Allbirds: Walking in Sustainable Shoes Never Felt Better
Is there such a thing as comfortable and stylish shoes made of eco and premium materials? Yes, there is - Allbirds knows all about it!
Allbirds is a fashion company that designs and creates shoes made from natural materials, such as wool. This eco-friendly company is an environmentally conscious fashion brand specializing in producing long-lasting footwear.
Allbirds was launched in 2016, and until today, it has become a global brand. With affordable prices and excellent quality, the Allbirds shoes are even loved by Emma Watson, Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and many others.
Tim Brown was lucky to meet Joey Zwillinger, the man who helped him accomplish his idea of developing the Allbirds company.
Continue reading about the story that drew the attention of celebrities.
Chasing the Dream
Even though Tim Brown calls himself a proud New Zealander, he was born in Congleton, England, on March 6, 1981. Tim was born to a loving family that encouraged him to pursue whichever interest he developed.
Tim was a curious child who loved going out, enjoying the outdoor activities and having fun with his friends. Even though he was raised when the computer industry was developing at a staggering rate, he was only interested in sports - especially playing football.
Playing football became his hobby, his love, and his way of living while Tim was a teenager. So, the love he grew for football determined his future decisions.
After he finished school in England, Tim felt confident enough to spread his wings and explore new heights. Young Tim left the nest in England and let the winds take him on his next adventure. As faith would have it, Tim took his time exploring new opportunities and new, blue skies.
With his mind set on playing football for a living, Tim’s journey ended in the most unexpected place.
Starting from Down Under
When Tim left England, he traveled the world, struggling to find a good football team that would be the accomplishment of his dreams.
Tim’s thrill-seeking journey landed him in New Zealand, and he could not contain his thrill of finding the right team that would help him become the epitome of his dreams.
After all his adventures, Tim got lucky and became a part of Wellington Phoenix FC in New Zealand. Making the Football World Cup with a Kiwi team may have looked far-fetched to some, but Tim had long dreamed of doing precisely that.
Tim was one of the Wellington Phoenix's seven founding members, having joined the club in 2007 for its first season in the A-League. As a box-to-box midfielder, Tim was recognized for his tremendous efficiency, frequently making trademark late dashes into the penalty area, and scoring the majority of the goals.
Changes Come Knocking
Something interesting happened in 2008; as a professional football player for the Newcastle Jets in New South Wales, Tim realized that his sponsor's never-ending supply of sneakers was "absolutely unneeded." In one interview, he even said that he never liked shoes much because they were over-logoed and over-colored, and he always wanted something simple.
In 2012, Tim announced that he would retire from the professional game as a footballer. So, he went to London and started working on getting a Master’s degree in Management.
Getting into Management master's meant that he had something interesting in his mind, and London was the first step toward realizing his idea.
The Idea of Making Shoes
I found a footwear factory on Google and thought, 'I'm going to dive in. In the off-season, I took a trip and started visiting footwear factories. It was like, ‘Woah!’ This industry is massive, enormous, and incredibly manual and basic. It defaults to using cheap materials, and there isn't an opportunity to do things a bit differently. Tim Brown
Many think that playing professional sports would be enough to keep most people out of trouble. On the other hand, Tim Brown was fed up with his football ambitions and decided to try something new.
Everything started when he discovered a footwear factory on Google and decided to get a taste of business - disappointed by the shoes he was wearing during his football career, he was preparing to launch his business designing shoes and bring some freshness to the shoe industry.
He decided on three criteria to guide him: design, comfort, and sustainability. Tim also took a pivotal fact-finding trip to China. Tim imagined making shoes from eco-materials and high-quality wool from New Zealand's sheep. He was amazed by the outstanding qualities of merino wool, so he thought long and hard about utilizing the perk.
After years of research, Tim realized that starting a business like this may be challenging and impossible. And when he was ready to quit - he met Joey Zwilinger, the co-founder of Allbirds. They met by coincidence through their wives, who were roommates at college.
The First Stitch
Tim and his team started talking about the idea, and over a couple of days, the team devised a plan for the future of the company - branded Allbirds.
Joey Zwilinger was the right person for the business Tim dreamed of starting because he was an engineer and renewables expert. Both of them collaborated to create a ground-breaking wool fabric designed exclusively for footwear. The result was a new category of shoes inspired by natural materials and a constant commitment to making better things in better ways.
Finally, on the 1st of March of 2014, Tim and his co-founder Joey walked into the story of the shoe industry and launched Allbirds in San Francisco.
Prototyping the Future of Shoes
Before launching Allbirds, Tim started a Kickstarter campaign in 2014 that raised $120,000 in five days. As a result, he was able to construct a shoe prototype.
Soon after Joey joined him, they managed to raise $2.7 million in seed capital before the launch of Allbirds in 2016. Even though they were trying hard to raise money, the story of Allbirds' evolution begins with an intriguing twist.
Tim and Joey's office was initially located in Joey's mother-in-law’s garage. Everyone told them they wouldn't make it by designing shoes other than the traditional ones used in soccer.
However, the Allbirds shoes became famous overnight, and Time Magazine released the statement that “The Allbirds are the most comfortable shoes in the world made of super-soft wool.”
After the world heard of the new, game-changing shoes, Allbirds started to expand beyond Tim and Joey’s wildest dreams. By the end of 2017, Allbirds had raised $7.25 million from investors, including Tiger Global Management, Maveron, and superstar Leonardo DiCaprio.
Flocking All Birds
Today, the company is a proud employer of around 50 people in its San Francisco headquarters, 40 in its Nashville warehouse, and 350 contractors in South Korean manufacturing premises.
In 2018, Allbirds raised $50M in Series C funding bringing its total worth to $1.4 billion. Two years later, Tim and Joey’s company announced a partnership with Adidas. Today, the company is targeting a valuation of $2.2 billion in its initial public offering. In 2021, Allbirds was a well-developed brand with stores in New Zealand, China, and the United States. Also, in 2021 the company went IPO under the ticker BIRD.
Atoms, Adidas, Reebok, Clarks Shoes, and Rothy's are some of the rivals that made Allbirds stand on solid grounds and persist in offering top-notch products.
The Future Is Wearing Allbirds Shoes
Today, Allbirds is not only producing shoes; they offer wool accessories, underwear, wool slippers, and many other lines of shoes, clothing, and accessories.
Made from natural materials that are 100% recyclable, the Allbirds shoes are slowly becoming a favorite among celebrities.
Allbirds is an eco-friendly fashion company with a primary focus on manufacturing sustainable footwear using premium natural materials, such as wool. Its goal is to provide comfort and good design without making those two mutually exclusive.
In a world sinking in pollution, choosing Allbirds means making a step toward saving the world because the future as well is wearing Allbirds-shoes.
Camilla Cabello, Lady Gaga, Hillary Duff, Mila Cunis, and Chrissy Teigen are some of the A-listers that love their Allbirds sneakers, so if they’re good enough for them, they’re good enough for the rest of the world.