Allbirds is seeking fresh capital to further bolster its sustainability credentials.
The San Francisco-based company today announced it is raising a Series D funding round led by Baillie Gifford and Fidelity Management & Research Company. As it seeks to become carbon-positive — to remove more carbon dioxide from the planet than it produces — Allbirds plans to use the new funds to support overall growth as well as to invest in sustainable solutions.
In particular, the wool sneaker brand plans to use Series D funds to invest in regenerative agriculture, renewable energy across its supply chain and the elimination of unrecycled plastics.
“Any brand, no matter the size, can begin making a difference today by measuring and actively reducing their carbon footprint, and paying for its pollution through carbon credits as they trend towards neutral impact,” Tim Brown, co-founder and co-CEO, said in a statement. “If every company took up this challenge, we would no longer be talking about the apocalyptic consequences of climate change.”
Allbirds has emphasized eco-consciousness since the beginning, with the goal of being the lowest carbon emitter, on a per-pair basis, in the shoe industry. In 2019, the Silicon Valley darling imposed a carbon tax on itself to become completely carbon neutral. It also measures the environmental impact of its business and supply chains using the life-cycle assessments technique.
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Allbirds began in 2016 with a direct-to-consumer model, finding favor among Silicon Valley techies and A-list celebrities and winning FN’s Brand of the Year honor in 2018. The company, which sold the millionth pair of its signature wool sneakers last March, was valued in 2018 at $1.4 billion.
The brand currently operates 14 stores, half in the U.S. and half aboard in countries such as China, the U.K. and New Zealand, with plans to open 20 more doors this year.
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