Allbirds Unveils World’s First Net Zero Carbon Shoe and Open-Sources Toolkit for Fashion Industry

San Francisco-based footwear company Allbirds has made a groundbreaking announcement at the Global Fashion Summit by revealing its revolutionary M0.Onshot, hailed as the world’s first net zero carbon shoe. The company is now urging the rest of the fashion industry to follow suit and is generously providing its entire toolkit for the development of sustainable footwear.

Scheduled for commercial launch in the spring of 2024, the M0.Onshot represents the culmination of years of dedicated work and an unwavering focus on systematically reducing carbon emissions. Allbirds’ commitment to sustainability was evident when it introduced SweetFoam in 2018, a midsole foam crafted from carbon-negative, sugarcane-derived green EVA. In 2021, the company joined forces with adidas to create the Adizero x Allbirds, then recognized as the lowest carbon shoe in existence.

The M0.Onshot takes sustainability to new heights by featuring an upper made from carbon-negative regenerative wool sourced from Lake Hawea Station in New Zealand. Its midsole foam is a carbon-negative bio-based material produced from sugarcane and formed through a supercritical foaming process. Furthermore, the shoe incorporates molded components made with methane-capture bioplastic, thanks to a collaboration with Mango Materials. To minimize its environmental impact further, the M0.Onshot is packaged in sugarcane-based polyethylene, reducing weight and transportation requirements.

Lead designer Jamie McLellan expressed, “We didn’t just create the world’s first net zero carbon shoe; we also developed the second, third, and fourth prototypes to establish an appropriate visual identity for this monumental achievement. As we envisioned the ‘shoe of the future,’ it became clear that the M0.Onshot couldn’t resemble anything from the past. We haven’t just reimagined the science behind sustainable footwear; we’ve reimagined the design as well.”

In a remarkable move, Allbirds is now open-sourcing its M0.Onshot methodology by providing a comprehensive toolkit that outlines each step of the shoe’s development process, including information on materials, manufacturing, transportation, end-of-life considerations, and carbon footprint calculations. The toolkit was distributed to the thousands of attendees at the Global Fashion Summit and is now available for download on the Allbirds website, with the hope of inspiring others to adopt sustainable practices.

“Allbirds’ achievement with the M0.Onshot represents a significant milestone for our company. However, its significance lies not in its singularity but in the collective action it inspires. This is not a competition but a relay race; we are all working together,” stated Tim Brown, co-founder of Allbirds. “M0.Onshot is our greatest accomplishment, but its impact will be limited unless others take action. That’s why we are compelled to open-source our learnings, so that others can pick up the baton and carry us forward.”

The unveiling of the M0.Onshot and the release of the accompanying toolkit mark a pivotal moment for the fashion industry, as sustainability becomes an urgent priority. Allbirds’ bold initiative serves as an inspiring example, providing practical guidance and resources to encourage the sector’s transformation towards a more environmentally conscious future. The world will now watch eagerly to see if other fashion companies will rise to the challenge and contribute to this global effort to combat climate change.


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