Allbirds set out to raise just $30,000, but quickly racked up four times as much from 970 backers.
The company has its roots in Kiwi native Tim Brown’s observation that merino wool was underutilized in footwear. The material has favorable breathability and moisture-wicking capabilities. It can also retain up to 30% of its own weight in moisture and still feel dry.
Brown eventually teamed up with San Francisco-based engineer Joey Zwillinger and an Italian textile mills to create the innovative fabric and design a comfortable shoe with minimal use of rubber.
The company, which is currently sold out, sells its shoes for both men and women at $95.