Allbirds

overall rating:

2.4

planets

Emmanuel Akano
7/23/2022
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Tim Brown, a New Zealander, founded AllBirds in 2014 after becoming familiar with the unique properties of merino wool. The adventure of Allbirds began when he questioned "why such a remarkable, sustainable resource was virtually absent in the footwear industry." Together with Joey Zwillinger, Tim Brown created a brand-new category of footwear that was influenced by natural materials, and an ongoing mantra to create better things in a better way. This has been their mantra since they are constantly looking for methods to reduce their carbon footprint and improve how products end its lives because right now, they are being dumped in landfills, which increases the release of greenhouse gases into the environment. By allowing us to view their code of conduct, which demonstrates how their staff are protected, they make sure that their staff are well-cared for and provide complete transparency.

What it's made of:

2.3

In order to develop a comfortable and long-lasting product, Allbirds was the first company to offer wool-based shoes. These shoes also had insoles made from caster bean oil and laces made from recycled plastic bottles. Mother Nature is the inspiration for Allbirds. They expand on her creations and develop alternative ways for the materials that are presently in our close surroundings. As an example, consider merino sheep's wool, the finest hair found in nature. However, the merino wool is quite delicate which means with excessive use holes can form leading to you having to buy new shoes often contributing to landfills. Compared to a standard pair of synthetic shoes, the use of this sheep has reduced the energy required to make a pair of shoes by 60%. They also ensure that their sheep are well looked after, which they describe as “our sheep live the good life” as they work with leading organisations like ZQ Merino to ensure their wool is held to the highest standard of farming, land management and animal welfare. They also include sugarcane and wood fibres into their textiles. Neither the tree nor the sugarcane requires artificial irrigation or fertiliser because they both rely completely on rainfall. It uses 95% less water and reduces carbon footprint by 50% compared to conventional materials like cotton. Additionally, they reuse plastic bottles to create the shoelaces, ensuring that nothing is wasted and preventing the buildup of landfills. Because 90% of the cardboard used in their packaging is recycled, less waste is dumped in landfills. However, at the end of the product’s life, it is going to end up in a landfill. A solution to this would increase the rating of the brand.

How it's made:

1.3

They aim to reduce their carbon footprint by half by 2025 and to almost nothing by 2030. Including how they planned to achieve this would be beneficial as they have failed to disclose this information.They will, though, continue to be completely carbon neutral in the meantime and encourage other companies to do the same. They tell us how many kg of CO2e—which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent emissions—their products emit when it comes to their carbon footprint. To calculate the environmental impact of their product, they must add up all greenhouse gases and convert them to carbon dioxide (CO2). They concluded that their product has an average CO2e footprint of 7.6 kg. They track four separate factors—materials, manufacturing, product use, and end of life—to arrive at this figure. When compared to the typical sneaker, which has a carbon footprint of 12.5 kg CO2e, Allbirds' average carbon impact is good. The products do, however, travel from the factory to the distribution centre, and then from the distribution centre to customers all over the world. And occasionally they are exchanged or returned.  This increases the level of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere as a result of all the travelling from one location to another. Every step of a product's journey has an effect that isn't environmentally friendly or sustainable. A solution must be developed right now because most products end up in landfills at the end of their useful lives, where they release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as they decompose. They failed to be transparent of how exactly the shoes are manufactured leading to me rating them a bit lower. They have failed to disclose how they planned to reduce the number of products that end up in landfills and this would be beneficial.

Who makes it:

2.5

They can retain a small, close-knit supply chain because they provide a well picked product variety that is appropriate for all seasons. These will result in lower energy costs, reduced transportation costs, and lower CO2 emissions from moving goods along longer supply chains. They provide total transparency, conduct their own audits, allow external audits, and mutually recognised standards in order to decrease audit fatigue at factories and guarantee safe, legal, compassionate, and moral manufacturing procedures. They offer their code of conduct, which guarantees that the employees are treated fairly and with the utmost respect for their health and safety. They make sure that the suppliers are prepared to abide by their code of conduct, improve the living conditions of their workers through wages and benefit structures, and provide complete transparency regarding the supply chains of their partners and access to the names and locations of their sub-suppliers. In addition to verbal agreements, Allbird expects factories to take part in an on-site social assessment conducted by a reputable, impartial third-party social assessment company. These assessments guarantee that the supplier complies with the requirements set forth in their code of conduct on working conditions. The suppliers are required to follow up on these and make sure they improve upon any findings in a realistic and timely manner. This assessment may or may not be announced and includes confidential worker interviews to ensure the workers are taken care of and get the workers' opinions on ways to improve. This ensures that their workers are treated with respect and allow their opinions to be heard which shows that the company is not just about making profit but they generally care about their workers and the environment.