Can Sneakers Help the Amazon?

Allbirds x JUST Limited-Edition Collaboration

This is a story about forests. Stay with us here.


f you’ve ever held a Whalebone Magazine you’ve hopefully thought, “This feels really nice in my hands.” It’s a physical print product that we think looks pretty good. Those good feelings extend to how it’s made, printed on FCS (Forest Stewardship Council)-certified paper as it is. That’s one of the reasons why we love JUST, whose water comes in a FCS-certified, plant-based carton. And we love Allbirds for a similar commitment to sustainable materials, including FCS-certified materials in the shoes they make.

So when we saw that JUST and Allbirds had gone and gotten together to collaborate on sneakers it seemed like a pretty good team-up. In a way, it made perfect sense, but we also needed a minute.

Drip, drop, high-top.

You know when you see an Instagram story from one of your friends and you see another of your friends in it, and you didn’t know that they knew each other and your mind is momentarily blown and you DM them, “Wait, you know so and so?”

So, when we heard that our friends at Allbirds and JUST were doing this thing together we had the same reaction. Both are certified B Corps (which examines social and environmental responsibility). Then we looked at these limited-edition JUST-blue emblazoned sneakers with the water drop on the back in the special edition in Allbirds’ Tree line (made from Eucalyptus trees) with lace kits inspired by JUST flavors and it looked like they might have been friends forever.

Let’s get back to the forests.

You’ve probably been horrified by the news of the Amazon rainforest wildfires in Brazil and maybe felt powerless. Maybe JUST co-founders Jayden and Will Smith and Allbirds co-founder Tim Brown felt similarly. They were talking about their shoe collaboration and realized that their products had some materials from the Amazon in common. A plastic alternative made from sugarcane is in the caps that top JUST cartons. And it also is the basis for Allbirds’ “SweetFoam” soles.

It’s important that we support those brands who give back more than they take.

“There is only one Mother Earth, and it’s on us to protect her. The Brazilian Amazon, our largest carbon sink, has now been burning for a month. We source JUST sugarcane caps from Brazil, so this hits especially close to home. Collaborating with businesses who are creating innovative, sustainable solutions are the key to our future, and it’s important that we support those brands who give back more than they take,” said Will Smith, JUST co-founder.

So it was only logical for them to take the next step and do like Will says by doing what they could to protect the forests. That’s why the companies thought it was a no-brainer that 100% of the proceeds from the Allbirds x JUST collaboration would go to supporting Leonardo DiCaprio’s Amazon Forest Fund.

We’d make a birds-of-a-feather joke here but then we’d feel bad about ourselves. The sneakers, which come in a high-top “Tree Topper” and low runner, are pretty fly, though.