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Allbirds: Brazilian sugar, recycled plastic bottles used to make sustainable shoes

Blair Shiff

San Francisco-based shoe company Allbirds is known for its sustainability as well as the logo-less design.

Allbirds co-founder and co-CEO Joey Zwillinger called making the footwear environmentally friendly "non-negotiable" while talking to FOX Business' Liz Claman on Wednesday.

"We flew down to Brazil, and we met with our now-partner Braskem, which is the largest green chemical company on the planet," Zwillinger said on "The Claman Countdown." "We worked with them and figured out a process to take the waste stream from sugarcane production ... and produce this foam in an incredibly environmentally friendly way."

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He said this process actually "sucks carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere."

To keep the eye on healing the Earth, Allbirds open-sourced its innovative sole design for the shoe industry to use.

"Very few, that we know of, to-date have actually used some of the sustainability credentials that we've opened up to the world," Zwillinger said.

The creative material use doesn't stop there. The company uses recycled plastic bottles for shoelaces, castor bean oil for soles and recycled cardboard.

"We made the beauty of the shoe come through with this really rich textile that we have from merino wool or from eucalyptus fiber that looks quite distinct and really beautiful, but quite simple at the same time," Zwillinger said.

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And though the idea of having no logo in a logo-obsessed society might sound great, Allbirds has already experienced a drawback and it came at the hands of Amazon.

Amazon was selling merino wool sneakers for a third of Allbirds' $95 price on its platform, something that caught the attention of Zwillinger.

"We've never offered out products on Amazon.com, and maybe that's why Amazon was upset, but they took the opportunity and saw some search volume on Amazon.com and decided to make their own version that was clearly inspired by our product," Zwillinger said.

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He said Allbirds is pursuing a legal battle currently, which he admitted might be "an uphill battle that's not worth fighting" considering how huge Amazon is, but he said they hope Amazon will start using the sustainable models for the shoes.

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