Sustainable carbon neutral sneakers
It takes 30-40 years for a pair of your sneakers to decompose — here's how the shoe biz is making strides to become more eco-friendly. 👟
Allbirds takes flight with new shoe material
Making a difference one step at a time
Nothing New reports that it takes thirty to forty years for one pair of sneakers to decompose in a landfill. With roughly 24 billion pairs manufactured in 2018, according to National Geographic, Allbirds is one of many shoe companies trying to make their product more sustainable. In 2019 Allbirds went carbon-neutral, building shoes out of a foam EVA replacement made out of Brazilian sugar cane. Before this creation, they tried both merino wool blend and a eucalyptus tree fiber. They prefer this approach in comparison to Nike’s campaign to transform 6.4 billion plastic water bottles into recycled footwear and apparel, as well as to eliminate non-recycled polyester usage by 2024.
“Ultimately, we view ourselves as a material innovation company and it started with a merino wool blend… since we’ve launched our sweet foam, which is a carbon-negative EVA replacement that's made from Brazilian sugar cane… We certainly use recycled materials for some of our components. Our shoelaces are a great example of that that use recycled water bottles, but we also think finding natural materials is important. We think that recycled components certainly help eliminate existing plastics and other materials that exist in the world. But in the future, hopefully, we're using more natural materials to create our products that are also still sustainable and have a minimal impact on the environment,“ Travis Boyce, Allbirds’ head of global retail operations, informs Brut.
Allbirds was created in 2014 with co-sponsors New Zealand former soccer professional Tim Brown and biotechnical engineer Joey Zwillinger with the goal of creating a more comfortable shoe. Since its launch in March 2016, the company is currently valued at 1.4 billion dollars and continues to successfully collaborate with companies such as Shake Shack, Nordstrom, and Air New Zealand to create innovative and environmentally friendly products for the public.
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