Aug 21, 2020
Eco brand Allbirds announces expansion into Korea
Aug 21, 2020
Korean customers will now be able to get their hands on the minimalist shoes made from premium natural materials that have proved to be celebrity favourites from Allbirds, a leading, San Francisco-based sustainable footwear and apparel brand.
From the early days of its international expansion, the company’s sights have been set on the Korean market. It considers the Korean market an essential gateway for building long-term success throughout Asia. Leading the growth in international markets is Sandeep Verma, head of international. After launching and building Allbirds' European operations in 2018, he has successfully led a team of 40 in opening four brick-and-mortar stores in London, Berlin, and Amsterdam and has expanded the e-commerce business to include 28 European countries in just 18 months.
Famous for their sleek, logo-free sneakers, Allbirds makes its products from a suite of regenerative natural materials including ZQ-certified New Zealand Merino wool, FSC-certified eucalyptus tree fibre and SweetFoam, a proprietary innovation made with sugarcane and a revolutionary alternative to the petroleum-based foam traditionally used in footwear. Developed by Allbirds in partnership with Braskem, a publicly-traded green energy company in Brazil, the innovation has been open-sourced to the entire industry and beyond. To date, more than 100 companies have inquired about incorporating the material in their supply chains, according to a media statement by the company.
Apart from a focus on simple design and comfort, Allbirds is driven by a commitment to tread lightly on the planet and has treated sustainability as a non-negotiable right from the start, incorporating the business as a public benefit corporation and B Corp. The manufacturing process behind the wool shoes consumes 60 per cent less energy than typical sneakers, and the brand's Tree model uses 95 per cent less water and has half of the carbon impact compared to traditional footwear. In addition, Allbirds’s shoelaces are made from recycled plastic bottles and the insoles derived from castor bean oil.
The company, which sold only one silhouette at launch, the Wool Runner, has gradually expanded its product offering to include water-repellent sneakers and running shoes. Last year it announced it was releasing a sock collection, made from Trino, a super yarn derived from a blend of the brand’s hero materials, Merino wool and Tree.
“As we continue to expand our international footprint, we’re excited to finally enter the Korean market and connect with our existing community here, further establishing Allbirds as an important sustainable fashion player in Asia. Allbirds’s mission to tread lighter on the planet has resonated with people far and wide, from Berlin to New York, to LA, and Shanghai, and we’re delighted to share our purpose-led products and world-class level of care with our Korean customers,” Sandeep Verma said.
“The response we’ve received has been beyond what we could’ve ever imagined when we first started this. Our customers understand this is about something bigger – doing our part as a private company to address the problem of our generation. We believe that our mission works better at scale and we are thrilled to launch Allbirds in Korea, bringing sustainability to more wardrobes around the world,” co-CEO and co-founder of the company, Joey Zwillinger said.
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