On Wednesday, March 17th Dr. Gayatri Keskar, VP of Research was joined by Claudia Richardson and Romesh Patel, Ph.D. of Allbirds.
Our guests shared their perspectives on product development and material selection, as well as the unique challenges that arise when searching for super-natural performance in biosynthetic materials.
In addition to the content covered in the talk (various topics were covered – listen carefully!), they were also able to answer a few attendee questions off-screen. Those questions follow…
How does Allbirds plan to deal with offsetting the increasing carbon footprint that is associated with shipping Allbirds products to customers?
RP: We are fully partnered with Fedex to help us here!
Large scale recyclability can be found in industries that have universal materials where one company can recycle the product of another manufacturer. Are there opportunities for other companies to reuse your products in their own way?
CR: Certainly – we think there is a lot of opportunity in this type of partnership!
What impact does the geographic location of your suppliers in relation to the location of your manufacturing facilities have on your carbon footprint?
CR: Geographic location of course has a big impact on transportation but one of the key areas is the contribution of the grid mix of the area we are sourcing from. An area that relies more on solar and wind energy will have a much lower impact calculation than one that relies on coal, for instance.
Are you planning on evolving your knit structures / materiality? I’m a 3D knit designer and i noticed most of your shoes, I am aware of, look like plain jersey / a few pointelle meshes but rather simple. Is that of interest to you?
CR: We intentionally design with quite a pared back aesthetic but are always looking for new innovation in construction as well as materials.
Was wondering if Allbirds has plans on producing bio-based leather sneakers?
RP: That is part of our effort with Natural Fiber Welding, knowns as Plant Leather.
Are you using a Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) tool to calculate carbon equivalents? If so, which one? And are you measuring cradle-to-gate, cradle-to-grave, or cradle-to-cradle?
RP: We use Cradle-to-grave for now.
Thanks again to Claudia and Romesh for joining us!