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Building the future of apparel with allbirds 

The sustainable clothing brand has re-invented what it meant to build a brand today and teaching others how to do it.

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Allbirds. Who stood up for the planet—by treading lightly on it


What happens when the timing is right and your ambitions set high? If this also resonates with you, then probably Allbirds’ story is the inspiration we are all craving for. The story starts in 2014 when two co-founders from opposite sides of the world were about to fulfil a market gap with their sustainable lace up sneakers.


To achieve this, Jim Brown and Joey Zwillinger raised a total of $77.5M in five rounds. In a short period of time, Allbirds revolutionised and disrupted the footwear industry by embodying their greatest mission: to be the world’s most comfortable shoes. Being the world’s most anything comes with great responsibility. Luckily for us, responsibility is exactly what Allbirds is all about.


The footwear industry manufactures millions of shoes yearly. Every step and part of this process emits greenhouse gases that accelerate the negative effects of climate change. We all know that taking public transport is better for the environment than driving your car, but do we know how our fashion choices impact the planet?


To put into context, the production of an average pair of shoes in the market emits 12.5 kg of CO2, which is equivalent to driving your car for 31 miles. Allbirds’ shoes emit a lower average of 7.6 kg a pair; less emissions means less risk of overheating our planet, which is already a good sustainability practice. If this is not inspiration enough, their unapologetically transparent approach will definitely be.


In 2020, Allbirds was the first brand to announce a carbon footprint label for its products. This means that by just taking a look at a pair’s label, anyone will be able to know what was the ecological impact of producing those shoes. After all, customers want to better understand how their purchases affect the environment, and according to Allbird's CEO, he has made it a priority for everyone in his company and the industry to feel the same way.


Allbirds has certainly become a pioneer for both comfort and sustainability. Their approach has been so successful that at the end of 2019 this company was already a full-fledged unicorn, valued at exactly $1.4B.


Their green DNA is present along every step of their journey: in its communication actions and points of sale, in their natural material’s origins, in their minimalist design and colours, and also in their self-imposed tax, created to finance their pledge for carbon neutrality. At a price of £95, these sneakers are made with materials certified for environmental and social well-being, and some of their most famous endorsements came from Leo Di Caprio and former US president Barack Obama himself.


Allbirds currently has 350 employees worldwide and a yearly revenue of over 100 million US dollars. However, their ambition lies in sharing with other companies the wisdom gained while trying to tackle what they believe to be the greatest challenge of our time: climate change. After all, on Brown’s words, “sustainability best practices are better done when they’re shared”.


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Article Details

  Feature with:           Allbirds

Founder, & CEO Tim Brown

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