Organised by e-Pitti.com, the digital project run by Pitti Immagine, eP Summit was held in Milan on the 23rd October. As usual the annual event discussed a wide range of topics affecting the fashion sector as a whole, including issues relating to the evolution of retail, the challenges of multi-channel, innovation and e-Commerce getting to grips with new digital consumers. Representing the shoe sector was Allbirds, an innovative e-Commerce platform underpinned by storytelling focused on sustainability and environmental awareness.
With its e-Commerce arriving in Europe on the 1st July this year, the American brand wants to meet European consumers’ requirements when it comes to sustainable footwear. The project, whose physical store in Berlin is about to open, was founded in 2016 by Tim Brown and Joey Zwillinger. Everything revolves around the materials: the upper is created from ZQ certified merino wool sourced from New Zealand and spun in the Milan area while eucalyptus fibre from South Africa is transformed into yarn by the Austrian company Lenzing; the soles, on the other hand, are made of carbon negative green
The material is produced by sugar cane sustainably grown in Brazil, which absorbs carbon dioxide from the environment.
The shoes are assembled in China. Focused on the end consumer, the brand has direct access to huge amounts of data and is therefore able to take the pulse of the markets where the sneakers are most attractive. “At the start of the year”, explained Managing Director Europe, Sandeep Verma, “we noticed that 10% of UK traffic came from mainland Europe and Ireland so we decided to launch our e-Commerce site, www.allbirds.eu, in 12 European markets, including Italy, where there is growing awareness about the environment. We have noticed that Italian consumers like different styles and looks to other European shoppers, with a preference for the Tree Topper model”.
Allbirds’ fame has been amplified by its internationally renowned fans such as Leonardo di Caprio, Emma Watson, Ryan Gosling and Barack Obama.