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  • Susan Morton

Has Allbirds developed the first zero-carbon shoe?

Allbirds wool sneakers

They’re calling it M0.0NSHOT, with the 0.0 indicative of the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) required to make the shoe. Which is—amazingly—zero. And Allbirds is doing this without depending on carbon offsets. How? When carbon footprint of the average sneaker is 14 kg CO2e?

Lake Hawea Station

A growing movement called regenerative agricultural deserves much of the credit. The shoes are made from wool and the sheep are raised on a farm in New Zealand called Lake Hawea Station. The station’s extraordinary efforts in preserving their environment, including its bio-diversity and soil and water conservation, has made them the first Toitu carbonzero certified farm in New Zealand.

wool from Lake Hawea Station

That means the wool they produce is carbon net-zero. But of course shoes are more than just their uppers. What about the sole? Allbirds has found a way to make the soles using in part a sugarcane-based foam. Even the eyelets are manufactured using a bio-plastic made from micro-organisms that convert methane into a polymer.

Yet that was not enough. There was shipping and packaging to consider. For all that and more, check out what they are calling their Recipe Bo.ok , printed open source so that anyone in the industry can use their methods to produce a more sustainable shoe.

No. You cannot buy these shoes. Not yet. Planned availability will be next year, in 2024.

Allbirds wool sneakers


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