Much as consumers have started to question the sourcing of their food in recent years, they are now also beginning to wonder about the origin of their clothing. Allbirds, the shoe company founded two years ago, tapped into this trend twice this year with quirky campaigns. The more recent work, done with Anomaly Los Angeles, encourages shoppers to "Meet Your Shoes," as it promotes the brand's sustainable materials.
"This was never just about selling shoes but about trying to make a sizable shift in sustainable manufacturing," says Julie Channing, chief marketing officer at Allbirds. "It's showing people you can make products that will look good and feel good, and that people feel good about buying."
That idea may have seemed outlandish a decade ago, but today's consumer increasingly cares about the production pipeline. Brands like Allbirds are solving problems consumers didn't even know they had, something established brands should be watching, according to a recent report by NPD Group. Indeed, Allbirds is on track to become a viable sneaker competitor to existing industry heavyweights like Nike and Adidas. Investors have noticed: Allbirds has raised nearly $80 million in venture capital funding, which puts its valuation at $1.4 billion, according to CB Insights.
Allbirds recently opened its third store—its first overseas—and has "aggressive plans" for the coming year, says Channing. —Adrianne Pasquarelli