Allbirds, the American brand of sustainable footwear, continues its expansion outside the U.S., entering 12 markets in mainland Europe through a new e-commerce website, allbirds.eu. The company will ship its items to Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden.
Allbirds, which was founded in 2014 and follows a direct-to-consumer model everywhere, picked certain European countries for the launch of its online offering after analyzing the customers' feedback from its British website, which got 10 percent of its orders from Continental Europe. The brand is also planning to open a first brick-and-mortar store in Berlin at the beginning of October.
The expansion is financially supported by a further injection of $50 million received from its institutional investors, T Rowe Price, Fidelity and Tiger Global. Its total external funding has reached $75 million, and has reportedly raised the company's value to no less than $1.4 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal and other media.
Allbirds took the decision to enter China earlier this year, establishing two shops, one in Shanghai and another in Beijing. It launched the brand in the U.K. last year, opening a physical store in London in addition to its web store. It has seven brick-and-mortar stores in the U.S.
The San-Francisco-based company is already active with its global direct-to-consumer business model in the U.S., New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the U.K. and China.
Allbirds produces sustainable footwear of merino wool and other natural materials. The Tree collection launched in March last year consists of eucalyptus fibers, farmed by using a minimum of water from irrigation through a process that cuts in half the production of CO2. The fabric has cooling properties as it dissipates moisture.
The company uses shoelaces made from recycled plastic bottles and castor bean insoles for both its Tree and Wool collections. A line introduced last August has a SweetFoam sole made from sugarcane, a replacement for the ethylene-vinyl acetate, or EVA, which is made from fossil fuels. The SweetFoam material was developed by Allbirds in cooperation with a Brazilian petrochemical producer, Braskem.
The packaging is made from 90 percent recycled cardboard. Allbirds also launched a so-called “carbon fund” in April. It is a self-imposed CO2 tax that supports 100 percent carbon neutrality. Allbirds is registered as a Benefit Corporation for its commitment to the environment and sustainability.