Allbirds has succeeded in developing the M0.0nshot, what the brand considers the world's first shoe with net-zero emissions.


The US brand could achieve a groundbreaking 0.0 kilogram CO2 footprint, whereas the industry's avarage is 14 kilogram CO2, by completely rethinking the manufacturing of its products.


"The development of a net-zero emission shoe that is commercially viable and scalable is the culmination of all our past work. The M0.0nshot is not a miracle cure for the climate crisis, but it is proof that if we take sustainability seriously and really focus on reducing CO2, we can then make incredible breakthroughs," said Tim Brown, co-founder and co-CEO, Allbirds.


The M0.0nshot sneaker, that will be sold starting from 2024, is the culmination of years of work and of Allbirds' focus since the company has focused on systematically reducing CO2 in its operations and products.

In 2018, the company developed Sweet Foam, its first CO2-negative material, which served as the starting point for the M0.0nshot's new foam.


In 2019 Allbirds was the first fashion brand to label its products with a carbon footprint label. A year later, the company announced its collaboration with Adidas. Together, they collaborated on the shoe with the world's lowest CO2-footprint to date, the Adizero x Allbirds.


After this project, working toward a net-zero emissions shoe was the next logical step. The Allbirds Future Team, a cross-functional innovation team, took on this challenge in 2022, and used all the company's previous findings to design the M0.0nshot.


The success was made possible as the shoe is made up of a CO2-negative upper made from renewable merino wool produced at the Lake Hawea Station (LHS) in New Zealand.


Its midsole is CO2-negative, too, as it is made from sugarcane-based foam. Most of the foams in the industry are primarily made of plastic. Allbird's newly developed Super Light Foam is made of 80% bio-based ingredients.


The shoe's eyelets are CO2-negative as made from bio-based plastics. To this aim Allbirds has partnered with Mango Materials to apply an innovative process that uses microorganisms which convert methane, the greenhouse gas that sheep emit when they burp, into a form of polymer that can be molded like other plastics, though without the carbon footprint of traditional plastic.


Also, very important for this new achievement, is the new sneaker's CO2 highly-efficient packaging: it absorbs less CO2 when it is transported as it occupies less space and is lighter. In addition, it is made from CO2-negative Green PE, which is obtained from sugar cane.


As part of the overall project behind this sneaker is also its transportation plan, as products are shipped via ships powered by biofuels and then transported in electric trucks from the port to the warehouse.


In cooperation with Lake Hawea Station and The New Zealand Merino Company Allbirds is paving the way for a new method of measuring the carbon footprint that includes materials and processes that capture CO2 as well as those that emit it.


This provides a more comprehensive overview of the emissions and provides a more accurate picture of a product's impact on the climate.


In other words, while some elements of the footwear manufacturing process emit CO2, others capture it, bringing the final product to net-zero.

Allbirds' M0.0nshot
Photo: Allbirds
Allbirds' M0.0nshot
"We believe this will revolutionize the path to net-zero and move the entire industry forward. We can spend decades discussing the details of carbon sequestration, or we can innovate today based on common sense innovations," said Hana Kajimura, head of sustainability, Allbirds.


"It's about progress, not perfection. Science has shown us what is possible. Now it's the fashion industry's turn to apply the open-source insights of the M0.0nshot put to use."


"This new approach supports growers in their efforts to maintain carbon sequestration efforts by giving them credit for practicing CO2 sequestering land management. This is a necessary step if we are to incentivize the transition to regenerative agriculture and support changes already being made on farms. We are proud to support this step," says Donna Chan, regenerative transformation manager, The New Zealand Merino Company.


"At Lake Hawea Station, our imperative from day one was to show that agriculture can be part of the solution to the climate crisis. With our projects to a forest and plant native species, we sequester nearly twice as much CO2 as we emit. On the other hand, we are consciously reducing our emissions. Lake Hawea Station is committed to regenerative agriculture and invests heavily in improving our biodiversity. We have also introduced new programs for animal welfare, hydropower and solar infrastructure," explains Finn Ross of Lake Hawea Station.

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