Working in remote mode in collaboration with Allbirds for 12 months, Adidas has developed its most sustainable performance running shoe. The first 100 pairs of the co-branded model is being raffled off to members of Adidas’ Creators Club at the end of May. The product design and development teams of the two companies had set a goal of reaching a carbon footprint of 2.0 kilograms of CO² equivalent emissions per pair.

In the end, the shoe has come out with a carbon footprint of 2.94 kilos – higher than Allbirds’ average footprint of 10.3 kilos for its non-performance shoes, but a major improvement on the 7.86 kilos of the Adizero RCS – through a process described in a virtual press conference as “the art of reduction.”

It was a matter of rethinking the product development process, starting with the ingredients and using Allbirds’ carbon measurement methods, including a life assessment for the product. The new shoe uses mostly natural and recycled fibers. Major savings in emissions have also been obtained by using renewable energy at the manufacturing stage, in the packaging and the transportation. Even so, the manufacturing alone absorbs 2.16 kilos of CO².Officials of the two companies said they hope to have created “a blueprint for the industry” to make more sustainable products with an “open-source” approach.