Allbirds, a New Zealand based company, has created the world’s first net zero carbon shoe, the M0.0NSHOT. Its landmark carbon footprint — 0.0 kg CO₂e, versus an industry average of 14 kg CO₂e — was achieved without relying on offsets, after Allbirds completely reimagined the way it makes products.
“Creating a net zero carbon shoe that is commercially viable and scalable is the culmination of our entire back-catalog of work. M0.0NSHOT isn’t a silver bullet for the climate crisis — it’s a proof-point that, when we take sustainability seriously, and are laser focused on carbon reduction, we can make incredible breakthroughs,” says Tim Brown, co-founder and co-CEO of Allbirds.
While most industry foams are primarily synthetic, Allbirds’s newly-developed SuperLight Foam boasts 80% bio content. Additionally, Allbirds teamed up with Mango Materials to deploy a process that uses microorganisms to convert methane into a form of polymer that can be molded like other plastics, without the corresponding carbon footprint.
Finally, it also had a considered transportation plan with biofuel powered ocean shipping and electric trucking from port to warehouse.
In partnership with Lake Hawea Station and The New Zealand Merino Company, Allbirds is pioneering a new method of quantifying a product’s carbon footprint that accounts for materials and processes that capture carbon, as well as those that emit, to provide a more holistic view of emissions and, therefore, a more accurate picture of a product’s climate impact (see below for more details).
“We believe this will revolutionize the path to net zero, and act as rocket-fuel for the entire industry. We could spend decades debating the finer points of carbon sequestration, or we can innovate today with a common sense approach,” says Hana Kajimura, head of sustainability at Allbirds. “It’s about progress, not perfection. The scientists have shown us what’s possible — now it’s time for the fashion industry to carry the open-sourced learnings from M0.0NSHOT forward.”
“This new approach supports growers in their efforts to maintain, enhance, and increase carbon sequestration by giving them credit for land management that draws down carbon. This is a necessary step if we are to incentivize a shift towards regeneration and support changes being made on farms today, and it’s one that we are proud of supporting,” says Donna Chan, Regenerative Transformation Manager, The New Zealand Merino Company.
“Mango Materials is thrilled that our novel technology, transforming methane into biomaterials, can contribute to Allbirds’s production of the world’s first zero carbon shoe,” says Molly Morse, CEO of Mango Materials.