When it comes to fashion brands establishing hubs in Canada, Toronto was once the benchmark. It wasn’t even a big discussion 10 years ago. But recently there has been a change and we have seen more and more businesses choosing to open in Vancouver first. This is the case of the American brand of footwear and sustainable sportswear Allbirds.
Their 2,000 square foot space on West 4th and Vine in Kitsilano will open to the public on Thursday, June 23.
Allbirds co-founder and co-CEO Joey Zwillinger said of the decision, “The Allbirds brand and products fit so well with the Vancouver lifestyle: laid-back, outdoorsy and an epicenter of health and wellness.” He adds that “the Kitsilano neighborhood is the perfect example of this in the area,” making it the perfect complement to the store’s philosophy of sustainability and comfortable travel.
Allbirds started in 2016 with shoes, especially ones that were designed for low-impact everyday use, but were extremely comfortable. Over the years the collection has slowly expanded to include more performance running and hiking shoes with the newly launched Tree Flyer shoes. They also introduced a workout apparel capsule for men and women and a small selection of loungewear.
Because the brand is all about sustainability, Allbirds have reduced their product line to a minimum and opted to focus on materials which they then improve and re-launch products based on feedback.
The fibers are either natural and responsibly sourced, such as sugar cane and bark harvested through a closed-loop process, or materials made from recycled bottles and cardboard. Allbirds also offers several incredibly comfortable merino wool shoes.
“The Canadian consumer has a pretty good understanding of natural materials, especially around merino wool in colder climates, and also appreciates products without compromise, while doing the least amount of damage to the planet,” Zwillinger said. That’s part of the reason they’ve chosen to expand into Canada now, after the success of e-commerce in Vancouver.
A Toronto store will also open in Yorkdale later this year…but we were the first here in Vancouver.
@vancouverisawesome @Allbirds is opening its first store in Canada and @editorialallie has to check it out. #vancouverisstyling #allbirdsshoes #sustainablemode ♬ Aesthetic Girl – Yusei