The partnership between the two brands—one, a direct-to-consumer pioneer famous for its comfortable wool sneakers, the other an over 70-year-old athletic brand behemoth—will aim to innovate and evolve the process of manufacturing athletic footwear to be more environmentally friendly.
The goal, according to a statement from the two brands, is that by coming together, Adidas and Allbirds will have access to one another’s “suite of sustainable innovations,” allowing them to share ideas and collaborate on how to upend the supply chain and manufacturing process to make it more sustainable.
“Our brands don’t want to just participate in the sustainability conversation—we want to continue being catalysts and creators of substantial improvement,” said James Carnes, vice president of brand strategy for Adidas, in a statement. “The recent progress that our brands have made in the name of sustainable innovation has created the perfect momentum for this partnership to influence industry practices forever.”
Adidas and Allbirds announced the partnership with a cheeky Twitter exchange.
The companies’ first priority is creating a shoe with the lowest carbon footprint the industry has ever seen. The hope, of course, is that in building this shoe, the two brands will learn new lessons about how to decreasing the carbon footprint of the footwear industry overall.
According to the statement, Adidas and Allbirds will be evaluating—and ideally, improving upon—every aspect of the shoe’s creation, from “material choices to manufacturing facilities and transportation methods that utilize renewable energy and fuels.”
Separately, Adidas and Allbirds both have long-term sustainability commitments in place. Adidas’ goal is to achieve a 30% reduction in its carbon footprint in the next 10 years and be carbon neutral by 2050. Allbirds is already committed to being a 100% carbon-neutral business.
Even in the midst of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, brand partnerships haven’t slowed down, particularly in the footwear space.
Nike announced this week that it’s teaming up with ice cream favorite Ben & Jerry’s to create a pair of sneakers called the Chunky Dunky, with a design that features the hues and patterns from Ben & Jerry’s famed logo. And Vans, the California-based brand best known for skateboarding shoes and apparel, released a five-shoe collection with National Geographic that features graphics created from the naturalist publication’s images.