Footwear Brand 'Allbirds' Launches in Canada

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By Helen Siwak

Footwear brand Allbirds has entered Canada with an e-commerce shopping platform and to mark the occasion, it has also opened pop-ups at Nordstrom in Vancouver and Toronto.  

It began with a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in 2014 for ‘Wool Runners’ launched by Tim Brown. A former professional athlete and graduate from the London School of Economics and Political Science, Brown saw the campaign reach over $100,000 in sales in four days.

Enter Joey Zwillinger, a biotech engineer and renewable materials expert who worked to improve the construction and introduce additional sustainable materials such as a vegetable oil-based polyurethane insole.

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In 2016, Brown and Zwillinger renamed the footwear ‘Allbirds’ and introduced it to the world. Together, the two had created a sustainable footwear company that offered better shoes in a better way and were on a mission to prove that comfort, design and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. 

The Wool Runner was hailed as “the world’s most comfortable shoe” by TIME Magazine later that year and took advantage of the natural properties of wool to create an unparalleled comfort and wear experience.

“We always try to find new uses for materials that naturally exist right in front of us, rather than relying on cheap synthetics like traditional footwear brands. With a focus on developing on what we call the ‘right amount of nothing’, we are taking the core function of shoes and distilling it to its minimum which results in shoes that look great and feel amazing throughout the day,” said Zwillinger. 

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The Wool collection including the Wool Runner and Wool Lounger uses ZQ-certified merino wool crafted in one of the world’s finest textile mills outside of Milan. The engineered one-piece outsole offers supreme cushioning and the brushed wool-lined insole stays soft to the touch. 

In 2018, Allbirds offers three styles of shoes and two materials for men and women, including the Runner, Lounger and the newly launched Skipper for $135, and Smallbirds for children for $80. In addition, Allbirds will offer a limited-edition Canadian colourway embroidered with a maple leaf to celebrate the company’s expansion, launching exclusively on Allbirds.ca.

Canadian fans of the brand will be pleased to learn that Allbirds has launched online in Canada and Pop-In@Nordstrom is open in Toronto and Vancouver as of March 30, with five exclusive styles in addition to the full range of products.

“We are looking forward to introducing Canadians to Allbirds, particularly as Canadians have a fundamental understanding about the importance of protecting our environment,” said Brown.

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  (Pop-up at Nordstrom in Vancouver on March 30, 2018. Photo: Nordstrom) 

(Pop-up at Nordstrom in Vancouver on March 30, 2018. Photo: Nordstrom) 

Always innovating, Allbirds recently introduced a new suite of products named ‘Tree’ made from its most sustainable material to-date. Crafted from a textile that Allbirds engineered using Eucalyptus pulp, the Tree collection creates a cooling effect by wicking away moisture and, in concert with a silky-smooth mesh construction, delivers unmatched breathability and supreme comfort.

The Tree collection features ethically sourced Eucalyptus fibres, which use only 5% of the water and one-third of the land compared to traditional footwear materials, and that is definitely technology that we can all get behind. 

Helen Siwak is the publisher of EcoLuxLuv.com Magazine, a freelance content creator specializing in retail and luxury lifestyle. She is a regular content contributor to Boulevard Vancouver (English & Chinese), Retail-InsiderBLUSH Vancouver, and has lifestyle blogged for StyleDemocracy and Daily Hive. When not writing, she is attending fashion events, traveling, and advocating for animal/human rights. helensiwak@yahoo.com.

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