People Don’t Buy Sustainable Products, They Buy Great Products


“People don’t buy sustainable products, they buy great products.” – Tim Brown

Tim Brown is a former professional footballer (soccer player for Americans) who is the brainchild behind the Wool Runners, or what is now known as Allbirds.

During his professional career, Tim had the idea for a minimalist sustainable athletic shoe. This idea brought him to create The Wool Runners. In 2014, he launched a Kickstarter campaign and within 5 days the campaign reached its maximum funding ($120K). A massive success, however manufacturing the shoes was still a problem.

In 2015, Tim met up with Joey Zwillinger who was his wife’s friend’s husband. Tim and Joey realized that the opportunity for The Wool Runners was bigger than wool and it was bigger than shoes.

Allbirds was born

Tim and Joey teamed up to create Allbirds and their product was officially launched in the United States in early 2016.

The company has three main pillars:

  1. Minimalist
  2. Natural Materials
  3. Sustainability

Everything Allbirds does and everything they sell falls under these 3 main pillars. It would have been simple for them to say they make shoes from wool. And that would be a cool story, but that makes their company only about a product. Instead, they created a brand and cultivated an audience that related to their pillars. Today, Allbrids sells much more than their original wool shoe. They have shoes, apparel, accessories and have introduced products in these categories made from sustainable materials besides wool, like Eucalyptus.

Allbirds Ecommerce Sales

From April thru June, Allbirds was averaging about 5,000 orders per day on their website. Currently, Allbirds is processing about 4,000 orders a day on their website. Their average order value is approximately $100. This means on average they are generating $400K in sales a day currently. Factoring in seasonality, I estimate Allbirds will generate about $160M-$190M of revenue through their website.

Funding and Valuation

To date, Allbirds has taken on just over $200M in funding and they have a valuation of $1.7B. On June 29th, 2021 Allbirds officially filed for an IPO valuing the company at $2B, however, the IPO has not been officially made public.

Currently, Nike is valued at about 6x its yearly revenues. Based on the numbers from Allbirds, they would be valued at about 10x their annual revenue (after you factor in their brick and mortar store revenue).

Audience Demographics

It is interesting to see that the majority of their audience is Female. This does not shock me because my wife was the person who introduced me to Allbirds, but I would have thought that the original product would have been marketed more towards men.


Facebook Advertising

Currently, Allbirds is running about 150 ads on Facebook.

See Allbirds Facebook Ads

Google Ads

Here are the top 5 keywords for Allbirds:

  1. best walking shoes for men (27K average monthly searches)
  2. tree toppers (5.5K average monthly searches)
  3. best running shoes (74K average monthly searches)
  4. wool socks (10K average monthly searches)
  5. men’s shoes (450,000 average monthly searches)

The keyword “Tree Toppers” is one of their product’s names. However, the other 4 are very generic and highly competitive search terms.

TikTok Can Be Tough

I have said before that I felt that TikTok likes and followers are cheap because they are easy to get. But, TikTok can also be hard to get views. And it looks like Allbirds is in that boat. Currently, they have 895 followers on TikTok and they have been posting videos since March. Their top video only has 3,000 views.

Did Allbirds miss the boat on TikTok and now it’s much tougher to get discovered on the platform?

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