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Drive Season 2, Episode 1: Tim Brown on Allbirds’ Sustainable Footwear Revolution

In episode 1 of the new season of BoF’s podcast series Drive, delivered by DHL, the Allbirds co-founder and co-CEO discusses how his high-risk strategy has created a sustainable brand that is disrupting the established footwear market.
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LONDON, United Kingdom — In a new season of Drive, BoF's entrepreneurship podcast series, we meet some of fashion's most dynamic leaders who are building sustainable businesses.

First up is Tim Brown, the co-founder and co-CEO of Allbirds, the San Francisco-based direct-to-consumer footwear brand he launched in 2016 as a registered a B-Corporation, which announced its intention to become carbon neutral this year. Allbirds sold over a million pairs of shoes in the two years following the initial launch.

Raised in New Zealand, the former professional footballer spotted an opportunity to disrupt the footwear market using a previously untapped material: wool. “This was actually about a revolution in sustainable manufacturing, in a category in fashion that had an enormous problem to solve,” Brown tells BoF, “and we were hugely energised by that challenge.”

It took almost a decade to the release Allbirds’ first product to market, and the journey was tumultuous. From assembling his team, to iterative product development and raising investment, Brown sought out and developed strategies for each that supported his sustainable ideals.

Brown’s story embodies the special kind of passion, resilience and discipline that we call Drive. This season, however, each entrepreneurial journey is interwoven with sustainable and environmental insights and lessons our community can learn from.

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