Allbirds is moving into the clothing category, debuting four new items on Tuesday: a T-shirt, made of discarded crab shells; A wool cardigan; A wool jumper (a Britishism for a sweater sweater); And a wool puffer-jacket – all made from the same merino wool, sour from New Zealand, found in Allbirds’ popular shoes.
More than a year after launch, Allbirds began selling socks, marking the first outing of footwear. Earlier this year, it started selling underwear and indicated more apparel products.
The new commodity doubles down on its commitment to use plants, including recycled plastic bottles and, now, crab shells.
“Does the world really need another T-shirt?” Co-founder Tim Brown asked during an interview. “The fashion industry doesn’t need another T-shirt until it gets better.”
Brown said the company first identified a waste stream, which in this case is a surplus of ice crab shells in the Canadian seafood industry. To make shirts, minerals are extracted from the shells and mixed with wool. The result: an antimicrobial fabric that can kill bacteria, Brown said.
“The result is something special,” he said.
Allbirds’ new tee will retail for $ 48, a cardigan for $ 145, a jumper for $ 135 and a puffer for $ 250.
While coronavirus is epidemic With poor apparel sales, fewer people getting ready for work and other special occasions, it has truly been a boon for Allbirds. Consumers seek comfort, and Allbirds is known for just that. The company launched its first running shoe in April. It has also recently launched its own mobile app.
“Our business has been extremely flexible during a really difficult period,” Brown said. “On top of that, we’ve seen a truly incredible increase in consumer interest in sustainability.”
Allbirds says it plans to expand its apparel selection. But as with shoes, it is starting small.
“We’re focusing on a few essentials that we want to bring down,” Brown said. “We sold just one shoe for the first year of its existence.”
The start-up launched in 2016 is probably best known for a $ 95 wool sneaker. Allbirds sold their millionth shoe in just two years. It has aroused the interest of big-name investors such as actor Leonardo DiCaprio.
Last month, it landed up to $ 100 million in a Series E funding round. The funding, led by Franklin Templeton, gave a value of $ 1.7 billion, according to a person familiar with the goal. In 2018, the permanent footwear manufacturer raised $ 50 million.
“I think it speaks to a wider interest in the financial and investor community towards the environment and sustainability,” Brown said of the latest funding round for Allerbards.