The Story of Allbirds, the Brand Behind “The World’s Most Comfortable Shoes”

An overview of the greenest shoe company in the world.

Where Did It All Start?

Back in 2014, co-founder Tim Brown who was a professional football player and vice captain of the New Zealand football team had an idea to make an uber comfortable shoe made from merino wool. He received a grant to create a wool sneaker from the New Zealand Wool Industry and after launching his idea on Kickstarter, he raised $119 000 in just 5 days. Soon after that, Brown teamed up with Joey Zwillinger, a renewable materials expert and the two started Allbirds in 2016.

The Sustainability Approach

Allbirds’ long term goal is to emit no carbon and to create a sustainable future. Allbirds’ plan to eliminate their products’ carbon footprint is a 3 step process:

1) Measure the emissions of everything from the raw materials to the end of life product.

2) Use recycled and natural products to reduce the impact.

3) Offset the little bit that’s left with carbon offsets to make Allbirds a completely carbon neutral company.

What Makes Allbirds Different?

Every Allbirds product is environmentally friendly and made from material which is ethically sourced. They have uppers that are made from soft New Zealand merino wool and some of their midsoles are made from a new material called SweetFoam which is derived from Brazilian sugarcane.

SweetFoam is the world’s first carbon negative EVA polymer and Allbirds is so committed to reducing the ecological footprint normally associated with mass-produced shoes that they are willing to make the technology available to any manufacturer who asks for it.

Temperature control: the tree fabric models are light and breathable, perfect for warm temperatures while the merino wool models keep your feet warm and cosy in the cold.

Machine washable: every Allbirds shoe can be tossed in the washing machine when they get dirty or smelly.

Odour control: Allbirds shoes are made from materials which hold up well against sweat and bacteria which help to minimise long-term odour.

Sockless wear: the insides of Allbirds are smooth and seamless and have a slipper-like feel, making them quick to slip on and off.

Allbirds Styles

Allbirds shoes are available in two different styles: merino wool or tree fabric. They are all available in neutral colours as well as limited edition colours that change from time to time.

Tree Runners


An everyday sneaker made from light, breezy eucalyptus tree fibre and the most popular Allbirds design.

You can find it here

Wool Runners


An everyday sneaker made from soft and cozy merino wool.

You can find it here

Tree Dashers


A performance running shoe made from breathable tree material. It has more support in the upper and more cushioning in the sole.

You can find it here

Wool Runner Mizzles


A weather-ready sneaker made with weather repellent materials.

You can find it here

Allbirds and Adidas Collaboration

Allbirds and sportswear giant Adidas are teaming up to create a sneaker with a carbon output of 2kg or less. To put that into perspective, the average Adidas shoe has a carbon output of between 10kg and 15kg. Allbirds shoes have an average carbon output of 7kg. James Carnes, vice president of brand strategy at Adidas says that getting to 2kg is the equivalent of running a two minute mile. The Allbirds-Adidas collab sneaker is set to be released in the next year and we can’t wait.

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