Allbirds profits from sustainable design

Zhu Shenshen
Startup fashion brand enjoys booming e-commerce sales in China as consumers are attracted to products satisfying consumer demand for a new-generation lifestyle.
Zhu Shenshen

Allbirds, a startup fashion brand founded in San Francisco, has become an Internet celebrity brand in China, with booming e-commerce sales and sustainable designs that include shoes made from trees and crab shells. 

The brand, which raised US$100 million in financing in 2020, expects China to become its top market in the Asia-Pacific region, Sandeep Verma, Allbirds’ head of International, told Shanghai Daily.

Though Japan and South Korea’s markets are performing well, China will surpass them to become the top market for Allbirds “in the medium term.”

Last year, Allbirds China’s e-commerce sales are expected to have more than doubled those in 2019, with the company’s partnership with websites such as TMall and, along with four domestic stores in Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu and Guangzhou.

“I never expected there are so many (online) festivals and campaigns here,” Verma told Shanghai Daily.

The events included various shopping festivals held by tech giants such as Alibaba and JD, as well as some organized by the government to boost consumption and stimulate the economy during the pandemic.

In the long term, China is expected to overtake the US as the world's biggest fashion market, with its GDP volume, the growing number of millennials who at 350 million make up 25 percent of the population and a booming e-commerce market, industry reports said.

Chinese consumers like green and sustainable trends and products, according to Shanghai-based Remakehub, an organization providing creative recycling solutions to turn waste into new generationl lifestyle products.

Green tech, sustainability, eco-friendly are Allbirds “North Star,” according to Verma, which also fits the Chinese government’s long term targets on having clear air and being carbon neutral by 2060. The company’s footwear is designed with Merino wool, is rain proof feature, has replaceable insoles and uses eco-friendly materials such as sugar cane and snow crab shells.

Allbirds profits from sustainable design
Ti Gong

Allbirds pop-up store in Nanjing Road West with new products on display.

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