electric trucking to land in stores.
The selection of a March 21 release date is very much intentional—"3, 2, 1, takeoff"—but Allbirds won’t reveal the shoe itself until the Global Fashion Summit this coming June in Copenhagen.
Allbirds had previously released, in partnership with Adidas, what was advertised as the planet’s lowest carbon shoe: the Adizero x Allbirds.
The M0.0NSHOT’s design is a culmination of years of innovation. The company created SweetFoam in 2018, a carbon-negative material that laid the blueprint for the new foam used in the M0.0NSHOT. A year later, Allbirds became the first brand to label its products with their carbon footprints.
Allbirds is open-sourcing the toolkit that helped M0.0NSHOT achieve net-zero status in the hopes that other brands will follow suit.
“We believe this will revolutionize the path to net-zero,” said Hana Kajimura, head of sustainability at Allbirds. “And act as rocket-fuel for the entire industry.”
Julie Zigoris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org