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Daily Running Co Sustainability Project

Introduction

This last article of our Sustainability Project will compare the different pairs of shoes with sustainability theme. Sustainability running shoes have picked up pace over the years with more and more brands announcing products with a sustainability spin. But, for sustainability, there are few brands doing more than just using recycled materials in their production. Therefore, to conclude Daily Running Co’s Sustainability Project, this post include a comparative analysis across the 3 products we have reviewed. We seek to inform the market about how the viable sustainability is to becoming a mainstream trend for performance footwear. This is achieved through 3 categories of factors set out in the Methodology section below.

Methodology & Assessment Matrix

The main objective is to find out whether sustainable running shoes can be utilize for causal or even performance running? Through this assessment, we seek to find out the stage of adoption and level of technological feasibility of sustainable running shoes. There are three key areas which we assess, they are namely: (i) Sustainability, (ii) Performance, and (iii) Costing & Availability. We will include a list of products from different brands which qualify but not within our assessment. There are many different possible factors to include in each of the categories. However, Daily Running Co has selected the criteria where information can be accurately obtained and assessed.

Additionally, we like to note that the Comparative Analysis is a relatively measurement by comparing the products against each other. As such, with extended product list and different products, the relative position and scoring of the products could change.

Sustainability Matrix

In the Sustainability category, we analyze the products across 3 factors. These 3 factors are: (i) Amount of CO2 emissions, (ii) Alternative Sustainable Material, (iii) Product Information Transparency.

Performance Matrix

In the Performance category, we analyze the products across 7 factors. These 7 factors are: (i) Distance Capability, (ii) Pace Capability, (iii) Weight, (iv) Upper Performance (including laces), (v) Midsole Performance, (vi) Outsole Performance, and (vii) Durability.

Costing & Availability Matrix

In the Costing & Availability category, we analyze the products across 2 factors: These 2 factors are: (i) Price Competitiveness and (ii) Regional/Global Availability.

Comparative Analysis

The 3 products assessed in the Comparative Analysis include: (i) Adidas X Allbirds 2.94 KG CO2e, (ii) Hylo Athletics hylo Light (previously known as hylo Run 2.0), and (iii) Allbirds Tree Dasher 2. Individual product review is available in the links at the end of the article.

Chart 1: Comparative Analysis Total Score

Of the 3 products, the Adidas x Allbirds collaboration running shoes came in top for total score. This is followed closely by Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 and then the Hylo Athletics hylo Light/ Run 2.0. While Adidas has now created a new product, Parley x Adizero Shoes, with a whole upper, the midsole and outsole remains similar to the original collaboration product.

Chart 2: Comparative Scoring Chart

While Adidas x Allbirds collaboration had the highest total score, it was outdone by Allbirds’ Tree Dasher 2 in Performance and overall Sustainability matrix. While hylo Light had showcased a good fight in the comparative analysis, the other two outshone it. In our opinion, the hylo Light is closer to a trainer which can be used in workouts and running.

Performance Matrix

In the Performance Matrix, the Tree Dasher 2 got the highest overall score, followed by Adidas x Allbirds collaboration, and then Hylo Athletics hylo Light. The most impressive factors of the Tree Dasher 2 are its durability, which is expected to be longer than the rest, and the midsole performance. However, it did not as good in terms of weight.

Cost & Availability Matrix

In the Cost & Availability Matrix, the Allbirds x Allbirds collaboration top the ranking given its lowest price and wide availability. The price competitiveness could have arose due to Adidas’s production scale & skills. It is closely followed by hylo Light which is able to ship to many different countries. Allbirds has not done so partly due to their sustainable ethos. Transportation creates additional emissions in the supply chain and setting up logistics sites in countries has to be optimize to minimize the per product environmental impact.

Sustainability Matrix

In the Sustainability Matrix, Allbirds came in first followed by hylo Light and closely tagged by Adidas x Allbirds collaboration. While the Tree Dasher 2 is not the least in terms of carbon emissions, it chose to utilize many alternative materials for the product and the amount of information disclosed to inform consumer about their impact to the environment. The latter 2 factors helped the Tree Dasher 2 won back its position in the Sustainability Matrix.

Conclusion

Sustainability is growing in importance as governments, businesses, and people recognize the huge negative impact of climate change. Many countries in the world, along businesses, have pledge actions to reduce their emissions and combat climate change. The same is happening in the performance footwear industry. However, for the industry to combat climate change successfully and reduce emissions, the products and technologies have to be ready. In this case, the products need to be feasible for runners to adopt and it is affordable enough to be a substitute to legacy products.

You can find out more about each individual products initial and full reviews in the links below.

If you would like, please check out our other latest posts

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