Allbirds has hit the 30-store mark, opening its doors for customers in the Southeastern U.S. for the first time.
The certified B Corp known for its sustainably manufactured footwear, debuted its newest retail store and community center experience in Atlanta’s Ponce City Market.
The new 3,000-square-foot space will sell both footwear and apparel and is designed to speak to the brand’s sustainable focus, which has driven its development and use of natural materials in replacement of petroleum-based synthetic fibers.
Displays around the shop draw attention to Allbirds’ signature raw materials, including merino wool, sugarcane (which it calls sweetfoam) and eucalyptus trees among others. The store is designed to conjure up a natural feeling, with custom wood try-on chairs and displays and uniquely shaped mirrors.
Customers can see the carbon footprint of each product clearly displayed, which the 100 percent carbon-neutral company calls a first for the fashion and footwear industry, and a hallmark of its approach to sustainability. Allbirds has been aggressive in this kind of approach beyond its own stores, even rolling out an open-source version of its proprietary Carbon Footprint calculator, urging brands to add carbon labels to their products.
The location is built with the local community in mind, offering “rabbiteye blueberry” colored shoelaces in honor of the fruit native to Georgia. Keeping along with the theme of popular local produce, shoppers can also get handmade laser-engraved Georgia Peach pins.
Throughout the store, photos feature local members of Allbirds’ Allgood Collective, which is the brand’s global community designed to share resources, tools and stories to help launch and build new projects or simply provide inspiration.
The store is located at 675 Ponce de Leon Ave NE at Ponce City Market and is open on Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Allbirds has 18 stores nationwide.
Allbirds has been busy ahead of a potential IPO that reportedly could happen as soon as September, with Bloomberg reporting that the San Francisco brand is seeking a valuation of at least $2 billion. In July, the company introduced its “flight plan” to cut its per product carbon footprint in half by 2025.
Although Allbirds has been synonymous with footwear, the brand recently released its first activewear line as the category gains momentum. The collection of tank tops, bike shorts and leggings, like Allbirds’ shoes, will be made from fabrics like merino wool and eucalyptus tree fiber instead of the polyester that activewear apparel is typically comprised of.
Activewear is just the latest in a merchandise offering that Allbirds has heavily expanded since 2019 to include socks and underwear before covering the upper body with sustainable sweaters, T-shirts and jackets.
Allbirds is also under fire in a class-action lawsuit from a consumer who accused the brand of “false, deceptive and misleading” sustainability and animal welfare claims. In particular, the plaintiff called out the sourcing and manufacturing of the ZQ merino wool shoe, claiming slaughter and abuse to the sheep that produce the wool.
The Bay Area brand dismissed the suit’s claims. A spokesperson told Sourcing Journal, “We have numerous initiatives in place to reach carbon neutrality, ensure animal welfare in our sourcing and uphold the promises we make to our customers—developed with recognized third-party partners, who hold us accountable.”