With fresh capital in hand, Allbirds moves into apparel

Article courtesy of Retail Dive here

  • Allbirds is planting its flag firmly in the apparel space, after launching its first foray outside of footwear with a sock line in 2019. The DTC brand's introductory collection includes a T-shirt, wool cardigan, wool jumper and a puffer jacket, according to details emailed to Retail Dive.

  • The clothing line was developed with Allbirds' "core tenets" in mind, the company said, including simple design, natural materials and a commitment to sustainability. Each piece is labeled with its carbon footprint.

  • All four products come in multiple colors and range in price from just under $50 to $250. The TrinoXO Tee sells for $48, the Wool Cardi for $145, the Wool Jumper for $135 and the Trino Puffer for $250.

As promised, Allbirds has expanded outside the footwear space, launching with a four-piece collection in apparel. Just last month, Allbirds raised $100 million in a Series E funding round and noted the money would go toward new product categories in addition to international and brick-and-mortar expansion.

This move outside of its core footwear category comes just a few months after the brand debuted its first performance running shoe, stepping outside of the casual footwear space for the first time, and fits with a sustainable vision for the future of fashion: better materials, carbon-neutral products, less required washing, and items focused on form and function.

"From the start, we knew that our vision of evolved environmentalism was broader than just shoes," the company said in its announcement. "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the chasm between disposable fast fashion and utilitarian basics has grown, the fashion industry has clung to the same outdated methods that continue to drive excessive carbon emissions, soil depletion, and synthetic waste. So we asked ourselves, why couldn't we give people clothes they'll love and simply make them better?"

Allbirds is entering apparel at a fraught time. Even before the pandemic, many apparel retailers were filing for bankruptcy and struggling to appeal to consumers, and the health crisis has only made the sector's problems worse, with apparel sales crushed in the early months of lockdown in the U.S. and many retailers still trying to recover.

Not all apparel has suffered during the pandemic. Some athletics retailers, and especially those that sell athleisure, have seen success as consumers opt to stay home more and seek comfortable clothing over workwear. Many DTC brands have also seen a lift over the past few months as consumers turn to e-commerce over physical stores.