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Did you know that, according to MIT scientists, a brand spanking new pair of running shoes generates 30lbs of carbon dioxide emissions? For comparison, that’s the equivalent of leaving a 100 watt lightbulb on for an entire straight week — not exactly great for the environment. Enter Allbirds, the eco-friendly footwear brand dedicated to renewable energy and sustainability.

Their previous successes — wool and tree sneakers made from innovative sustainable materials like plastic bottles, eucalyptus fibres and humanely sourced wool — are already a cult hit. But their new addition to the family, which brought Leonardo DiCaprio into the investors mix, is a complete game changer.

SweetFoam — what the soles of Allbirds’ new flip flops (Sugar Zeffers) are made of — is revolutionary. Why? Because the EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate, also known as the material most sneaker soles are made of) used to create the flip flops is produced with sugarcane instead of petroleum oil. And while carbon dioxide emissions caused by the standard way of producing EVA contributes to climate change, this process does the opposite. Instead, sugarcane actually pulls carbon out of the environment, so the technology is completely carbon negative.

A post shared by Allbirds (@allbirds) on

While the flip flops are currently the only Allbirds shoe to feature SweetFoam, they’ll be rolling out the soles onto all their other shoes in the near future. If that weren’t enough, Allbirds is making the technology behind this sugarcane innovation completely open-sourced, meaning all footwear brands (and other products that use EVA — we’re talking surfboards, artificial flowers, sporting equipment, pool noodles, the list goes on…) could potentially follow suit.

But what do they look like? Like flip flops in fun candy-colours. Living up to their claim as “world’s most comfortable shoe”, they feel bouncy, springy and perfect for those hot summer days. But let’s be honest, we’re more excited about the material and potential for other companies to get on board. When sustainability in fashion becomes the norm, instead of a choice, everybody wins.

A post shared by Allbirds (@allbirds) on

WHO IT’S FOR:

Conscious shoppers who want a comfy, fun shoe that isn’t damaging the environment.

HOW MUCH?

$50

WHERE TO FIND IT:

Allbirds.ca