Allbirds is Venturing Beyond 'Sustainable' Sneakers Into a New Category: Apparel

The brand is expanding, with the introduction of its first clothing collection.
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allbirds launches clothing

Allbirds, long known as a maker of sustainability-focused sneakers, is getting into the clothing game.

The brand announced the launch of Allbirds Apparel on Tuesday, beginning with a limited collection that includes a T-shirt, two wool sweater styles and a puffer jacket. It's a move that the brand foreshadowed last year with the release of socks, its first product outside the realm of shoes.

"From the start, we knew that our vision of evolved environmentalism was broader than just shoes. And as the chasm between disposable fast fashion and utilitarian basics has grown, the fashion industry has clung to the same outdated methods that continue to drive excessive carbon emissions, soil depletion and synthetic waste," the brand said in a press release.

Each piece in the new collection features the utility-driven minimalism that Allbirds has become famous for and is made from a variety of materials chosen for what the brand claims is a minimal negative impact on the planet. The sweater and knit cardigan are crafted out of the same Merino wool that Allbirds has long used in its shoe uppers; the puffer uses a blend of Merino wool and Tencel (a trademarked lyocell fabric often marketed as a more sustainable alternative to rayon) on the outside, and a combination of Tencel and recycled polyester as filler. 

The T-shirt, however, is the most interesting, from a materials standpoint: It, too, is made mostly from Tencel (65%) and Merino wool (30%), but it also contains 5% chitosan, which is a fiber derived from discarded crab shells. Allbirds asserts that using these shells rescues them from the waste stream, where they'd be headed as the byproduct of another industry. As a result, the T-shirt is currently in the process of being certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, a certification you're probably more used to seeing on seafood in your local grocery aisle. 

Check out the lookbook for Allbirds Apparel's first collection — featuring some familiar faces from the world of sustainable fashion advocacy, including Leah Thomas and Aditi Mayer — in the gallery below.

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