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Allbirds: M0.0N Aimed, M0.0N SH0T?

Allbirds has just announced their 0.0 carbon emission shoe. Now, that's pioneering!

Way to go, Allbirds! But is it possible to make a shoe without emitting carbon dioxide?

Well, it's not...

Allbirds m0.0nsh0t carbon net zero shoes

Most of the shoe, excluding the sole, is crafted from wool sourced from Lake Hawea Station (LHS), a farm in New Zealand committed to sequestering more carbon than it emits. This dedication has earned LHS the label of "net carbon zero." Our tests confirm that most of the shoe is indeed made from a material whose manufacturer has compensated for the carbon emissions.

However, it's crucial to note that the material emits carbon, and LHS compensates for it.

Logo badges on the shoe are crafted from a bioplastic material Mango Materials produces. This innovative process involves capturing methane gas and utilizing bacteria to produce bioplastic. The result is a material that is both biodegradable and recyclable. It's a remarkable example of biological production.

LHS farm producing sustainable wool

The midsole and outsole are constructed from a foam called SuperLight, consisting of 70% bio-based material sourced from sugar cane, courtesy of Braskem. This bio-based material also aids in absorbing carbon. Even the packaging is made from the same environmentally friendly Braskem material.

Braskem sugarcane sole material

The production process takes place in factories powered by 100% renewable energy, ensuring that the environmental impact is minimized. Furthermore, the supply chain transportation is carried out by GoodShipping, utilizing ocean shipping fueled by biofuel derived from waste, in combination with electric trucks.

It's important to note that not all fleet is always running on these fuels.

When the shoe reaches the end of its life, it is composed of biodegradable biological materials, offering a sustainable disposal option. Allbirds also operates a program called ReRun, enabling individuals to sell gently used Allbirds shoes.

Ultimately, this is not a shoe that emits 0 carbon. It is a shoe whose NET EMISSIONS are 0- This difference is essential to understand. The materials used in the shoe do emit carbon, and emissions occur during the production process, transport, use, and end-of-life stages. The net zero emissions result from carbon offsetting efforts primarily undertaken by LHS, the wool manufacturers.

The vision of fashion products with absolutely no emissions remains a utopian ideal yet to be fully realized. Achieving zero emissions would require materials that inherently absorb carbon throughout their growth and processing, reliance on renewable energy for production and transportation, carbon-neutral product use, and complete decomposition at the end of the product's life.

We're not quite there yet.

Allbirds m0.0nsh0t shoe zero carbon emissions

While carbon neutrality is a significant milestone for the planet, it's important to note that this has been achieved by several brands before, including Cariuma with their IBI sneakers, among others. In our books, that's not a moonshot. However, don't misunderstand our stance. The effort made by Allbirds is indeed impressive and will undoubtedly have an impact on the industry, given their increasing market share and brand recognition.

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