Allbirds Tree Runners
When this San Francisco‑based shoe company took flight in 2016 with an environmentally friendly merino‑wool runner, techies in Silicon Valley and millennials everywhere went berserk. This year, Allbirds launched a new textile that’s engineered from eucalyptus‑tree pulp and knit into a mesh fabric for a soft, four‑way stretch. The Tree shoes are lightweight, machine washable and a magnet for compliments – little wonder eco‑warrior Leonardo DiCaprio is now an investor. $135, allbirds.ca
01 The laces are made from recycled plastic bottles.
02 The insole is derived from castor‑oil beans and wool‑lined to ensure a cozy fit.
03 The eyelets are created out of bio‑TPU, an Earth‑friendly material made by micro‑organisms that consume plant sugars. (Sweet.)
04 To create the eucalyptus fabric, wood pulp gets a non‑toxic bath and transforms into tufts of fibre called Tencel.
05 Soles are kept light and comfy with low‑density foam. Even better: That foam will soon be derived from sugar cane.
1 000 000 Pairs of Allbirds shoes sold since 2016.
50 Prototypes created before landing on the final Tree shoe.
1 Plastic water bottle needed to make one pair of laces.
40 °C Average temperature during testing of the Tree runners. They stayed dry and were hella comfortable.
Zero Socks worn to test the runners. They were still hella comfortable (and magically odourless).