Allbirds expands into sustainable apparel
Allbirds is taking flight. Following the announcement that it had closed a $100 million funding round a matter of weeks ago, the Californian brand is enthusiastically throwing itself into a new phase in its growth. Having been specialized in sustainably developed footwear since its foundation by Tim Brown and Joey Zwillinger in 2016, the label is now expanding into ready-to-wear.
Launching on October 20, the brand's first apparel pieces are available in sizes XS to XXL on the Allbirds e-commerce site. Prices range from $48 for a t-shirt to $250 for a puffer jacket, with all pieces having been made responsibly.
"The ZQ, Qeko-Tex 100 and FSC certifications ensure that animal welfare, the environment and sustainability have been respected in the production of this collection," explained the brand in a release. Each piece is labeled with its carbon footprint in order to raise awareness, and the functional wardrobe combines innovation in next-gen natural textiles with the use of traditional textiles and methods.
More specifically, the brand, which already sold underwear before the launch of its apparel range, has applied its TrinoTm material, which mixes merino wool with eucalyptus fiber, to certain products. But the company is also offering t-shirts using a new material called TrinoXo, which is made from a biopolymer produced with discarded shells from marine life.
The t-shirts, jumpers, cardigans and lightweight puffer jackets being proposed by Allbirds are meant to constitute the base of the brand's sustainable apparel offering.
The funding recently received by the company has permitted it to clear the first hurdles that usually face brands launching similar collections in a ready-to-wear market that has already seen a number of sustainable initiatives. But the funds will also help the brand to double down on the development of its international presence.
In Europe, Allbirds already boasts stores in London and Berlin, but although its products are distributed in France, the brand still does not have a physical location in the country. The American label has therefore teamed up with a local partner in order to dip its toe into the French market, announcing a two-month pop-up at the Merci boutique in Paris. The temporary store will open just in time for the holidays and will introduce French consumers to the brand's Wool Runner, Wool Piper and Tree Dasher models.
Measuring just over 640 square feet, the store will apply the brand's logic of sustainable design. The space will be "filled with bricks from the Briquèterie du Nord, in Lille, which can be easily assembled and dismantled, guaranteeing that no waste will be lost during the process," explains the brand in a release. "At the end of the pop-up, the bricks will be returned to the Briquèterie du Nord to be recycled or reused. Merci and Allbirds wanted to ensure that the elements used to construct the pop-up are an integral part of the same sustainable concept behind the products on offer."
The space will also serve as an opportunity for the Allbirds team to give a more in-depth presentation of its brand universe to sustainability-focused consumers in France, where they will be competing with established domestic label Veja.
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