Adidas, Allbirds release low-carbon running shoe

2021/12/20 Innoverview Read

Dive Brief:

  • Eight months after introducing the Futurecraft Footprint shoe concept, Allbirds and Adidas on Dec. 13 announced the commercial launch of the product, which will be available on both retailer's apps and in select stores, as well as online at Adidas.

  • At $120 per pair, the initial drop will have limited quantities, with four new colorways set to launch in a broader rollout this spring. The companies have been collaborating on the low-carbon performance shoe for two years.

  • The shoe produces 2.94 kilograms of CO2 per pair, which is a personal best for both brands, according to a press release. The new product is based on Adidas' Lightstrike midsole, but was redesigned to use Allbirds' bio-based sugarcane material.

Dive Insight:

As the two retailers aim for more sustainable products and processes, Adidas and Allbirds are releasing their collaborative low-carbon Futurecraft Footprint shoe. 

According to a release on the product, the design teams working on the shoe aimed to minimize waste and carbon emissions by using the tangram principle to fit materials together "perfectly."

"The design of the shoe itself centres around the overall philosophy of 'the art of reduction' — giving runners exactly what they need and nothing more," the release reads. "A core part of this was considering pattern efficiency when creating the rolls of material that the individual pieces of the shoe are cut from."

Both Allbirds and Adidas have pursued sustainable manufacturing in their own ways. Allbirds was built on the idea of making shoes out of wool, sugarcane and other natural materials, and this April joined the list of Climate Neutral Certified companies. The brand is aiming to reduce its per-product emissions by 95% by 2030.

Adidas, for its part, has been making shoes out of ocean plastic in partnership with Parley for the Oceans for years. The first shoe in the collaboration was released in 2015 and the two have since made 30 million pairs, according to the release.

"Our ambition is to take Futurecraft Footprint from moonshot concept to something that sparks systemic change," Brian Grevy, executive board member of global brands at Adidas, said in a statement. "We wanted to demonstrate how collaboration and an open-source mindset can create a halo effect across the industry and help make progress towards net zero."

The launch is just the latest in a string of news from Allbirds, which filed for an IPO in August and debuted on the Nasdaq in November. The DTC brand entered the activewear apparel category in August this year, after launching its own performance running shoe in April 2020. Since filing for an IPO, the company has said it plans for "hundreds" of potential stores and reported its first earnings as a public company, which were marked by 33% net sales growth and a near-doubling of its net loss.

(Source: RetailDive Adidas, Allbirds release low-carbon running shoe | Retail Dive)