In October 2018, Allbirds opened its first London store in Covent Garden. I first saw them on Instagram and decided to do some more research on the ‘world’s most comfortable shoe.’
Allbirds sell shoes, socks, and other accessories. But, what caught my attention was their wool runner shoe. This shoe was the first style sold by Allbirds, so I thought I’d focus in on this particular shoe.
At first glance, the wool runner does not look like your conventional shoe. You can see it is made from wool, but its style is athletic but casual. The shoe also has no logo, which I like as it adds to the sleekness of the design. Even on appearance, they look very comfortable and after reading reviews, they seem to live up to their claim.
I read more about where their wool is from and how it is produced as well as the benefits for the consumer. The wool comes from New Zealand Merino sheep, known for being super soft and breathable. On the website, it says that:
In New Zealand, sheep outnumber humans about six to one. Thanks to their wool, our process uses 60% less energy than materials used in typical synthetic shoes.
The wool from these sheep is put through a mill and made super fine – each strand is 20% the diameter of a human hair! Its laces are made from recycled plastic bottles, whilst the insoles are made from castor bean oil. But Allbirds doesn’t stop there; its packaging is made from 90% recycled cardboard. I love the attention to detail in each step, from production to consumption.
Now, onto why this shoe is beneficial for the consumer. Not only does investing in this shoe mean that you lower your carbon footprint (I’m sold already), but the wool is super breathable so you can even wear them sockless without the fear of odour! The wool is also temperature-regulating, so it’ll keep you cool in summer and warm in winter. There are so many benefits to this shoe so, in my opinion, the price is worth it. The only downside I came across whilst researching was that they can attract dirt easily (wool often does), but every review that mentioned this also said that they were super easy to wipe and wash!
I’ve said it before, but I really admire brands that have sustainability at its heart. I think utilising resources that mother nature has given us, and use them to their full potential shows how incredible nature actually is. Wool has so many exceptional qualities that make it a super sustainable material. There is debate surrounding wool in regards to ethicality; however, my research on Allbirds wool runners has shown that their sheep are cared for and I think that it is proven by the amazing wool that they produce.
Allbirds have loads of other styles of shoe made from other materials, so please check them out. Have a good Thursday everyone, and I’ll be back soon with another Brand Watch!