The company preemptively tapered expectations, claiming that, as a public benefit corporation, not all decisions it makes will maximize shareholder value.
Yet its sustainability focus hasn’t hindered growth
According to the numbers, Allbirds is firing on all cylinders:
- Revenue: From $194m in 2019 to $219m in 2020
- Stores: From 1 location in 2017 to 30 as of last month
- Product: From strictly footwear to apparel, including casual, performance, and outdoor styles
Unfortunately, losses are growing as well
The company has posted a net loss each of the last 3 years and in the 1st half of 2021, and doesn’t expect the trend to end soon.
This is a common thread among D2C leaders:
- Warby Parker (which filed for an IPO last week) reported a net loss of ~$56m in 2020
- Casper (already public) posted a net loss of $89m for 2020
Both Warby Parker and Casper have expanded their physical footprint, a track Allbirds will likely follow.
It’s also unclear if Allbirds is truly sustainable…
… or just more sustainable than its competitors.
- Allbirds says its supply chain has been carbon neutral since 2019 and its sneakers have 30% less carbon footprint than the average pair.
- The company is also currently facing a class-action lawsuit for making misleading sustainability claims.
One way to silence the critics would be to go perfectly sustainable. According to 2PM’s Web Smith, that would mean having a circular supply chain and not making new products.
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