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).