Allbirds, the sustainable footwear brand set up in San Francisco in 2016, has opened its first European store, in the heart of Covent Garden. Founders Tim Brown and Joey Zwillinger wanted to create a technologically advanced shoe that had sustainability at its core. The original wool trainers they produced required 60% less energy to manufacture than normal trainers.
Having sold over one million pairs of woollen shoes and with a large celebrity following, Allbirds claims it has created ‘the world’s most comfortable shoe’. As well as functionality and sustainability, minimalism is at the core of the brand. Brown was a pro-footballer and was inspired to create a simpler shoe that was kinder to the environment. Born in New Zealand, where sheep outnumber humans, he was also already familiar with the excellent properties of merino wool. Zwillinger, an engineer in the renewables field in San Francisco, had the knowledge to help execute the idea.
The shoes come in three different styles and two materials: the Wool styles were created first, then the Tree styles, made using eucalyptus tree bark. Even the laces are fully sustainable and are made out of recycled plastic bottles. The three styles will cover all your trainer needs: the Loungers are slip-ons shoes, Skippers are a mix between sneakers and boat shoes, while Runners are classic lace-up sneakers.
After the brand’s immense success in the US, it has now opened a bricks-and-mortar store in London and set up its UK-based e-commerce website to serve the European consumer. The footwear is available in a variety of fun colours, with more shades released regularly.
Allbirds, 123 Long Acre, London WC2E 9PA, +44 (0)808 164 8595