Allbirds debuts zero-carbon shoe design, open-source toolkit

June 28, 2023

About three months after initially teasing the technology, Allbirds, on Tuesday, May 27, showed the design of its zero-carbon shoe at the Global Fashion Summit in Copenhagen, reports Retail Dive.

The shoe—dubbed the “M0.0NSHOT”—has a carbon footprint of 0.0 kilograms CO2e without relying on carbon offsets to reach that level. The minimalist, slip-on sneaker is primarily made of carbon-negative regenerative wool and features a unique molded logo component built from methane-capture bioplastic.

With the design reveal, Allbirds also has released a toolkit for other businesses to create their own versions, according to details shared with Retail Dive.

The toolkit was distributed to Global Fashion Summit attendees and is available online. The “Recipe B0.0K” outlines Moonshot’s process, including its materials, manufacturing and carbon footprint calculation.

“This is the most formal, most sophisticated, most comprehensive version of open sourcing that we’ve done so far,” Jad Finck, Allbirds vice president of Innovation and Sustainability, told Retail Dive. “To be a true sustainability leader, we think you need to have a track record of changing the way people make things—changing what they make it with and being able to look back and look at how many people have followed in our footsteps. So we think this is the most deliberate version of doing that.”

The shoe will launch commercially in the Spring 2024, although the prototype revealed at the Global Fashion Summit this week is on par with what will be sold to consumers next year.

The sneaker’s minimalist design leans heavily into the uniqueness of the materials and their role in making the shoe zero carbon, according to Finck.

“The form is following the function of the materials,” Finck said. “We wanted it to be distinct. We wanted it to stand out … It’s kind of this maximalization of the wool and because it’s a carbon-negative material, it actually helps offset some of the other stubborn carbon in the shoe.”

With the regenerative wool making up the shoe’s upper and extending into the sides of the midsole, the Moonshot’s design is intended to have a futuristic silhouette, according to Finck. With the goal of making sustainability accessible, Finck said the shoe’s price point will be in the ballpark of what Allbirds is known for; but will lean toward the higher end, given the innovative materials used.

Allbirds’ debut of the Moonshot design comes after the direct-to-consumer brand enacted major changes as part of a strategic transformation plan. In May, Allbirds co-founder Tim Brown stepped down from the co-CEO role and transitioned to the chief innovation officer position.

The new zero-carbon shoe from Allbirds may be a first-of-its-kind innovation, Finck told Retail Dive, but the company has plans to integrate the philosophy and some of the materials behind it into other areas of the business.

“This does show the future of … the company, but wrapped up in that is continuing to show purpose and profit can be hand in hand,” Finck said. “We don’t just want to show that it’s scientifically possible. We want to show that it’s commercially possible.”

Research contact: @RetailDive