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Allbirds is an American company which uses a direct-to-consumer approach and is aimed at designing environmentally friendly footwear.[1] Allbirds' first shoe was the Wool Runner, which is made from New Zealand superfine merino wool.[2] The company claims to keep the brand as eco-friendly as possible[3] and is a certified B Corporation.[4] In March 2018, the company started offering their footwear with eucalyptus tree fiber.[5] In August 2018, a flip-flop collection made of bioplastic foam from sugar cane was released by Allbirds.[6]

Allbirds, Inc.
Private
IndustryFootwear
Founded2014; 5 years ago (2014)
FoundersTim Brown
Joey Zwillinger
HeadquartersSan Francisco, California
Areas served
Online: United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, China
Retail stores: New York, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, London, Chicago , Beijing, Shanghai
Websiteallbirds.com

In October 2018, the company raised a $50M Series C, bringing its total valuation to $1.4B.[7]

HistoryEdit

Allbirds co-founder Tim Brown[8] got the idea for the company while he was vice captain of the New Zealand football team. He had previously attended business school and used to make leather shoes for friends but was aware of how uncomfortable they were.[2] In 2014, he received a research grant from the New Zealand wool industry to engineer a sneaker. He then launched his idea on Kickstarter, raising $119,000 in five days.[9][1] After launching on Kickstarter, Brown teamed up with Joey Zwillinger, a biotech engineer and renewable materials expert.[9] The co-founders began developing their process and officially launched Allbirds in March 2016.[10][9]

During their first year in business, the company raised $7.25 million from investors including [Maveron], Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Red Sea Ventures, Slow Ventures, Peterson Partners, Antipodean and Western Technology Investment.[11][3]

In December 2017, Allbirds sued Steve Madden, alleging that the company's Traveler shoes look nearly identical to its wool runners.[12]

As of 2017, the company had 50 employees in their San Francisco headquarters, 40 employees at the Nashville warehouse and 350 contractors in a factory in South Korea.[2]

By October 2018, Allbirds sold a stake to investors at a valuation of $1.4 billion.[13][14]

ProductsEdit

Allbirds began with one product, the Wool Runner. In 2017, the company released a second shoe, the Lounger.[15] The shoes are made from castor bean oil and superfine merino wool, with each strand 17.5 microns wide. This material allows the shoe to be machine washable.[2]

On 24 October 2017, Allbirds launched a shoe line for children named Smallbirds.[16] The limited edition children shoes are $55 a pair and are an exact replica of its adult Wool Runner. Smallbirds are for children ages 2–4 and are available in three colors: natural grey, Kea red and NZ blue.[17]

In March 2018, Allbirds began offering eucalyptus tree runners, making it the company's first footwear product made primarily without wool.[18] Allbirds also offers a version of its Lounger shoe made from eucalyptus trees, in addition to wool. They also launched the Tree Skipper, a boat shoe made of the same material.[19]

In August 2018, Allbirds released flip-flops made from SweetFoam (a foam derived from sugar cane, developed by the company in partnership with Braskem).[20]

In November 2018, the Tree Topper was released, a high-top sneaker which combines the company's eucalyptus tree fiber, wool, and sugar cane footwear materials.[21] In May 2019, flats were added to the Allbirds product list, made from the same materials as the Tree Topper.[22]

In August 2019, Allbirds expanded its product line to include wool socks.[23]

PartnershipsEdit

In November 2017, Allbirds and Outdoor Voices collaborated on a line of athleisure apparel which included two limited edition colors of the Allbirds wool runners.[24]

In early 2018, five limited edition colors of Allbirds were released, available for purchase at pop-ups inside of five US and two Canadian Nordstrom locations, in addition to the Nordstrom website.[25]

In May 2018, Shake Shack branded pairs of Allbirds tree runners were sold at Madison Square Park in New York City for one day.[26]

In September 2018, Allbirds collaborated with Air New Zealand to create an eye mask for its business class passengers.[27]

RetailEdit

As of July 2019, Allbirds operated retail stores in Auckland, New York City, San Francisco, London, Chicago, Boston, Seattle, Beijing, and Shanghai.[28] The company also plans to open stores in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. at a later date.[29]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "The World's Most Comfortable Shoes Are Made of Super-Soft Wool". Time. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Bowles, Nellie (11 August 2017). "To Fit Into Silicon Valley, Wear These Wool Shoes". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  3. ^ a b Findling, Deborah (1 January 2017). "This eco-friendly sneaker is attracting celebrities without the benefit of a big brand name". CNBC. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  4. ^ "These Sneakers Are Affordable, Sustainable, and Genuinely Stylish". Esquire. 2 March 2017. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  5. ^ MacLellan, Lila (15 March 2018). "Allbirds, maker of Silicon Valley's "it" sneakers, is now making shoes from trees". Quartz. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  6. ^ Economos, Nicole (2 August 2018). "These 'game-changing' thongs are made from sugar cane". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  7. ^ Copeland, Rob (11 October 2018). "Trendy Sneaker Startup Allbirds Laces Up $1.4 Billion Valuation". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  8. ^ "We tried 'the world's most comfortable shoes' to see if they're as great as everyone says they are". Business Insider. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  9. ^ a b c "Allbirds is Shaking Up the Sneaker Market With a Pair of Wool Shoes". Observer. 19 April 2016. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  10. ^ Coscarelli, Alyssa (27 December 2016). "The Comfiest Sneakers Ever Aren't What You'd Expect". Refinery29. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  11. ^ Roof, Katie. "Allbirds raises $7.25 million, unveils new shoe colors". TechCrunch. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  12. ^ Spellings, Sarah (13 December 2017). "Steve Madden Sued by Sustainable Start-up". The Cut. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  13. ^ Copeland, Rob (11 October 2018). "Trendy Sneaker Startup Allbirds Laces Up $1.4 Billion Valuation". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  14. ^ Copeland, Rob. "Allbirds, the trendy shoe startup, now valued at $1.4 billion". MarketWatch. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  15. ^ "There's a new version of the 'world's most comfortable shoes' that Silicon Valley loves — here's our verdict". Business Insider. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  16. ^ Lieber, Chavie (5 September 2017). "How Does Allbirds Get Bigger? Kids Shoes and More Stores". Racked. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  17. ^ Buhr, Sarah. "Allbirds launches a kids shoe line called Smallbirds". TechCrunch. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  18. ^ Stock, Kyle (15 March 2018). "Allbirds Hooked You On Wool Shoes. Next, Shoes Made from Trees". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  19. ^ "Allbirds co-founders on their new plant-based shoe collection". CBS News. 15 March 2018. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  20. ^ "Shoe Company Unveils Flip-Flops Soles Made From Sugar". KYW-TV. 2 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  21. ^ Lawrence, Kelsey (21 December 2018). "Complex and Allbirds Demonstrate What Sustainability Really Looks Like". Complex. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  22. ^ Fitzgerald, Shannon (17 May 2019). "Allbirds Is Flying High–And Adidas and Nike Are Taking Notice". Fortune. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  23. ^ Waters, Cara (14 August 2019). "Billion-dollar startup Allbirds moves beyond shoes...into socks". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  24. ^ Cleary, Alison Syrett (16 November 2017). "This Allbirds x Outdoor Voices Collab is a Match Made in Athleisure Heaven". InStyle. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  25. ^ Phillips, Kami (12 April 2018). "Nordstrom Now Sells Allbirds, the Cute and Comfy Sneakers Hilary Duff and More Celebs Love". People. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  26. ^ Locker, Melissa (22 May 2018). "This must be how brands like Allbirds and Shake Shack get their kicks". Fast Company. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  27. ^ Ap, Tiffany (20 September 2018). "The merino wool mask will be on board select business cabin flights". Women's Wear Daily. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  28. ^ "Allbirds Stores - Come Try Us On For Size". Allbirds. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  29. ^ Thomas, Lauren (4 September 2018). "Allbirds is opening a massive store in New York and plans more across the US". CNBC. Retrieved 4 September 2018.