Allbirds have released new Bird of the Year limited edition footwear. Image supplied.
Allbirds have partnered with New Zealand Forest & Bird for the second consecutive year on a limited edition release of shoes that celebrate ‘Bird of the Year’ which is voted for by the public. The winner of the 2018 Bird of the Year competition was the gluttonous Kererū, which is well known for being the drunkest bird in New Zealand. Among its antics are falling from trees after it gorges itself on rotting fruit from the forest floor. Every year the Bird of the Year competition plays on each birds amusing characteristics making for an entertaining and often hilarious competition for the public to vote on. The Kererū itself is endemic to New Zealand and is not currently an endangered bird, but it is vulnerable to attacks from predators such as feral cats and stoats.
Last year, Allbirds saw the perfect opportunity to support the New Zealand Forest & Bird’s conservation work, and created a shoe inspired by the Kea which was the previous Bird of the Year. This year the Allbirds design team have come up with two feather-inspired shoes: the Sober Kererū seen in the low-profile Tree Runner style and the Tipsy Kererū in the high-top Tree Topper style.
The unique fabrication used for Allbirds Tree shoes is a renewable material that is much easier on the environment than traditional fabrics. The tree fibre — TENCEL™ Lyocell — is sourced from South African farms that minimize fertilizer and rely on rainfall, not irrigation. It uses 95% less water than cotton and cuts their carbon footprint in half. The shoe laces are also made from recycled bottles and the soles are made from sugar.
“One of the reasons New Zealanders love Bird of the Year so much is because of the passion, quirky originality, and light-hearted trash-talking that goes into promoting our native birds. Everyone involved has a lot of fun,” says Forest & Bird spokesperson Megan Hubscher.
“Partnering with an organisation that is similarly dedicated to a more sustainable future is important for Allbirds and we are excited to be continuing the relationship,” says Allbirds co-founder Tim Brown.
Allbirds will donate a portion of proceeds from the sale of the Sober Kererū and Tipsy Kererū shoes to Forest & Bird New Zealand to help support their work. If you’re keen on a pair of these fun Kererū shoes you better be quick as the numbers are limited and last year the BOTY collab sold out in just two weeks. You can find them online and at the Allbirds Britomart store.