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To celebrate Earth Day, sustainable shoe brand Allbirds partnered with bird conservation non-profit, the National Audubon Society, to release a series of limited edition shoes. Five pairs of shoes were released in the five days following April 15, each celebrating bird species – such as the Painted Redstart, Pygmy Nuthatch and Mountain Bluebird – that are at risk from climate change. The National Audubon Society will use the proceeds from the collection to help protect bird habitats that are vital to our own well being.

Two trend-related thoughts to inspire you:  

Conscious co-opting. There have been enough articles written on how streetwear has changed fashion (indeed so many that the backlash is building, too). Streetwear’s biggest export is the ‘drop’, where limited edition products are teased on social media and then released at select locations. Like all powerful trends, this plays into consumers’ craving for scarcity, excitement and community. Here, Allbirds has taken this most consumerist of cultures and co-opted it for a higher purpose: fighting species extinction. Nice move :)

Holistic efforts. On the other hand, we’re very aware that this campaign feels somewhat ironic. Buy more sh*t you don’t need to help save the planet...really?! But Allbirds can (almost) pull this move off because it has baked sustainability deeply into its vision right from the start. It has been a B Corp since December 2016; last year it open sourced its sugarcane-derived soles; at the same time as this limited edition range was released, the company announced it was self-imposing a ‘carbon tax’ on itself in order to make its impact carbon-neutral. Are your sustainability efforts stunts, or a core part of who you are?