Allbirds, the ethical footwear brand hailing from San Francisco, is continuing its European expansion with a dedicated European website and a new store due to open in Berlin.
The brand was founded by Tim Brown and Joey Zwillinger in 2016. The pair took the footwear industry by surprise with the launch of a revolutionary ZQ-certified merino wool sneaker that was inspired by natural materials and built for everyday wear.
Last year the direct-to-consumer brand made its move into the UK market with a dedicated website and a store in London’s Covent Garden. The European website expands its e-commerce footprint to 12 additional markets and it has secured a 139 sqm bricks-and-mortar store in Berlin’s vibrant Mitte neighbourhood, which will open later in 2019.
“For decades, the footwear industry has overlooked natural materials in favour of cheaper, petroleum-derived alternatives,” said Tim Brown, co-CEO and co-founder, of the brand’s ethose. “We’ve seen that, while consumers care deeply about sustainability, they don’t want to sacrifice comfort or design when buying something eco. That’s why we’ve focused on crafting the best possible products, which also happen to be far kinder to the planet.”
The manufacturing process behind Allbirds’s original Wool Runner consumes 60% less energy than typical sneakers, and the brand’s Tree collection, introduced in March 2018, features ethically sourced Eucalyptus fibres, which uses 95% less water and has half of the carbon impact compared to traditional footwear materials.
The fabric creates a cooling effect by wicking away moisture and, along with a silky-smooth mesh construction, delivers unmatched breathability and supreme comfort. Both of Allbirds’s Tree and Wool lines also have laces made from recycled plastic bottles and an insole derived from castor beans.
In August of last year Allbirds added the Sugar line and its SweetFoam sole was awarded “Best Inventions of 2018” by TIME magazine. It is made from ethically sourced sugarcane and contains a first-to-market carbon negative alternative to the petroleum-based foam that is widely used in casual footwear. Allbirds has open-sourced the technology and more than 100 companies have inquired about utilising the material in their supply chains.
Joey Zwillinger added: “The response we’ve received thus far has been beyond what we could’ve ever imagined when we first started this. Our customers understand this is about something bigger – doing our part to address the problem of our generation. We believe that our mission works better at scale and we are thrilled to launch Allbirds to Europe, bringing sustainability to more wardrobes around the world.”
To learn more about Allbirds, its investors, social stats and other key data, read its dedicated profile in our master database of fashion, The Intelligence.