allbirds

IMAGE COURTESY OF: allbirds

A native of New Zealand, Tim Brown was always well versed in the magical qualities of merino wool. Inherently curious, he began asking himself why such a remarkable, sustainable resource was virtually absent in the footwear industry. And with that spirit of wonder, the Allbirds journey began.

After years of researching and tinkering, Tim teamed up with Joey Zwillinger, an engineer and renewables expert. Together, they crafted a revolutionary wool fabric made specifically for footwear. The outcome? An entirely new category of shoes inspired by natural materials, and an ongoing mantra to create better things in a better way.

Their merino wool fibers are 20% the diameter of human hair, making it breathable, temperature-regulating, and moisture-wicking, all without that irritating scratchiness. The company produces a selection of shoes for both men and women, along with socks and accessories.

Their shoe packaging uses 90% post-consumer recycled cardboard and that one box serves as a shoe box, shopping bag, and mailer all in one.

The company is concerned with sustainability and their carbon footprint. First, they measure the emissions of everything from their raw materials to their end of life. Next, they reduce their impact by incorporating things like natural and recycled materials. And finally, they offset the little bit that’s left with carbon offsets, making Allbirds a completely carbon neutral business. But their goal is bigger—emit no carbon in the first place.

From the company:
Our ambition is to be like a tree, leaving the environment cleaner than we found it. That’s why we believe in the power of natural materials, and their potential to transform ecosystems. We’re looking beyond carbon neutrality, which means eventually, our business will be carbon negative.

DID YOU KNOW
On average, the production of one shoe produces 30 pounds of carbon dioxide and there are more than 15 billion shoes produced each year! Another aspect that is regularly overlooked and also contributes to the carbon dioxide emissions from shoes is the transportation.

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