Allbirds Brings Fashionable Sustainability to Canada’s Sneaker Culture
After strong ecommerce performance and successful popups in Nordstrom and Toronto’s Queen Street, San Francisco-based fashion shoe brand Allbirds is opening up two new permanent Canadian locations. Taking up 2,430 square feet of the Yorkdale shopping centre, the sustainability-focused footwear company is working on expanding its global presence. This new brick-and-mortar location will “bring community and like-minded people into stores” according to CEO Joseph Zwillinger, who is also planning more experiential elements like a run club, artists, food, and brand ambassadors. In reference to its breathable and comfortable shoes, Allbirds’ name is a reference to New Zealand, which is so remote that its inhabitants were “all birds” before human contact.
Along with its expansion, the company is generating hype with its new line of running shoes. Bay Street Bull’s Digital Editor, David Stol, tried out the new Tree Flyers running shoe in natural black. But much like Allbirds’ entire selection, the shoes come in a variety of colours, with the Tree Flyers also coming in buoyant yellow, buoyant orange, cream hush, blizzard, and lux beige.
Lightweight and super springy, these shoes will take you faster and further effortlessly. Adapted from the Tree Dasher, the Flyer has Allbirds’ new SwiftFoam technology. Taking over two years of developing the perfect springy and light material to make running more comfortable and efficient, SmartFoam is used in its midsole and external heels, which are countered and flared for a steady stride and energy returns. The instep uses eucalyptus fibre for breathability and airiness when running longer distances.
Coming in at $210 CAD, the shoes exemplify the brand’s sustainable image with a carbon footprint of 9.92 CO2e with everything offset by zero. While no running shoes are beneficial to the environment, Allbirds shoes definitely take a sustainable approach with production taking significantly less energy. The upper fabric is a natural fibre, has laces made of recycled water bottles, a foam sole made of sugarcane, an insole made of castor bean oil, and to top it off the shoes are boxed in 90 percent recycled cardboard.
Opening this fall, Allbirds fans can find their own pair of Tree Flyers running shoes at the Toronto Yorkdale Mall. For those on the west coast, this summer saw the opening of Allbirds at 2262 West 4th Avenue in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood. Or fly by other runners without even needing to go to the store (or pay for shipping) by getting them straight from the Allbirds website.