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Your sneakers are polluting the planet. Adidas and Allbirds unveil an ultra-green alternative

In 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, the global sneaker house Adidas and the sustainable, direct-to-consumer shoe brand Allbirds announced they were teaming up to make the most sustainable sneaker ever. Today, we get a look at that shoe for the first time.

It’s called the Futurecraft.Footprint. And while an MIT study from 2013 found the average sneaker had a 30-pound CO2 footprint—about the same as eating about 3.5 Big Macs—the Futurecraft.Footprint comes in at under 3 kilograms of CO2 per pair. It’s 2.94 kilograms to be exact—a number hand written on every shoe.

Why is it written by hand? Because, as the team will tell you, they were so busy honing the details of the shoe up to the eleventh hour, that they didn’t have time to finalize print lettering. “It was a product of necessity,” says Hana Kajimura, sustainability lead at Allbirds. “If we had to print that artwork before, get that approved on the product—that lead time was not something we could afford to use in shaving off every last decimal point of [CO2 from] this product.”

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