“For too long, the performance industry told us that athletic footwear meant synthetic footwear.”
US sustainable footwear brand Allbirds has launched a new running shoe made from materials like eucalyptus tree fibre, Merino wool and sugarcane. The shoe is called the Dasher and it is the first product from the company to feature a physical “carbon count” label, detailing the lifecycle emissions of the product to consumers.
According to Allbirds (@Allbirds), the shoe emits 9kg of carbon dioxide per pair, nearly 30% lower than the estimated average trainer. Through responsible sourcing techniques, such as regenerative farming and new innovations, the natural materials used in the shoe could actually sequester more carbon out of the atmosphere than it takes to produce – ultimately becoming carbon negative.
In a statement, Allbirds said plastic-based synthetics, in contrast, can only keep on polluting the planet.
Allbirds will display this information to consumers through a physical “carbon count” label, which details emissions from the materials, development, manufacturing and end-of-life of a product. Allbirds announced earlier this month that they had become the first fashion brand to label every product with a carbon footprint.
The company has developed a Life Cycle Assessment tool with third-party experts to evaluate the carbon impact of every process across the value chain.
Allbirds’s chief executive Tim Brown said: “For too long, the performance industry told us that athletic footwear meant synthetic footwear. By failing to make the most of what is right in front of us – nature – we’ve missed some of the greatest performance materials in existence. Our multi-year journey to create the Dasher demonstrates what’s possible if we put the kind of innovation muscle into natural materials that are usually reserved for petroleum-derived synthetics.”
The Dasher features an upper mesh made from Tencel Lyocell, which uses 95% less water to produce than traditional footwear materials. Merino wool is used as lining, while recycled polyester is also utilised alongside Allbirds’s carbon-negative EVA solution derived from renewable sugarcane.