For decades, athletic shoes have almost exclusively been crafted from plastic. We already know that plastic is terrible; its production globally emits enough carbon to blanket 25 million football fields annually.
As a growing community of conscious purchasers are actively looking for ways to reduce their environmental footprints by turning to non-plastic alternatives, there’s not much they can do when it comes to running shoes. It is not an option to wear these shoes for a lifetime to reduce their environmental cost as the soles of running shoes are susceptible to wear and need regular replacing for health and safety reasons. Further, shoes made out of recycled plastic will always come with a footprint.
This is where Allbirds come in, going back to their roots to create a different kind of running shoe. Meet, The Dasher. It’s a shoe that’s good for you and the planet. Allbirds has used responsible sourcing and innovations to create this one-of-a-kind neutral running shoe, breaking conventions by using the natural materials sugarcane, eucalyptus, and merino wool.
Allbirds is keeping accountable to the planet, having made The Dasher the first product in footwear and apparel to be labelled with its carbon output: 9 kg of CO2 per pair, which is nearly 30% lower than the estimated average sneaker. And as with all Allbirds products, they’ve taxed themselves to neutralise The Dasher’s emissions, “because anything over above 0 is too large”.
To tax their end product, first Allbirds measures the emissions of everything from raw materials to their end of life. Next, Allbirds seeks to reduce its impact by incorporating natural and recycled materials. Lastly, Allbirds offsets what’s left through the Allbirds Carbon Fund. Allbirds says “we can create a sustainable future, but only if we hold each other accountable”.
Of course, Allbird’s long-term plan is beyond carbon neutrality; they have the goal to emit no carbons in the first place. Carbon negativity is a bold move, but as we’ve already seen with previous Allbirds products, anything seems possible. Allbirds likens their ambition to “be like a tree, leaving the environment cleaner than we found it”.
Turning to the performance of The Dasher, it is built to provide runners with both flexible stability and natural cushioning. Designed for casual running, The Dasher underwent a year-long testing period where 50+ amateur and pro athletes logged thousands of miles to ensure high performance in stability, acceleration, and deceleration.
Aesthetics are still crucial in the footwear industry; The Dasher is sleek and lightweight and is available in a range of four colours (Geyser, Cyclone, Flame, and Thunder). Core colours are coming soon too.
With the ability to run hard and tread light in this innovative shoe, we’re looking forward to swapping our Wool Loungers with The Dasher. Watch this space.